saved from a barracks flavor only by the splashy curtains

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
The living room was small and functional, saved from a barracks flavor only by the splashy curtains –flowers in a psychedelic pattern and color –and a series of posters along one wall: Dylan at Forest Hills, Baez at Carnegie Hall, Jefferson Airplane at Berkeley, the Byrds in Cleveland.

Source: The Dead Zone by Stephen King

What does the collocation in bold mean? What does ‘saved from a barracks flavor only by the splashy curtains’ actually mean?

Thank you.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The room is being compared to an army barracks, which is typically very basic and functional, with little or no decoration.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ...What does ‘saved from a barracks flavor only by the splashy curtains’ actually mean?

    Thank you.
    The room is undesirable because it is reminiscent of a barracks. The only thing that saves it from being barrack-like is the curtains. They have a design that looks as though the colours have been splashed on.

    Also cross-posted
     
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