October 21, 2008


Decorating "Smecorating!"
A "Critique" on "Critiques"

Have you ever seen the show House Hunters on HGTV? I will admit I am a big fan. The one thing that I am not a big fan of is this: A couple walks through an absolutely gorgeous home and then starts to pick it apart because they think it needs "updating." Then they start to figure in the costs of all the remodeling they would have to do in order to make it "livable" for their upscale tastes. I'm telling you, numerous times I have seen beautiful cabinets and counter tops in a kitchen, beautiful tile and vanity in the bathroom, etc... and yet they "stick their nose" up at it and say it would be impossible to live in! What I find so humorous is that in a few years time what they consider to be "updated" will then be "outdated!" Please don't feel that your home doesn't look nice just because you don't have the latest stainless steel appliances or granite counter tops. Just remember, these same people will be spending oodles of more money in a few years updating the things that are in style now.
One other pet peeve I just can't be quiet about is happening around blog land. Some people have self appointed themselves as director of interior design.They have laid out rules about what you can and cannot do concerning the decorating of your home! What??? Apparently, if you have certain items in your home, your home is now considered outdated, as well! In order to be "with it" you need to "free" yourself of said items. Not only that, certain colors, patterns and textures should only be used. The sad part about the whole thing is that I see it breeding discontent in the hearts of many women. Women who before thought their homes were lovely have bought into all of this and now feel like their homes are no longer beautiful. It even has them starting to question their own tastes. This can lead to much unhappiness and we all know what happens when Mama isn't happy:o)
I would like to strongly suggest to "for get a bout it!" Decorate your homes in the manner in which you love ~ as long as you and your family are happy that is all that matters. Let's focus on creating homes that are comfy and cozy, well loved and well lived in. Your home should be an expression of who you are, not just the same old, same old cookie cutter house that everybody else has. So ladies, let us be proud of our homes and be content with what the good Lord has blessed us with! As long as you have love in your house, then it is indeed, a beautiful home:)

48 comments:

Rhoto said...

Hear! Hear!! We also love hospitality and stay far away from "entertaining"!!
Warm greetings from Montreal,
Rhonda

Loretta said...

Absolutely! Great post. :-)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I dislike the same thing about those shows (although I do watch). It brings back bad memories of having our beautiful dream home up for sale for an entire year.

The big reason young people didn't want it was because the kitchen was "dated". I thought it lovely but it seems darker woodwork on cabinets was no longer the latest thing.

My daughter is an interior designer with a four year design degree. She always says a house will be lovely when you assemble what you love rather than what other people tell you to buy.

NanaNor's said...

I agree so much with you on all accounts-and do you know that most of the granite countertops out there have carcinigins in them. It seems so silly that couples will look at million dollar homes and knit pick. I haven't run across any blogs that talk about decorating and I'm thankful, I want my words and time to be of things of the Lord.
Noreen

Arlene Grimm said...

Preach it Sister...I totally agree. Do we all want to have cookie cutter houses or can we let our own personalities shine through?

Michelle said...

What a well written post...you are so right, Susan!

I have to chime in a little opinion about your reference to the decorating & blog land thing. There were some blogs I used to visit where I really enjoyed seeing their decorating ideas, etc. and then somewhere along the way because these bloggers got very popular and picked up that very attitude you're speaking of - like they know all so we should do whatever they say. I just can't visit those places anymore, to tell ya the truth, no matter how great their ideas are. Now, that's just my opinion and I'm not trying to be judgmental...I just mean to say I understand exactly what you're talking about...I've noticed it, too.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Amen, Susan! Well said!

sheila from life @ #17 said...

Brava :)

...I think I finally figured it out a few days ago...as much as I love HGTV it is as if all the designers there, or at least the ones I see, all encourage participants and viewers to design their homes to sell (I know, just like the show by the same name...)...the homes aren't truly designed to live in, just to be ready to sell and move on up...

and it can be so easy to be sucked into believing that all the changes made to a home have to be bigger and better (read=more expensive) instead of just prettier or to one's taste...

of course, that is a mass generalization, but it is how I'm feeling right now :)

Dawn said...

Amen, sistah!
I have had these same thoughts as I watch those programs! I often think that my home would be considered a "shack" because I do not have granite countertops, a grand "master suite"...and OMgoodness...we have but one bath?????
How is that possible?
We raised five children in this shanty and yet, it is the place they love to return to...their soft place to land...their home.

In the words of Fanny in S&S:
"A little cottage is always very snug."

Snug, indeed!
I love snug!

Tori said...

Amen, great post!!!

Wendi said...

Great post!

Anne F. said...

Oh my goodness what a great post and I am so with you on all this.

I too have seen some beautiful kitchens and baths and others think they are not the best cause they don't have granite or marble or whatever.

We need to go back to the simplier times in life and not worry and stress so much I truly do agree with you.

Life is not a contest and we should not live it like one because so and so has better then us oh my goodness no way.

Kim~"HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

What a great post, Susan. You really hit the nail on the head. I watch the show you are talking about...in fact, I was watching it last night and couldn't believe how this couple nitpicked about the bedrooms being too small, etc.

Jodi said...

Amen! Amen! Very well put, Susan. I've also noticed these folks think they need a bedroom for every child ... and just who can survive without a playroom!? Online I read a Christian lady that went on in great detail about the tragedy of making children share bedrooms. She and her husband weren't having more children until if and when they could buy a bigger house. (They had a 3 bedroom with 2 children.) Ack! It breaks my heart to think of the overflowing, abundance of love we'd be missing in our life if hubby and I had lived by those standards!

G.L.H. said...

Amen to you, Susan, and to all the commenters, as well. When I watch those shows, my thought is that they want all houses to look exactly the same. And, as others have said, in ten years they will be 'way out of fashion.

It *is* all about what we are comfortable with, and, of course, CONTENTED with. Right?

--Barbara

carla said...

Well put and very observant of you. I noticed the same thing when I used to read fashion magazines. The haughty tone they utilized to describe what was "out" was the opposite of the enthusiastic tone they had used to describe the very same stuff as "in" - one year ago. Why do magazines, tv programs, etc... do this? Because they are pushing us to buy stuff. If their advertisers don't sell, they won't support them with advertising. I not saying those people are evil. And there's nothing wrong with buying new things. However, the enemy of our souls uses those shiny baubles to create discontentment in us.

How wise of you to encourage us to make our homes our safe and comfortable have, rather than a showroom floor.

Amber C said...

Exactly. We were recently considering a move and looked at several houses. I'm embarrassed to say that I found myself going through these houses picking them apart.

When I got home I read something on contentment and realized that it was foolish for me to even consider moving to a larger house. I have one son in college and one nearing high school.

Thanks for a great post.

Alamodey said...

Thank you for a wonderful post! I love what you had to say.

Though, personally, I'm grateful for the turning up of noses at 'outdated' homes. I'm hoping it will make it easier for us when we go to buy a home next summer! Outdated cupboards, bring 'em on!

Anonymous said...

Oh,! you just stated what I have thought completely. When we got our house it was dated for sure and we haven't been able to update it much but it is our house and there is nothing wrong with it. And that was Years ago!! ;-) When I see these home hunters saying this and that house needs updating these homes are so much more updated than ours it isen't funny!! ;-) Yes I would like to redo uninsulated windows and such and we will one at a time when we can, but basically the house is sound. We concentrate on family times and have savings in the bank and there is love in this home. That is a better investment of our time we thing. Thankyou for the great article! Evidentually lots of other folks think so too!! Jody

Anonymous said...

Great Post! Some days I shake my head at the foolish wastes of money I see on some houses.

My folks bought a really nice house in the Mid-1960's, and redid the kitchen in about 1972 ish... and still use it. It's immaculately clean, despite raising 4 kids in the house. Same with the bathrooms, just wonderfully kept up. They sometimes worry about selling it (their now in their 80s.) I've told them to just let me know, and we'll work something out. The house is set up to be lived in, although it has rooms for entertaining. Meanwhiole, the house next door to where I've lived for 20 years has gone through 4 owners, each of which spent huge $ on massive renovations. And it's always been a nice, practical house. Silly Twits!

Kim said...

We don't have cable or satellite so I can't become discontented watching those shows, but I do struggle with discontentment after reading the gorgeous design blogs, but I still read them anyway! lol Go figure. Thanks for a great reminder and some permission to be happy with my home the way it is right now, mauve carpet and all.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Susan, I still watch HGTV, but not as much as I used to. I know there are a lot of decorating/design blogs out there & I hope you aren't including me in the "know it all" section. I definitely try to do things on a budget & give women ideas on how they can update & change what they have without spending a fortune. I grew up with a mom who could care less about decorating & changing things out & sometimes I wish I was a bit more like her, but I do confess I love decorating and making my home as cozy & comfortable as it can be...on a budget!

Renae said...

Thank you for the reminder! I know this, but forget sometimes. Making a house, home is more important than the latest, greatest fad.

Dana said...

Amen and pass the remote.

I don't watch HGTV or any design shows any longer because it just makes me unhappy with what we have.

Excellent post!

Blessings--
Dana

Lynn said...

Guilty! You are so right. Thank you for this nugget of truth.

Elle said...

I followed a link to your post and it's exactly what I've been feeling lately. Though, I have been amused when watching hgtv and leaving the room for a few minutes, coming back in to see a view of a room and thinking, "Oh, that is really pretty" and then the camera flashes to the newly remodeled version! Ha ha, I was admiring the "before" photos.
Great post- a good reminder.
L

Domestic Accident said...

Well said. What a great post!

The Nester said...

What a fantastic post!

I, myself have a blog all about house stuff and constantly struggle with the very thing you talk about when I write a post. I don't want anyone to ever think what they have is not good enough!

It's a fine line when that's what you choose to write about because if you have no opinion about anything then you have nothing to write about.

I love the idea of shopping your house, using what you have and going to thrift shops. My motto is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". The last thing I ever want to do is breed discontentment. Thanks so much for the great reminder!

Manuela said...

I know, I always say "don't you know you can paint those cabinets if they bother you"! When did laminate countertops become a bad choice? Although, I haven't come across any decorating blogs that have a know it all attitude. I think everyone seems to be very accepting of others tastes and styles. I don't read decorating blogs by professional decorators, are those the ones you're referring to?

Manuela

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just found your blog via like merchants ships. I absolutely agree with your comment. I'm VERY happy with what I have and don't need the latest and greatest (?). I feel kinda sorry for people who need everything new and up to date. Your home should reflect you and your family.

Coleen

Anonymous said...

I also love HGTV and especially House Hunters. My pet peeve is a couple who are expecting a baby and must now have a 4 to 5 bedroom home with a playroom,a family room and a huge yard. Of course, they must also have an eat in kitchen and a formal dining room. Whatever happened to good sense? Linda

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

The House Hunter show bothers me too. I don't like feeling like my formica countertops and oak cabinets are ugly when they aren't to me.
As long as my house is clean and has everything we need, I am happy.

Kimmie said...

Did someone open a window? I just caught a breath of fresh air...thank you for the check.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted (and yes, our couch is a bit worn, but I'd rather save my money for another adoption than a new couch)

amy said...

Amen!
I usually do march to the beat of my own drummer in regards to decorating but thanks I needed that reminder!

debra said...

Great post! I hate to see people so unhappy because they don't have a stainless steel monster fridge or whatever the thing du jour is. So many things are so much important - hopefully everyone will eventually realize this in their life times.
Thanks!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Found you by way of Meredith, and I say Hooray for this post!!!!!! A thing that has needed to be said. It didn't take long for me to feel some discontent growing, but hopefully I have nipped it in the bud. When I talk about my house being outdated, and there are some things that could use a little change, and I get discouraged, my daughter who is an interior design major says" Mom I love your house". Thats enough I want a home not just a pretty house. Jackie

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I never get that when watching those shows...lately, it seems that the light colored wood cabinets that most newer homes have where I live are becoming "outdated". On those shows I see people painting these beautiful cabinets white or black and I think, "boy are they gonna regret that later". Also, what is up with granite being the most important thing? Seems like a useless waste to me.

Jenny said...

I agree! Apparently, if you don't have granite countertops your house will NEVER sell....These shows are making us feel that what we have is never enough.

Blue Castle said...

Wonderful post. I do find myself second-guessing my ideas when I see some of the other great design blogs that are out there. But, some of the "homiest" most comfortable houses I've visited have not been "up-to-date" as far as decorating, etc.

Contentment is way underrated. :)

GOFSIX said...

I agree whole heartedly. My DH and I often observe the waste and silliness of many of the trendy changes made on these shows.

Carolyne said...

Oh, my!! How completely and utterly refreshing!
***One-of-the-Best-Post-Awards***
Susan, you are so right, and articulate in how you said it. I have very few blogs I frequent, and your is one of the ones I enjoy very much.
Your home is cozy and you are Real...with a capital"R".
Blessings to you.

Elizabeth G. said...

Well said! We need an attitude of gratitude and lots of love and contentment.

Elizabeth

Linda said...

*lol* I suppose our home decor would be outdated.... by at least 150 years. ;)

Then again, perhaps it's concidered antique? hehe

greetings from the netherlands!

Mrs. U said...

AMEN, Susan!! Wonderful post! You are SO VERY RIGHT!!!!

His,
Mrs. U

Kim said...

I'm sure those shows are scripted. I wouldn't put much stock in them. I can't watch that show anymore. To me, most of the house are depressing.

My Place of Peace said...

Amen, sista!

~~Deby said...

AMEN
Very well written and should
be said.
Some of this way of thinking
turns into coveteousness,which is sin and can make us so unhappy with what the LORD does provide..
Thanks for this post...
EXCELLANT..
Deby

Firefly Nights said...

I totally agree. Some of the HGTV programs are good and have great tips on decorating and staging, but it seems like everyone thinks they have to sink a lot of money into updating homes that are perfectly fine. The one that really sticks in my mind was a perfectly lovely kitchen that the design team priced a renovation for. I don't remember if the couple bought the house, but the price tag on the kitchen redo that wasn't needed was $65,000.

The other show that sticks in my mind was a House Hunters show where the empty nest couple was going to get $1.4 million when they sold their home. They were looking for a new home, I believe, in central America. Choice 1 was absolutely lovely for less than $500,000. They ended up spending more than $2 million on a home with 10,000 square feet. For two people. I guess there's a fool born every minute.