”If bad decorating was a hanging offense, there’d be bodies hanging from every tree.” – Sylvester Stallone
I admit it: I’m a HGTV House Hunters fan. What other place allows me to snoop through people’s homes, to critique their decorating, to find out what houses cost all over the country? Lolling on my couch, I can inspect the closets in Chicago high rises, gawp at kitchen cabinets in Phoenix, or eyeball lanais in Orlando.
Part of the fun of House Hunters is sneering at the buyers. Recently, a young missus had “cookie cutter” on her wish list. None of that dreary “character” stuff for her. She wanted new, new, new. When a realtor told her that a home was built in 1978, she shrieked, “That’s older than I am!” Apparently, homes past thirty should be bulldozed.
Well, honey, you with your chevron throw pillows, free-standing soaker tub, and industrial-tech light fixtures, I have some news for you. Trendy coolness is fleeting. Before you know it, you could be asking yourself, “What was I thinking?”
I’ve been feathering our nest for over forty years, and some of my design choices now make me cringe. Or gag. Or laugh. No, I never succumbed to wall-to-wall shag, or flocked wallpaper, or crushed velvet, but it seems that I lost my way once in a while.
Evidence: Over the years – not all at once — our home featured the following:
- Fuzzy toilet tank and seat covers
- Foil wallpaper in shimmery rust and gold
- A burnt orange feature wall, to complement the orange and rust paisley bedspread
- A living room sofa in a bold navy and yellow chintz
- Pepto-Bismol pink sponge-painted bedroom walls
- “Paintings” checked out from the Rock Island Public Library hung on our living room walls (We rotated them in and out when they needed to be returned.)
- Harvest gold appliances, bronze appliances, almond appliances, white appliances
- A country blue and mauve kitchen, with small print wallpaper and Pennsylvania Dutch-style squiggles on the border
- Formica counter tops in a butcher block pattern
- A yellow and green stenciled border, my own DIY, in our daughter’s bedroom
- Calico wreaths, lovingly made and proudly hung on walls and doors
In our “new” fifteen-year-old home, the brass bathroom fixtures, the hickory cabinets and faux painting in the kitchen are pitifully passé, but they haven’t yet worn out their welcome for me. Unlike a young House Hunter who proclaimed, “I could NOT live with brass light fixtures!” I’ve made my peace with ours. Our honey oak floors, the kind that that HGTV buyers disdain, aren’t going anywhere. The pretty cherry dining room table and china cabinet stay, too. For now, I’ll drool over someone else’s rubbed bronze faucets and rolling barn doors, and won’t be tempted one bit to hang the now-trendy foil wallpaper again. Let’s hope those fuzzy toilet tank covers never make a comeback.