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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ah...I Feel So NOT Alone!

~ Our tiny study~
I almost deleted my last post...I was afraid that I might be mis-understood and hurt some feelings. *sigh* I am quite relieved to see that most of you feel the same way I do about HGTV's current schedule. It does bother me to say it as I was one of those people who jumped for joy when they first went on the air! Oh yes! An entire network devoted to all things HOME! Whoo Hoo. But, in the last 2 years, I have seen more and more evidence that I am no longer in their targeted demographic. *sigh* Yes, I AM old and out of touch yet so proud of it. Like most of you, we began married life in a small rented apartment. I was tickled to death with ours, a one bedroom in Pensacola, Florida. It was a newer complex so it looked great and even had an ice maker in the fridge! Wow, I was livin' large! Still, Bill was in AOCS training (Think "An Officer and a Gentleman" without Ricard Gere) and was only allowed to leave base on the weekends. I was alone, all alone, for the first time in my life. And I slept on the floor. Uh huh. Until Bill graduated the rigorous training and he was sworn into the Navy, we could not have our furniture moved. My dad brought down as much as he could (Not that we had a lot mind you!) when he came with me to look for an apartment but that was limited to dishes and cookware, a mattress, 2 lamps, a tiny black and white TV (YES! Black and white folks! And we lived to tell the tale!), a small stereo, some books, records, 3 plants and my clothes. I was incredibly lonely and very nervous at night. It seems silly to say that now but heck. I had just turned 21 and lived at home until I married. My new husband was on base 24/7 during the week and I was a.l.o.n.e. *sigh* Nights seemed so long...there is a lot more to the story but yes. It is hard to relate to most of these young people searching for homes on HGTV. But it goes even deeper than HGTV. I adore decorating, I love looking at homes and seeing how others live. I have every respect for anyone who has more than I do, heck, LOTS of folks have more than *I* do! That is okay! But when I read and hear that THIS or THAT is passe', outdated and even down right ugly, and I know that I have that very look in MY home, well, those teeny hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. Where once I just got hurt and depressed, now I get majorly ticked. I love decorators. I know decorators. I once dreamed of being a decorator. But who decides what is in and what is out? And we all know that whatever is *IN* now will be *OUT* next year. I don't know about you but we do not have the money to toss away on new furniture and lamps every 2-3 years. Nor do we have enough money to buy items that do not *speak* to us. Yup. Come on now, YOU know what I am saying...you are walking through a store and something whispers, "Psst. You there, the chubby lady in glasses. I am one of a kind ya know. Wouldn't I look super in that burgundy dining room of yours? Come on now...take me home. PULEEZ?". Uh huh. Things speak to us. When we bought our home I was (Now this may be a shock) on. a. budget. Oooohhhh. Something that most of those people on HGTV never seem to worry about. I decided against the whirlpool tub so could have another closet. I chose a smaller floor plan so we could have a finished basement. I did not get the vaulted ceilings upstairs. *shrug* And yet I love this place. For all that it does not have, it is sweet and ours and very cozy. Yes, sometimes it feels TOO cozy but heck. I have had baby showers and wedding showers, birthday parties and office parties, a holiday get together or 15 and giggly girl sleep overs and somehow we all did just fine. I would love to have a Jacuzzi but I usually take showers anyway so would rarely use it. I would LOVE a bigger living room but, especially at this time of year, ours feels so friendly and warm. I also chose oak cabinets. I LIKED the oak. It went, heck, it GOES well with my things. Now I am reading that my cabinets are antiquated, that I MUST paint them. I have no problems painting them. I like the look of that on SOME days but on others, well, on others I LIKE my oak. Bill looked at me as if lemurs were leaping from my little ears when I suggested it. We hope to replace our kitchen floor this year, maybe tile, maybe wood. I love the look of dark wood and lighter cabinets but that is no reason to replace cabinets as some would have me do! Paint is an option but then you have the issue of how the white appliances look with the painted cabinets. I swear it is akin to opening a can o' those proverbial worms. And PULEEZ do not ask me to replace our barely 6 year old appliances. Not only is that prohibitively expensive but it also smacks severely at our Go Green mentality! There is nothing wrong with them..*sigh* So, what to do, what to do...I am more than willing to listen to any and all suggestions. I trust all of you. I admire all of you. I respect all of you. I will be adding pictures of our house, a few at a time, later this week. I would love to hear what you would do with our kitchen (Cabinets, counters and flooring) and our bathroom floors. We replaced the bath counters last year using Corian in both. I am looking for new light fixtures for both small baths...oh but wouldn't a designer go into anaphylactic shock upon seeing my builders grade bubble lights! Egads! And we have lived with them for almost 7 years! I should be humiliated! Yet, somehow, I survived. One for Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Now, all of this said, I hold each one of my decorating books in high esteem. I read and re-read them and enjoy each one greatly. I love the entire process of decorating and making a house a home. I think that being in the design business would be a joy...and yet I am so weary of being told that what I have or what I love is out of touch. Don't you just know that IF we paint and glaze our cabinets, oak will be the hot new thing in 2 years? That is MY own personal Murphy's Law. Whatever Susie Q does to keep in style will soon be OUT of style after she does it. On Saturday I read what 3 different designers had to say about trends. 2 said that granite was *out*. The 3rd said it was *in*. 2 said that the color blue was *out*, one said it was *in*. Get the picture? Hey, if you love granite and can afford it, GO for it! It can be so beautiful. I would love soapstone but it is pricey. I had marble suggested to me recently...me! Do I LOOK like Mrs. Trump to you? I didn't think so...besides, if I WAS Mrs. Trump he would have an entirely different hair do and give most of his fortune to animal charities but I digress... If you love country, do it. Traditional? Jump on it. Tahitian Eclectic Retro Modern? You go girl. Here I am rambling again my sweet bloggy buddies. But it is so nice to know I am not alone in my less than magazine worthy home. Being IN a magazine was once something I aspired to do. I did have a picture of part of my home in Country Decorating Ideas. Yup, a picture of my Hoosier cabinet filled with antique milk bottles was used in several of their issues. But that is probably as close as I will ever get to decor stardom. And I am okay with that... I take great pride in those wonderful bloggers who have delicious homes & who have had their sweet abodes featured on TV and in magazines. The ones I have come to know worked hard for and on their homes and deserve every single accolade they receive. I have friends here who have the loveliest homes, some huge, some tiny, all personal and warm. I have known folks who have the most current looks and some who have not changed their look in 40 years. Home is what YOU want it to be, what makes YOU happy. Like most of you, I have to wonder what has created this mad trend in Realty. I thought you looked at a house's bones, whether it was decently kept (or, if not, whether you could fix whatever was wrong) and if it was in an area that suited you...good schools, safe, close to the bus line or Starbucks. Or Target. I'm just sayin'... I used to think it was our jobs as buyers to put our own stamp on a house regardless of what the sellers had done. That has all gone the way of bobby soxers and minuettes. But that does not mean it is a good thing. Nope, it t'ain't right I tell ya. I can only hope that more folks have taken this economic downturn seriously and will begin to live within their means and learn to do with less. Less does not mean awful, ugly and boring. Competing with the folks next door is silly...besides, I can not compete with my neighbors. They are just the best people in the world, too wonderful for words. The missus next door is gorgeous, smart, dedicated and has the most wonderful family...I admire and respect and adore her...compete? Nah, love? You bet! And why would we all need to look alike? *shiver* That is a scary thought. Perhaps we will see a return to builders offering smaller homes to those of us who want that, those of us who prefer that. Maybe we will see a return to more people decorating on a shoe string, using their creativity rather than cash. Heck, cash alone does not guarantee a beautiful home. And do not get me started on those HGTV House Hunters who, after moving into their homes, are shown to have completely re-done the entire house in 3 months or less...but that is for another post and I am moving on. Aren't you happy? *smile* Thank you for continuing to be so inspiring, so much fun, so interesting and so supportive. The blogging community is such a joy...you all are such a joy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

33 comments:

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

I agree, I would not want to look like the woman next door. That would be treading awfully close to 'Stepford Wife' status. I am comfortable with my little apartment being the way it has been for the past 30 years. Little changes here and there with decor, but that's about it.

I've always thought about repainting the two door cabinet in my teeny tiny kitchen though. Not a different color, same color just to freshen it. Have you seen Julia Roberts in 'Sleeping With The Enemy'? I love the part where she moves in, repaints the cabinets, and just dusts and cleans everything else. I love that living room and kitchen! Just go with what you like, it has to please you and Bill only. xxoo

Terri and Bob said...

Amen.

I feel like you just gave me permission to be me. I have mismatched appliances, some white, some black, and I actually like them with my red formica countertop. Go figure.

Yep. all you gotta do is be happy with what you like and don't let anyone tell you that you don't like it!

Lucy said...

I so totally agee with both these posts. It frosts my rear when I watch people go into these homes on House Hunters and whine over the paint; the style; the floor; a door; a window. That smacks of a tad spoiled rotten. Our first apartment was a damp and cold basement apartment in Nebraska. Try living in that through a Nebraska winter. I shudder now to think that we actually slept on the bed that was slready there. I mean....everyone had slept on that bed. It never occured to us not to.

Different world now. And that's not all completely good.

Great blog!

Nancy said...

Terri said what I wanted to say. So, I'll say it anyway...
Amen... I miss learning how to change a room for $500 on "Decorating Cents". I miss Matt and Shari on "Room by Room". Kitty and all those "oldies".
And what do those kids on "House Hunters" do for a living? Rob banks...

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Great Article Sue! I so agree with you. Some of the designs they come up with now days (I'm sorry), but are just butt ugly! No, I'll take my humble, out of date cumfy home any old day over have the up to date chic home. Oh, my place would be considered drab, boring, and far from posh, but hey, I'm happy, my family's happy, so what the hay!

Brenda said...

I understand. I loved HGTV and Foodnet work both,but they are venturing off into some weird stuff. I say get back to basics.
I know what they are doing..it is get more like reality TV so they can compete.CRAZY

Lisa said...

I know exactly what you mean. I watched a couple try to find their "first" home this morning. They had a budget of $250,000. How does that happen. My first huby and I could only afford 60,000 and that was pushing it AND we were both established with our jobs in this itty bitty community. I also think this is why you won't see many pictures of my home on here. I'd much prefew my cozy little home to someone else's "museum" that doesn't have any dog hair. heeheehee Great post!!

Neabear said...

Good posts! I often wonder how those people can afford some of these places. I have HGTV listed on my profile as something I enjoy watching. But lately I have not been so I am out of touch with what is going on there. But I was starting to find too many things I was not enjoying anymore. I guess I should check it out again and see what is happening there. I have too much fun blogging, that I end up not watching much TV. Hubby watches the TV while I hog the computer. I lean towards country style too. I am so glad there others who like it and that it is not really on the way out. I hope not anyway. Some of the new styles are ...what's the word...clinical maybe...no ...sterile..That is probably the word I was looking for...Sterile. My house is definitely not sterile lol. Thank you for your posts.

Connie said...

I hear ya, chickee. When we moved out to Calif. from Yorktown, Va. in the very early 60s we had to sell all my parents had given us just 6 months prior. When we arrived in Oceanside we went to a hardware store and bought 2 plates, 2 forks, 2 knives and one spoon. Eventually we were able to get some of our stuff out here but let me tell ya I sat in a hotel room without any one to talk to for weeks. Daily trips to Vons grocery store for chocolate covered donuts. Ooooooeeeee..... ;-)

I spend the majority of my time fluffing and frou frou-ing this house and hubs doesn't care one bit. It keeps me off the streets, outta the bars, not smoking or carousing with wild cowboys. That's the life, honey.......not HGTV. It ain't real really......

:-)<------Me smiling at ya......

Sue said...

I love how your talking abou this subject. I have been hating watching HGTV lately. They make you feel that if you don't have the very latest things in your home that your just so out dated...It makes me very mad. My favorite in when they walk into a kitchen from the late 1990's and say..."Oh, those kitchen cabinets are soooooooooo outdated".....who ever used to change their cabinets every ten years...Who does that...My fahter in law has lived in the same house for 55 years. Same cabinets....They belong with the character of the house...These people need to get real. And as for your kitchen floor what ever you do don't get Pergo laminate. I was talked into it because of the dog (instead of real wood) and it looks like crap. It looks okay when it's wet after I clean it, as soon as it dries it looks like a plastic floor....horrible....Sue

salmagundi said...

Tahitian Eclectic Retro Modern??? Are you starting a trend? That made me laugh. So many get caught up in what's trendy, they forget that a house should become a home for those that live and love there. My advice for the youngsters out there - stay true to yourself, decorate with meaning, and please don't get in such a hurry. Half the fun is the waiting and planning. Sally

imjacobsmom said...

You said it - I too miss "Room by Room" and all of the "decorating" shows. The channel has turned into a home selling showcase. A Staging home showcase. BTW, when are our homes supposed to be antiques? When are the items in our home supposed to be vintage? If my home was built in the 1980's shouldn't I keep the light bar over my bathroom vanity? Shouldn't I keep my oak woodwork and cabinets? What about my doorknobs and cabinet hardware? I could go on and on..... Well, the young purchasers of today want it all....they took out "JUMBO" loans so they could have the cream of the crop right off the bat. That is why our economy is like it is today. They took out home loans with no money down. In our day, we had to put a 20% down payment. I lived in a house with no living room furniture because I SAVED for it until I could afford it before I bought it! It sure makes you appreciate your things if you have to earn them. ~ Robyn

Mimi said...

Oh, I am SO THRILLED that you found my blog, left a note and I came over here to see you! YES, YES, YES! I am beginning to absolutely HATE HGTV. Good grief, it used to be about decorating and making do with what you have and how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...not how to buy a house for $350,00.00 and feel as though you are slumming! How in the world can you be 25 and afford a house payment for one of those places?

And, like you, I like my oak cupboards. My father built the house he and my mother lived in until they passed away. The kitchen had cupboards of wood that, of course, were made by an experienced carpenter. As time went on "painting" became the "in" thing to do. My mom painted her kitchen cupboards and HATED IT! They chipped. They showed the dirt. They never, ever looked as nice as the first day when they were finished. After a few years, she had to pay an arm and a leg to have the doors professionally dipped to get all the paint off and go back to the wood. She said that painting those cupboards was the worst thing she had ever done, along with painting a couple of pieces of furniture in her bedroom, which she had to have stripped later because the "fad" was no longer "in".

And, as long as I am venting, don't you just love the HGTV shows where they walk into a kitchen or bathroom you would love to have and they begin to tear it apart and say how horrible it looks?! I used to watch that channel like there was no other and now there is hardly a time that I tune in to anything. I am so, so tired of all of that "house-hunting". What happened to the decorating and all of the great hints about how to do-over what you have to make it more pleasing and to save money?

Off my soap box. Gosh, am I ever happy you found me and I found you. We think alike! Now, if you ask my sons, that could be very dangerous and scary!

Pamela said...

Oh Susie Q

I'm so not a decorator.

I can't help it. I didn't get the decorator gene.

I hope you still like me

(:

Pamela said...

ps.
Now that you know I'm not a decorator just take this with a grain of salt...but, I would never paint my lovely oak cabinets.

Cote de Texas said...

I loved these two posts. I think hgtv is terrible these days too - it's all about staging and selling and buying homes. what a drag - it's so different now - I hardly can watch it anymore and i used to watch it 24/7. one word though - and I am guilty of this - as an interior decorator (not allowed to call myself a designer in Texas, ASID will come after me) but you know- people pay us for our opinions and sometimes we are harsh and "mean" but it's not personal. I can't explain it. it's just our professional opinion. And sometimes on my blog, I do say - this is out or passee or wrong, but you know, I have things that are wrong with my own house and I know it, and will freely admit it, it's not perfect, but still I KNOW what is wrong with it and what I need or should do to change it. So I will say it - really for people who are buying a house or wanting to update their house. It's not geared for those who are happy in their house. We don't say those things to be hurtful, we say them because we get paid to be truthful, and again, it's not personal. So, I apologize for when I say something like that on my blog and you think, yikes I have granite or yikes I have green walls - just realize that I probably have the exact thing that I said was outdated! great post, really got me thinking.

justabeachkat said...

I totally agree. Well said Susie Q!!

Hugs!
Kat

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Sweet Bunny Lady, come check out the new 'mag' cover. :) xxoo

Picket said...

Morning Susie!!! I couldn't agree more...I use to love HGTV..then it seemed everything changed..I use to have my spaces on RMS and People were always telling me I had too much stuff or it was out of style...hey I could care less what is in style..this is my home & I care about what surrounds me when I walk in that door..my treasures..my family pieces...things that make me smile when I look at them...daddy's old coon hunting horn hanging on the wall or mama's old churn in the corner in the kitchen...I have always walked a different path than most people...that is the main reason so many people are so miserable...they try to keep up with the lastest trends instead of their own hearts love. Ok,,,here's your soap box back...I'm thru! lol lol Thanks for coming by girl...hope you have a beautiful week!

Smilingsal said...

I know that many HGTV people paint their cabinets and many Bloggers do too, but I will never paint a finished piece of wood. My mind is so twisted that I think painted is cheaper looking. Shhh. Please don't tell.

I'm going to go hide now.

Deb said...

Your "tiny study" looks like the coziest spot to be in Rabbit Run Cottage! Loved your post (and reading through the comments) :-)

Melanie said...

I so echo your thoughts her! I've watched some of HGTV and hate to see someone come into a person's home and start trashing it (verbally and later in reality!). I think that your home is your castle and anything kind of style is right as long as it makes you happy and comfortable! I certainly feel out of the demographic with most of those shows. Renting as I do, I have to decorate with things and colors and nobody better tell me that my little sentimental wall arrangement is outdated!
Thanks for sharing!

Sugar Bear said...

You have so hit the nail on the head my dear! Everything old is new again at some time or another - that is one lesson my grandmother taught me when I was very young and her words continue to echo in my head. If you are happy with your house that is all that matters. I think your home is beautiful and your design style is right on with current styles - everything does not have to be contemporary or minimalist (yuck to both for me). Your home photos always make me want to stop by for a visit and hunker down. Also - House Hunters - I agree! How in the world are they redoing the places in such short time spans?! We've been in our home going on 5 years and there are many, many projects that haven't even made it to planning stages yet!
Karla

Susan said...

I don't think you are out of touch. I never understood about what is in and what is out. If you love it and it fits in your house. Who cares what people think. Fashion and styles will always come around again and again. Buy what you like and can afford to pay with cash.

Also just to let you know, my husband picked our house here in Illinois after work in the dark with me on the phone with him in Texas! No house is perfect but you can make it your dream home. Our house has been a 2 year project so far and still more projects to do!

Cheryl Wray said...

Amen, sister!!

Individuality is what makes the world go round. I am sad that we have lost a bit of that!

And, hey, we live with stuff until they BREAK DOWN!!! LOL (With three kids, that's all we can do!)

Love ya, as always, and thanks for the awesome posts (this one and the one before!).

Charli and me said...

You know all of those houses are nice to look at but none of them are home. To me what's in is what's right for you. What you love around you and I don't think bigger is better. We have a very small home but we are very comfortable here. I find a treasure and keep it forever. I think we have become a throw away society.

PEA said...

I so agree with everything you said in this post, dear Sue!! I was 18 when I got married and we lived in a tiny apartment for the first 2 years...I remember using empty wine bottles as candle holders, our first tv was a black & white one that my in-laws had passed on to us, nothing matched, and yet as you say, we survived:-) xoxo

Sandi McBride said...

Suze, this is my exact complaint! I miss the sewing shows, they're only selling houses...I miss Susie Cuelo and her gardening shows...I miss the how to shows most of all. And our home isn't big, but it's ours. And what we do makes it a home not a house...great post just great! And consider cork for your kitchen!
hugs
Sandi

PAT said...

Your early years sound so much like mine. I married my girls' dad when I was 17. We moved to Louisiana, where he was stationed in the USAF. We rented a one bedroom duplex. Many times he was TDY or on Alert, so I was "alone", too. The first duplex had gas leaks...everything was gas..including the fridge!!! We had no furniture. It was several years before we bought our first home, after he was out of the service.

Years passed the marriage didn't make it.

Then J and I married and lived in a tiny house in the back pasture of the farm for 20 years. If that farm, J owned with his brothers, had not sold in 2003, we would not have the house we have now...I was 60 the summer we built that house and bought this condo. All bought with the fruits of the labors of J, his parents and brothers, from the 1940's through the 1990's into early 2000's. Well earned. So it's hard for me to believe/comprehend some of the wants and needs of young'uns buying first homes, these days. We didn't get our "dream home", until we could "pay" for it..cash cash cash. If we had not been able to do that, we would still be living in the tiny house in the back pasture and that would be fine,too.

I have Architectural Digests from many many many years ago. It's my favorite publication. As we prepare the condo for the little makeover, I've looked at some of those issues and see things haven't really changed so much, if you keep to a classic style.

We had oak cabinets at the farm and opted for hickory in the new house. I sort of listened to the hype and tried to have the style they kept saying I needed. Well, for the past year and a half or so, we have started taking back or style and forgetting all about what "they" say. Maybe it's because of our age, I don't know.

Great post, Sue!!

Andi said...

Hey Sue! I've tagged you over at my place! Stop by and check it out!

Meggie said...

I thought I was the only one who wondered, "How do those people on HGTV remodel and redecorate their whole house before moving in? What kind of jobs do they have? I try to make simple changes when the styles change but I still can't get past the thought that one doesn't paint natural wood. I like the look for someone else but can't bring myself to do it. Call me old.....fashion.

bj said...

Oh, Susie Q...I love you, girl!
I have never ever been a part of "what's in and what's out"..I never could say I had a "color scheme"..I never quit liking something I had because someone TOLD me not to like it. No siree...if I like it, it stays!
My house is a 1957 tract house and has no frills of any kind whatsoever. We have lived in it for over 30 years and will die here. We have done a lot of work over the years on it and it is one of the most comfortable homes ever. I still have builder lights in one bath (i really would like to redo that bath) and I ADORE WHITE WALLS !! BE HAPPY...that is what it's all about. I have kept my butcher block countertops now thru all the "hey, that stuff is O.U.T."...i love them..they go with everything and look great in my kitchen. Now, some of the mags are saying, "Hey, butcher block countertops are so IN". HAHA.

Amongst The Oaks said...

Hi Susie Q,
I couldn't agree more! I've never been "in style". In fact, I try to avoid what's in style and go for a timeless classic English look. While we do have granite counter tops (what do I do now that they are out of style?) we don't have a jacuzzi. Heck, we don't even have a garage!
Here's how I save lots of money and grief: I just don't watch those stupid shows.
Thanks for the honesty,
Laura