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 But when I read and hear that THIS or THAT is passe', outdated and even down right ugly, and I know that I have that very look in MY home, well, those teeny hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention.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,