Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reality check

Are we being inspired by design blogs, or growing discontent with what we have?

Read "Decorating Smecorating" from A Place Called Home.

I'd rather see a real woman's project accomplished on a real budget than another magazine spread, but it's a good question to ask ourselves from time to time.

14 comments:

Jan said...

Discontent runs rampant in our society. God has provided us with what we need and we seem to add to the needs list easily.
I have a nice home, it wasn't always so, but God has always given us food, clothing and shelter. Our kids grew up with very little but they are wonderfully creative adults.
"Be content with what you have."

Kim said...

Thanks for posting that link, Meredith. I do struggle with discontent when I look at my 14 yo counters, carpet, linoleum and kitchen cabinet doors that are beginning to peel (vinyl-coated)...oh, and the 14+ yo kitchen appliances. We have the money to fix and replace some of it, but where to start? And with the economy being where it is right now I'm kind of afraid to use that money up. It's kind of nice having it there. But seeing all the spending going on in the blogosphere certainly can cause some discontentment to raise its ugly head. How do these people spend all the time? Is it all on credit cards? BTDT and don't want to go back!

the voice of melody said...

Yes, I agree. Let's be happy and content with what we have and enjoy it.

We are unique, we each have a different personality, and that is beautifully represented in our homes, blogs, etc...

Many sweet blessings!

mama k said...

I agree with all the comments. We need to be content with what we have, but I do think there is another side to this issue. I think many people do not want to spend anything on the upkeep of their homes and then expect to sell it for top dollar. If I was buying a house, 20yo worn carpet and avacado appliances would go in my minus column. Just like our wardrobes, cars, bodies, etc... our homes need to be tuned-up and updated every so often. All within reason of course and not while living beyond our means. :)

Tubo Family said...

Great topic. My husband and I fell into the bigger, fancier mentality and blew the considerable equity from our first house on so called home improvements, furniture and a vehicle. We had a 8 month old baby and moved from a 3 bed/1 ba 1100 sf to 4 bed/3 ba 1900 sf. Four years, a second child and a job loss later we are looking at short-saling and moving to a 2 bedroom rental. The only two good things I got out of it were : a lesson learned, and some greatly needed dental work that wasn't covered by insurance (paid for with home equity). I stopped watching those "home improvement" shows because they just make me discontent.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the shows because I like to see what is 'in' etc. No, I do not feel like I need the latest and greatest item out there. We have no credit card debt. Praise the Lord. After more than 35 years in the same building my 56 year old husband lost his $80,000.00 a year job on Oct.8. We have no medical insurance now. (well, we wouldn't if we did not have the money to pay the cobra payments) We know he will not get another job at the salary he was making. We are glad my job pays the bills and that all we have is our house payment. We are going to pay the house off in Jan. with his severance pay.
I like to see what others are doing, then try and do some of it in my home but on a real budget. I find where there is a will, there is a way. We pay cash for everything. We will never go into debt again. Roxie

Edi said...

I enjoyed reading the link and agreed with it. The same goes for other "reality" shows where they do make-overs on clothing wardrobes etc. Sure some people need some updating - but the most important thing is looking clean, tidy and modest. The clothing wardrobe make-over we watched with our kids in a hotel room. Afterwards we felt the need to explain to them - that a new look (same as new house, new furniture etc) is not going to make someone happy long-term. The lady having the make-over thought it was all changing her life. If you think if only I have this new house/car/dress/hairstyle/job I will be happy - you won't be.

Incidentally I think it would be fun to have a make-over done BUT one problem I noted with the clothing...all super expensive and all super immodest!

Anonymous said...

I constantly have to ask god to forgive my discontent - I look at my kitchen and see 1980 - UGHHH! I walk into my friends' kitchens to only be met by travertine floors - huge islands with granite and mega huge stinless appliances - things their husbands provided to them- with the fancy roll out drawers and beautiful and convenient viking stove that can bake a chicken and a pound cake all at once - My heart is torn , but I remind myself to keep the smile as if not to turn off my girlfriend - While my husand has lost his job, her constant, "Look at what my husband bought me, he got me this and that and this and that" - It hurts me so - Because they get to stay home and see their children come home, bake them cookies and get dinner started in the daylight - while I'm stuck in rush hour traffic, am the breadwinner and I think I'm lucky when I can get home in time to start dinner before wheel of fortune comes on tv at 7:30 pm - Ladies, if you are in such a position, be grateful that your husband can provide you with these luxuries and you are home with your children - Us women who have careers outside of the home, our job is ultra ultra demanding - because we are trying to handle demanding careers, menu planning, volunteering at school AND trying to keep a husband almost happy -
It's a hard job and sometimes when stay at home moms rub it in our faces that their husbands are KING PROVIDERS, it just puts a bad taste in my mouth - I cannot afford to implement the salon look at my house - especially with a beautiful kitchen - be sensitive to us working women and keep your comments to yourselves ---
"be humble" - please... PS. not referring to anyone on your page Meredith, I just wanted to say that - but do not mean any harm.. Everyone is just trying to 'make' ends meet right now...
Thanks!

Laura said...

Hmmm... I think there is a fine line here. I especially enjoy the blogs that encourage us to rummage around in our homes and use what we have (maybe in a new way) to decorate. They are always inspiring to read and encouraging me to make our home into a haven for our family without sending us to the poorhouse.

Anonymous said...

We have been in this home 30+ years and the little we could do like paint some rooms when we moved in of course now sorely need redoing! :) We did add our personal touch with accessories and furnishings gather here and there. This little house was built in the 60's and never has been redone. But if we had done it when we moved in how many times would we have had to update it since then to keep it up to date? What $ would have gone into each remodel? How much would the remodel have enriched our lives?..and for how long? Would each amount of money and time been worth it? Don't get me wrong..I do want things better but they can't be done right now. I have to remind myself the "look" of the house is not what matters. It is the feel, warmth and comfort and love that makes it a haven. Evidentually we will be able to do a little imporovements not just maintaince. I love the article you sent us to to read and your commenters comments I agree with too. I am so grateful for the gathering of women your blog and others bring together. It gets lonely at times as many of us don't have women around us to encourage us...through blogs like yours we see that we are not alone. Anonymous, you are one of us no matter where you work. You love your family and work hard to make a home for them. Any one of us could and many have been there at times working outside And inside the home too. I will watch my tone and what I say when around women working outside of their homes from now on. I do not want to discourage or hurt anyone's feelings. My heart goes out to you.... Jody

Ewokgirl said...

Thank you for that link. It is beautifully stated and reminds me of exactly why I gave up watching HGTV years ago. It really can breed discontent.

reformedcynic said...

You know, sometimes they do - especially Apartment Therapy (which incidentally, shows what real people do). However, if I really feel moved to get something, I'll sit on it and add it to my "Wish List". Sometimes, the desire cools, and if it doesn't, I have lots of time to research less expensive/free alternatives or save up for it. As someone who furnishes her tiny studio with mostly secondhand, thrift store, or trash finds, it's amazing what you can do on a budget.

I know that what you see in magazines/blogs can be expensive, but *be inspired*, not depressed by it. You can rearrange your furniture, use an old fabric shower curtain as a bedspread, post an ad on freecycle, declutter, or just create a collage on posterboard of your dream room.

About just being satisfied, it is very valid, but sometimes when we see those neat tableaux, we want something besides furniture - a clutter free room, the happy family pictured within, a sense of comfort. Try asking yourself what you really want, deep down, and if you answer that, you may see your need for new decor subside.

Anonymous said...

Thank you soooooo much, Anon "JODY" = you have encouraged me this day - if you only knew how MUCH! You are so right, you can't exactly tell your 'offender' girlfriends how you feel all the time - especially when they are the MAIN ones bragging about how their working husbands remodled this and that - blessings to you for your words - and thank you Meredith, for making it possible! For the record, I love to move things around in my house, to make the 'look' new - the kids love it!

Karen said...

i swear HGTV makes me unhappy with what I have and yearning for luxury. Same with This Old House. Sometimes i feel inspired, but many times I find myself envious of the millionaire (or highly debted, or both) homeowners who are featured.