Building Moxie had a post the other day that made me take pause. In it, contractor Paul Anater shared some anecdotes from clients, illustrating the hesitancy that people have to personalize their homes.
He described a client who was taken with a particular photo and wanted to carry that similar theme in his own home. The thing he liked the most? A wallpaper pattern.
“…He went on to explain that he can’t use wallpaper in his home because it’s too “taste specific.” Mind you, this is a man who’d also told me he had no intention of selling any time soon and he was interested in making his house really his. So when did making a home “taste specific” to the man who owns it become a bad thing?”
Seriously? I’ve always believed that a house is a house – until you make it a home. The whole concept of making it yours, whether you hire someone to do it or you complete the work with your own two hands – is what makes that transformation from house to home complete.
I think the same holds true for whether something is “out of date.” That, too, is a matter of opinion. I wrote about this a while back in reference to brass fixtures. I was mighty tired of hearing all the “experts” on both HGTV and DIY decry brass as “outdated.” Just the other day I saw a headline posing the question, “Are Granite Countertops Outdated?” I nearly blew a gasket.
The only time you will ever hear me adamantly disagree with changes that someone may make to their home is if it does something to significantly alter the historic integrity of a house. Granted, it’s their house and they can do whatever they like. But still ... I remember a colleague of the mother’s many years ago buying a beautiful, albeit rundown, house. It had gorgeous original fireplaces throughout and its woodwork was nearly as pristine as the day it was built. I was in love.
We went back a year or so later for some kind of party and I was excited about seeing what she had done – until I saw it. Several of the original fireplaces had been removed. Beautiful French doors that led out to a lovely brick veranda had been ripped out, replaced with sliders that led to a monstrosity of a wood deck. And nearly every square inch of that once pristine woodwork had been painted in some horrid shade.
I was devastated. But, that was immaterial. The point is, it was her house. It was what she wanted in it, since she was the one living there.
As Paul mentioned in his post, a potential sale is a factor that could make you reconsider your decision to paint every room in the house a different primary color. Or, at least it should if you really want to sell. But if you’re not selling your home or planning to turn it into a rental property, there’s only one person who has to be happy the décor of your home: you.
And, while not everyone will agree with the choices you’ve made, both the choices and the house are yours. You have permission to invoke the line I always say I'm going to use should a visitor point out one of the flaws I know are there or if they want to criticize my color choice: They can just go the hell home!