Houzz recently ran a listicle about avoiding design mistakes. It was a bunch of great suggestions on every aspect of design and renovation from Houzz readers and contributors and I especially liked this one: “Never renovate aspirationally. If your family isn’t crowded around the kitchen table now playing games, they won’t suddenly do it (more than once) in a new game room. If you don’t have company now in your ‘humble home,’ odds are you won’t suddenly have friends who want to visit your fancier one. You will be just as much of a slob in a nice space as in your current one. Renovations change little that is wrong with us or our relationships.”
Couldn’t agree more. We were recently at a friend’s house for dinner - she lives in a gorgeous apartment with a great view of Sydney Harbour. There was plenty of good food and wine and one of the other guests said, “wow, if I had lived somewhere like this I’d be entertaining all the time.” Which sounds great, except that this guest already lives in a lovely apartment with a view of the Harbour (OK, his view doesn’t include the Opera House, but you can’t have everything!). If he wants to have dinner parties (he hasn’t in the entire seven years we’ve known him), then he should be doing it now.
I’m a big believer in living every day in the same manner in which you want to live your life. Don’t put things off until… the kitchen is renovated, or the new lounge has been purchased, or the bathroom’s been done. Instead, make sure everything’s clean and tidy (and sometimes you don’t even need to do that) and invite those friends over tonight! You never know what the future holds - I hope that mine is long and happy but in the meantime I’m also making sure that I’m getting as much enjoyment from each day as I can. And I’m not letting some crappy carpet or an armchair that’s been taken over by the cat and is no longer fit for human habitation stop me.
If your friends are quality, they’re not going to bothered by a less-than-perfect kitchen or a slightly tattered lounge - I know I don’t focus on those things when I visit a friend. (Please note though - always a good idea to clean the bathroom!)
Are you guilty of designing for a life that you don’t actually live? Have you let perceived flaws in your house stop you from entertaining? What have you been putting off in your life that really, you could be doing right now?