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Thread: Warning, the Danger of Home Improvement mags and books

  1. #1
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Smile Warning, the Danger of Home Improvement mags and books

    This is a little vignette of a lesson learned...thank goodness...before silly amounts of money were unnecessarily spent (by me, foolish me).

    I've mostly learned to avoid those home improvement magazines and TV programs 'cause they always make me WANT things or make me WANT to make improvements to my home that are not necessary. I compare my simple abode with what's depicted and my place comes out lacking in charm and cool-ness.

    But sometimes I falter. Just yesterday I fell off the wagon and almost became a victim.

    I took a book from the library about finding/creating more storage space in your house.

    Who couldn't use more storage space, right?

    Flipping through the pages, I came to an abrupt halt and completely and utterly fell in love with this built-in dining nook that was pictured. So charming. And great storage! It had full-length, built-in storage in the sides of the benches.

    That nook!! So warm! So cozy and cottage-y. I WANTED it!! My 'nook was pallid in comparison. It lacked the built-in, hand crafted look. It was merely a round table with four chairs inserted will-nilly into our little indented space in the family room. The chairs were always sticking out awkwardly into the room.

    A big plant blocked part of the window, hung over the table, hit me in the face sometimes. My nook felt claustrophobic and not cozy or cottage-y at all. Not sleek or hand-crafted.

    Talked to husband. Told me it was far beyond his skill or tools to build. Darn. But we know a local carpenter who could do the job...so I pondered. Went on the 'net and did some research. A carpenter/builder said those nooks can be uncomfortable--you can't pull the chairs closer to the table. The backs of the benches have to be sloped just right to be at all comfortable. The bottom of the benches have to be softened with cushions...

    More thought. What about those built-in drawers in the benches? Why did I need them? For more stuff? What if I just got rid of stuff? Then I wouldn't need more storage.

    Contemplated my existing nook. Removed two chairs. Moved the big plant to the living room. Pushed the table closed under the window where it nestles quite contentedly.

    Suddenly my nook has become cute, cozy and cottage-y. More intimate. Less crowded. Cost me nothing. Well, almost nothing. I'm springing for a new table cloth in French Provence colors of daffodil yellow and bright blue--just to brighten up my new nook even more. After all, I'd saved hundreds in materials and labor, right?

    Voila! A Simple Living lesson learned.

    The moral of this story is:

    Avoid those magazines and TV shows--you know the ones...right? They sow the seeds of discontent.
    peaceful, easy feeling

  2. #2
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    hehehehehe....that's what those programs, books and magazines are FOR....to "sow discontent" and get you to buy things (advertisers pay bunches of money for that propaganda)....

    good for you....your "almost no cost" nook sounds really nice.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I don't see the downside. You were inspired to rearrange the nook in a way that was more efficient and pleasing to you. I encourage you to check out another book or two, and maybe pick up a few paint chips next time you pass a hardware store...

    A little discontent can be a good thing. Without it, we'd still be stalking the savannas.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I'm with Jane. It sounds like you got past your initial longing to spend a bunch of money and instead used creativity to make your own space more livable, but this was actually inspired by the book. I love home improvement magazines, and I think that over the years, they have helped me focus in on what I really do and don't like. Our house is a very small cottagey type of place, but we love it. We've often adapted ideas from grand homes into more modest versions that work well in our more humble setting. I'll also mention that we're not trendy; we like what we like and generally feel no need to change things once we get them the way way want them. The magazines would probably be a danger if we were people who always wanted new furnishings and the latest greatest stuff.

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    Oh, I have to be so careful about this, too. I try to avoid HGTV and design books because they give me the wants and make me discontent with what I have. Even home improvements themselves can be dangerous territory for me because an improvement in one area makes other areas look worn and tired in comparison.

    Good for you for using what you had to create the same feel. I love those Provence table cloths. So pretty and fresh!

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    I have been much happier since I stopped watching HGTV, reading decorating/building magazines and looking thru all those types of library books. I even got rid of my collection of magazine ideas.

    The power of advertising and media is great.

  7. #7
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I have to agree. I've spent much more time with my sewing machine since I picked up a few fiber magazines instead of shelter magazines.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    Senior Member fidgiegirl's Avatar
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    Kudos to you for realizing what was happening before it was too late! We are in the same thing right now - thinking of moving. But do we need to? Or just to tweak where we are? The jury is out.
    Kelli

    My gluten free blog: Twin Cities Gluten Free
    Our house remodel blog: Our Fair Abode

  9. #9
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Yah, that's a big one--to move or to not move. Moving's so disruptive, isn't it? I always think of the saying "bloom where you're planted" but sometimes it makes sense to move. Should we move now, it would be a move to a smaller place more closely set into natural surroundings and with more outdoor space. Right now we have too much lawn to mow and too many pine trees to steward--my, they are messy things, these pines, always shedding cones and needles...but our herd of squirrels enjoy them...
    peaceful, easy feeling

  10. #10
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    Going through this right now with a bathroom remodel. I don't have cable so not tempted by those shows but still...the carpenter keeps trying to talk us into things we don't need and don't want to spend on - multiple can lights in the ceiling, one of those shower wand contraptions ($500), upgraded this and that. Why would we spend $135 on a towel bar? I did stop looking at the Pottery Barn bath site though as the carrera marble was mighty tempting...until I got the cost and thought about the environmental implications. I just keep thinking about all the mountains being carved up for travertine bathrooms and granite countertops.

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