You know the feeling. You live in your home for a lot of years, barely noticing what it looks like. But then there comes a day when you notice that things haven't changed much in 'lo these 15 or 20 years and you begin to realize that your house might be (gasp) dated.
Welcome to my world.
You don't have to go any further than watching a few home and garden shows like Flip This House, House Hunters and Selling New York (definitely a pipe dream), to find out what is in style now and what is woefully out.
It's eye-opening to hear what these "reality" show house buyers want as they search for new homes, often their first, accompanied by television crews: granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, an open floor plan, hardwood floors. Updating is the name of the game with these shows. And having a pretty hefty wallet to bank on.
Since we have none of these must-haves in our home, I joke that we will never be able to move. We will be here way past the time when it is still a good idea, enjoying our carpeting, our black appliances, our individual rooms and our old school countertops.
But short of flipping this house all the way to the California coast and winning the Powerball, I have been inspired to do some cosmetic things that will get us more excited about our abode.
Our home projects were given a nudge after we sustained water damage in two rooms from this past winter's record breaking snow and ice extravaganza and had to do some repairs. Our insurance company was easy to work with and after they issued a check, we were able to replace the carpet in the "master" -- as it's called on the home shows. Before the new carpet was laid, I had an old TV removed from the room, increasing the feng shui energy in the room quite a bit. There's nothing like a black behemoth of a television to suck up all the energy in a room.
We then proceeded down the hall to the two boys' bedrooms which were wallpapered just a few years ago. Actually, our son Dan's room was done before we moved here in the mid-80s so it could be said that it needed to be replaced some time ago, but you won't hear it from me. Gone are the giant Marimekko squares and the airplane and jet border that decorated his room for years. The soccer players who bordered Steve's room are gone now, too -- probably on their way to South Africa for the World Cup.
I will soon be able to move the Craft Emporium I now have in my first floor office up to a vacant bedroom, painted smoothly in a color recommended by Martha Stewart herself (Impressed?). This will again create more positive chi energy in my office where any of the creativity I have left often evaporates completely when I see all the clutter. Not any more, I hope. Next, I will try to updo the kitchen a little without having to take out a loan.
There's a lot of stress and anxiety that goes along with these kinds of projects, but if you can hold on, the result is most likely worth it. Even when we are done updating, we will still not be high on the list for the homebuyers who frequent House Hunters, but then, we aren't going anywhere anyway. Let the chi energy flow!
(To see photos of the old wallpaper, please visit my blog.)
By Teresa K. Flatley