Home Decor- a waste of money?

United States
November 27, 2007 3:48pm CST
I'm beginning to think that I am the strangest women in the U.S. I have seen ad after ad lately for home decor items. They are all pitching how important it is for your home to look perfect for your guests this holiday season. I am looking around my home, though, and realize how much money I have wasted trying to get it "right". Nothing ever does look the way it does in the magazines or pictures. I was just cleaning the bathroom that my kids use and noticed how since it is a functional room I am not sure anyone even notices that hundreds of dollars I spent to "decorate" that room. The decorative trash can just gets covered up by the bag, the cute little towels get used and are in the laundry more than they are on the hangers. As for pictures on the wall, I stop seeing them after awhile, so to me it doesn't matter if the wall is bare- that's what I see anyway. I'm giving up! Does anyone else ever feel that if your home were decorated in everything completely mismatching that no one would ever tell the difference?
8 people like this
18 responses
• United States
27 Nov 07
I dont have the decorating sense, time or money to keep up with the Jones'. LOL I have tried and I say oh Honey can we get something like that and hes like "why?" lol Then I ask myself the same thing, and we end up passing on it. I have minimal decoration in my house, nothing fancy but enough stuff to keep it from looking bare and making each room echo when you talk to loud. Haha I like my place and what I have done with it. My guests dont seem to mind that I dont decorate for the holiday season and I always get compliments on my house. So I think Im doing ok. Im happy with it and so is hubby so thats all that really matters. Have a yard sale and I bet all that stuff will be bought up quick! Hehe Bay Lay Gray xx
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
I do the same thing with asking my husband if we can get something. Usually for me, though, I'm halfway through explaining it to my husband and say, "Nevermind. I really don't think I want that". LOL That's pretty bad. Maybe I'm just the ultimate cheapskate!
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
There is nothing wrong with being a cheapskate! LOL I'm becoming one now, I used to not be. I hardly looked at a price or asked anyone if they thought I should or shouldn't or anything. Now I do! Maybe it comes with maturity. lol Bay xx
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
For some reason that reminded me of my grandmother. She used to have us put zip lock bags in our purses when we would go to an all you can eat restaurant and put things like rolls and other things that she could take home. She had plenty of money to not do this, but I think she was going senile by then. When we got home she would put the food in Tupperware dishes, wash the plastic bags, and hang them to use another time. She would also wash tin foil to reuse. Oh, funny memories!
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
2 Dec 07
Most of my home decor is pictures of my kids... We do have a few pictures up that we have accumulated, but I'm not out to make my house look like the cover of Better Homes and Gardens! This is for me and I have to like how it looks - bare and simple is great!!! I'm looking at my "office" now - which used to be 2 bedrooms - and all the walls are bare. Maybe today I will hang the caracatures of me and my boys that we had done years ago. That used to be in my living room before we moved, but there's no room for them in my new living room.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
Pictures of the kids are a neccessity in my house. Other than that bare and simple work well for me! Oh, the other picture that is a must is one of my husband and I during our wedding reception.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
4 Dec 07
I have a wedding reception picture in the kitchen, I love it!!!
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
9 Dec 07
I am not a materialistic person. I have not fallen for all that hype about having a beautiful home, like in the magazines. I am more into having the things that are fun. Such as, our pool table, our jacuzzi tub, out satelite TV, and my computer, to name a few. I don't have all the ornaments all over my house, just a couple. I don't have new furniture or anything close to being in style today. My furniture is about 15 to 20 years old but still in good shape. So it doesn't make sense to me to spend money on buying new ones when there is nothing wrong with my old stuff. I don't have matching towel sets in my bathrooms. I only have a few pictures on the walls, and they are mostly pictures of my family. But to each their own. Everyone has different opinions of what makes them happy. So if your home decor is what makes you happy, I say go for it, girl.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 07
I'm more for the fun things, too. I think when we first moved into this house I really wanted it to be "perfect". I now see that perfect for everyone is definitely not perfect for me. Oh well, we have to live and learn, I guess! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in my mix and match decorating.
• Philippines
3 Dec 07
i am not good in 'interior decorating' a house. i too like, wish and dream of having a house/home that looks like in the magazines but knowing i can't afford it, i just ended up 'magazine' shopping or decorating. we just belong to a middle class family and having those kind of home is just a wish upon a star for us. in my country, to have homes that one see in mags, only the rich and famous can have those. so many years ago, when we have only one child, my husband and i really tried to have our own house built. we did it with a very very minimal budget because we are thinking that we should have one even just a small, simple one than rent. of course we would like to have a mansion (lol) but we can't afford. all that we think of is for us to have a roof on our head that we can call our own. one time, i told my husband to change the linoleum covering of our floor coz i feel it's an eye sore already. but we have other priorities that we need our money for. my husband told me that it's not important because what is important is the kind of people living in the house. i hope you get what he means. today, our house is not that fully 'finish' yet, but we are happy not just with one child when we have it first.
• United States
4 Dec 07
Your husband sounds like a very smart man. It is definitely most important the type of people who are living in the house. It's kind of like the saying that goes something like "You can't make poop shine". In other words, if someone is not a good person it wouldn't matter if they lived in a mansion they would still not be a good person.
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
28 Nov 07
i really dont care what other people think about the way i decorate lol, because i like the way it looks and that is what is important to me! i do like to look at decorating magazines because it is a good place to get ideas. i shop at thrift stores, garage sales and the like a lot for my 'decorating', so it doesnt cost me an arm and a leg.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
I love thrift stores and garage sales. You never know what you are going to find! In fact, I would consider thrift shopping as one of my hobbies. That's probably why my house is so mismatched! LOL
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
28 Nov 07
When it comes to home decor, blueunicorn, the importance is in the eye of the beholder. For some people, the appearance of their home is what they live and breathe for, for others, it is a comfortable place to relax-a sanctuary, and for others, the home is just a place where they hang their hat. I think that I fall into the middle group. I used to be among the first group where everything just had to be as near to perfect as could be. I spent lots of money in the attempt to project the right image. I've moved on from that idea because I learned that a home is to be lived in and not a show place. Now, it no longer bothers me if everything doesn't match perfectly. I have a sister and a dear friend, both of whom glorify their homes excessively. My mother often said before she passed away that my sister's home was her "God." I don't think it should be that way. You should just be comfortable in your home.
• United States
28 Nov 07
I think I fall into the third catagory. My home is really just a place to sleep. I know what you mean about your sister's home being her God. I know some people like that. I actually wrote a Helium article telling about my feelings about my home. You can read it here if you are interested: http://www.helium.com/tm/592858/house-always-place-comfort
• United States
28 Nov 07
If you are frustrated with decorating shows and magazine, I suggest you tune into Freestyle on HGTV. It is on around 4:30 EST and the show only uses what people already have in their home to make a room work better. THe principles work no matter if you put a lot of money into decorating or not at all - though obviously if the colors work together the better. I think that people sometimes don't notice that you "Decorated" unless its overdone, but they do notice when things are awry.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
That sounds like a cool show. I'll have to watch it some day. I'm more of the mismatched, yard sale furniture type person than the decorating type. This show might give me some great ideas.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
28 Nov 07
To me, what matters more is that it is clean. My living room furniture is mismatched, but I don't care. I care that it is clean, dry and comfortable. Yes, most home decor is a waste of money. Your home will never look like the pictures, do you know why? Because you LIVE in your home. As you said, the the bathroom is a functional room, not a decorative one. If I had a 'guest' bathroom that was never used, maybe guests would appreciate the pretty wastebasket. But I don't my guests use the same bathroom my family uses. It may not be perfectly coordinated, but it's clean.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
I don't even have any guests that would use a guest bathroom. My family always had a saying- First time a guest, second time a pest. Meaning that after you visit my home the first time you are welcome to help yourself after that and be a part of the family.
• India
28 Nov 07
home decor is not a waste of money because while guest visiting our home they have to tell wow what a beautiful home. i love to hear that words.........
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
That is great that you enjoy hearing that. I am not motivated by that, but I know some are. Thanks for sharing!
@missbdoll (1168)
• Australia
28 Nov 07
Even thow I like things to be nice, Ireally think it can go too far.I know one woman who had her whole kitchen remodled, didn"t like it and then chaned it again !That's just thousands of dollars wasted. I watch things on TV about home decorating and always think "I wouldn"t stay that way if anyone really lived in it."I work at home so of course my house does look like somene lives in it.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
Oh, that kitchen story is terrible. I would cry if I saw someone do that. Did she at least donate the things she changed or do something with them rather than throw them away? I think the same thing about some of the design shows. The room looks fabulous, but I don't know how people keep it that way. I work from home, too, so I understand the lived in look. My bedroom is frustrating because I don't know whether it is a bedroom with an office in it or an office with a bed in it.
• United States
28 Nov 07
I don't worry about it...then I go to someone elses house and it makes me want to decorate my own more. With moving so much I found that what works in one house won't in the next so I try not to buy things that are too expensive. I love watching all those home decorating shows on tv though - HGTV is the best.
• United States
28 Nov 07
I do like the shows on HGTV. I think they go way overboard, though, most of the time. I think I'm just a minimalist!
@friendship (2085)
• Canada
28 Nov 07
I think home decor is very costly, blueunicorn. It is often that we need to upgrade everything so that people can notice it (LOL). You need to paint different colours that are matching with your sofa, pictures on the wall, etc. Also, we need to arrange them in a different way. Home decors that are shown in magazines use many additional decor items such as candles, flowers, lamps, etc in order to strengthen its decor.
• United States
28 Nov 07
Oh, no. There won't be any painting of my walls to match my sofa! That's my point, even the sofas don't match in my house. And I really don't care. I was just beginning to think that I was the only woman in the U.S. who didn't care. I see that I am not, though.
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
28 Nov 07
I have always thought that having a perfectly decorated house would be amazing. Then I realize that it's not worth it in this stage of my life ... I would rather have a comfy house where you walk in and don't worry about where you can sit and where you can't sit. I have small children so any nice things I have are hidden in cupboards where they're safe. Perhaps when I'm a grandma then I can have some of the finer things in life!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
I don't know about having the finer things in life when you are a grandma. Then you'll have those little grandchildren toddling around, and those ones you won't be able to say no to! LOL I'm just teasing about that. A comfy home is much nicer than a perfectly decorated one with kids for sure. I hate when I go to someone's home and can't figure out which towel to use after washing my hands because they are perfectly white and don't look like anyone has ever touched them! I usually wind up patting my hands dry on my jeans in those cases!
• United States
27 Nov 07
Not me I feel it's the way to be comfortable. I also feel the decorations don't have to be costly to be nice. I hear all the time how nice my place looks. I went to family dollar and bought a few decorations. Like large pictures for one wall. A throw rug here and there. Throw covers for the edge of the couch. I feel comfortable with a nice home. However it sounds like you went way over board for nothing. I do think you have a nice home. I hope you feel better about this soon.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
Your home sounds beautiful, gifts! Family Dollar is a great place to find things for a great price. Honestly I think even if I bought all my decor at Family Dollar, though, I would be bored of it so quickly it wouldn't matter. Maybe I'm just blind and don't see the things around me! LOL
@lillake (1634)
• United States
27 Nov 07
I think the home should match the family. We don't do the whole "decor" thing, it's just not us. Like you we're just not into making it look "right". Our house is full of stuff that we love, since we're the ones who live in it. Who cares whatother's say, they don't live here. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
That's a great attitude, lil! Unfortunately for my family the stuff I love is the uncluttered look. So we really don't have much on the walls and almost nothing that is not useable. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that doesn't have a certain theme or the "right" look!
• Hong Kong
27 Nov 07
I think a home would be best nice-looking enough to invite friends to come. It doesn't need to be overly beautiful. I'd prefer having Wii and awesome video sets and good meals than a merely handsome-looking but nothing to do place. A sofa, a carpet, a dinning table and chairs, plus a vase with flowers, I'll be contented. =)
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 07
I'm with you. I would rather spend the money on activities to do when people are over than the decor. It's kind of useless if your house looks beautiful but there is nothing to do in it.
• United States
28 Nov 07
I never have gone into 'decor', I have always just had stuff my family liked. To me it doesn't matter at all that my husbands favorite chair doesn't match the sofa, or that my favorite chair is looking worn. We are very comfy and cluttered. The knick knacks sitting around change from time to time, they get packed away and different ones take their place. Most come from yard sales, or are things we craft ourselves. I like crafting special things but don't get too upset when they get worn out from use.
• New Zealand
28 Nov 07
hey you r not alone.there are many like you.Whats the heck a home should look like a home not a castle.Be simple and neat thats all.Its what u r from within that counts.And with kids around its a struggle to keep home tidy.And who has money to throw on decorating the house when u need to shell for ur kids to get educated for clases abd so on and that will help everyone in the long run.So dont worry be happy.
1 person likes this