We once shifted into a house where the previous occupant had left behind a fridge magnet which read "A clean house is a sign of a misspent life".
And I would partly agree. I mean, sure, you don't want to live in a dirty house but I do so hate picture-perfect living spaces. They look so very unlived in!
So let me modify that to an 'immaculately interior-decorated' home, to me, is a sign of a misspent life.
When I step into a house where everything matches with everything else, not a cushion is out of place - and it's not even a formal dinner party - I feel a small, inward cringe. If the home is truly outstanding, I even feel a little bit like a kid in a china shop.
Growing up, there was one home of this kind in our building. In a colony of scientists where the prevailing fashions were divans and rexine sofas, this one home had carefully laid out expensive antique furniture. It reminded me of a museum no one ever visited.
The aunty in this house was rumoured to be related to the Nizam of Hyderabad - no idea if there was any truth in it. The kids were the only I knew outside Enid Blyton books who actually went to boarding school.
The lasting impression I have of this 'lovely' home : cold and unwelcoming. A very personal - and perhaps biased - impression but hard to erase.
I mean it's personal choice, how much time and energy (and money) you want to invest in home decor but I would much rather eat, read or sleep than bother about putting together a living room that could make it to the centrespread of 'Inside Outside' magazine.
But if I really really had to put my passion into a building project (assuming I ever have that kind of money!) - 'Amazing Vacation Homes' (Discovery Travel & Living) would be the way to go. Amen.