Thursday, October 27, 2005

Home 'too sweet' home

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.


  1. You're right about the 'museum' feel. I do get them in some homes. But there are some immaculate ones which do feel lived in. But those are a bit rare I guess

  2. Hi, an off the topic comment. Today I saw a 'QUARTER' page ad in Coimbatore edition of "the Hindu" by IIPM claiming that you have misrepresented the IIPM... did you get a chance to see that?

  3. We've had this sign at home ever since I can remember:

    "Welcome to our house. Please don't mind the mess. It isn't like this every time. Some days it is even worse".

  4. One of my favourite room boards(the kind that you leave on your door) goes this way "Please leave my rooms as messed up as you find it..otherwise, I cant find my things". I guess arangement can be as varied as people and beauty migt rarely match utility.

  5. Cleanliness is next to godliness. You must be an atheist :p

  6. lol at that expression :)
    havent heard it in a while "The aunty in this house"

  7. I ound the post very intersting since I am in the process of finding a new house for myself.
    By the way, I love the quote "A clean house is a sign of a misspent life".

    Very relevant quote for a bachelor like me!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. A cozy, warm, welcoming house that has everything matching is not impossible.

    My house is one such house. My mother has done it up rather nicely.

    Or are you one of those fans of kitsh?

  10. OH! i'm such a clenliness freak i almost go nuts like monica (friends) when something's not in the right place. Is something wrong with me???

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Rashmi,

    I have the same preference.. rather, for me it extends to people also. Infact I have difficulty maintaining my place in semi-messed condition, as I find it difficult to decide what should be in place, and what should... So, for me it starts with a picture-perfect one, stays like this for some time then slowly starts messy.. and gets (and stays for sometime) messier...

    BTW its a timely post, as it reminds me following the tradition of putting my place in order..on Diwali.

  13. How is Nivedita? I spoke to her earlier this week, and discussed blogging... we agreed it was our little secret!

    We agreed to chat, and maybe go for a little ride, next week... :)

  14. Have you ever seen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? It's a show where they kick you out of your house for seven days, send you on an all-paid vacation and rebuild your house and all the rooms and fill them up with cool furniture and gadgets and shit. Now those are houses i could sink my teeth into.

  15. My God, do I love this post! You pin the "inward cringe" reaction down so perfectly!

  16. Nothing about the houses.You mentioned Enid Blyton.Brings back memories.Beautiful ones.

  17. As my friend once said, Perfection comes not from adding things, but taking them off. Imagine a newly built up house, don't you think it looks better without the furniture than with the furniture? I would say, keep it really simple and neat. The more stuff you add, the more messy it becomes and the more the time you spend on cleaning it up.

  18. Hat off for unearthing IIPM mess

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