17 Jun 2017

Living Up to Better Homes & Gardens

Roby and I had an interesting conversation recently about home expectations and the difference between men and women on the subject and how magazines and visual social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are geared towards the female market.

Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab's Beirut home is a man-woman pacifier of style and comfort!

My husband laments that women drive their men to an early grave through the way they organise home life. Women, he argues, are heavily influenced by home and interiors magazines and home improvement programmes, and as a result seek to recreate the look in their own home - at their own peril.

It must be said though that in general terms, a woman's forte is a certain idea of style and aesthetics that defines her individually, elegance, an indeniable eye for detail and for the eye-pleasing (understand all the cute little things out there!). This unfortunately clashes with men's domesticity quest for efficiency, practicality, comfort, ease of use, durability: the no-thrills, no-BS, no superfluous, home! In other words, emotion vs. reason.

Interior designer Suzanne Kasler worked her magic on this Atlanta home!

Generally women are a soft touch: easily influenced, and thus a marketer's dream. PR guru Edward Bernays understood it almost a century ago.  In this day and age, the varied media platforms play their part in inspiring women as a priority because whatever the ladies fancy, it's quids in for the corporations!

Stenciled table project, via Better Homes & Gardens

A woman inspired has her appetite whet, i.e. her desire to purchase. The desire is influenced and reinforced further until they feel they have no other option than spend cash, seal the deal, make that purchase and with it that elusive slice of happiness!

Women have a propensity to spend cash on a whim, not only on fashion items but on homewares and home improvements that will come to pass with the next whim. New season paint scheme, furnishings upgrade, conservatory revamp, kitchen worktops replaced, when there is nothing wrong with what they have. They get bored quick and fancy a change and that house will never be quite enough. If they still feel unsatisfied, they will want to look for the next best place and sell this one off! Out with the (not so) old, in with the new...

A woman frets when her house is untidy (but is rather acceptant of her own untidiness). Their domesticity quest is form over function anytime! Clutter (trinkets, knick-knacks and other clutter contributors), poor sense of flow from one room area to the next... Objects are put away a certain way that only makes sense to her, everything in a place that is not about convenience but decorum. Yes I have been there too!

The Millhouse (Shaker) Kitchen by DeVOL Kitchens

If her home does not quite equate Better Homes & Gardens, a woman will be quick at blaming her man for not doing something about it (as in some DIY!) or getting a pay rise to afford the professionals in. A householder who strives for her house to look like BHG (and other lifestyle mags for that matter) might as well have a museum for a house. This is  therefore a no-go domestic area according to my husband. You must feel at home in your own home. Point taken.

The DeVOL is in the (kitchen handle) detail!

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