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 as a nest 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.

It must be said though that generally women's forte is to have a certain idea of style that defines them 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!

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 media play a part in inspiring them first; this whets their apetite, i.e. their 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 buy 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, replace kitchen worktops, 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!

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), poor sense of flow from one area of a room 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 about decorum. Yes I have been there too!

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.

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