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Home Improvement -- Invitation to Write #34

For Writers:

The walls are white, the trim is natural wood, and the countertops in the kitchen are a purple laminate; but when you buy a house, you’re told to look beyond all that kind of stuff. Look at the potential, you’re told.

So that’s what we did as we signed our name, repeatedly, on the buyer’s contract, but once it’s yours, a funny thing happens: you can no longer look beyond what was fine to look beyond when it wasn’t yours.

The house we bought suits us fine in so many ways, but the more we thought about this and that, the more we wanted to change, well, everything. Natural wood trim is passé now; did you know that? I honestly didn’t, but watch any Home Improvement show on cable. You’ll find that all new homes have white trim.

It goes without saying that all kitchens must have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. If your kitchen doesn’t have that, and ours didn’t when we bought it, don’t ever invite anyone over, unless you want to see ridicule and pity fired directly at you when they first catch sight of your sub-par kitchen. I understand the granite and stainless in such kitchens makes the food prepared there taste 100% better.

And white walls? Only people in apartments have those.

What makes a house a home, is the people that live there, of course. But why does a house begin to feel dated every decade or so? Is updating a house a sign of owner vanity?

“An empty house is like a stray dog or a body from which life has departed.” – Samuel Butler


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