As much as it pains me to admit it, I have a guilty secret. It’s an obsession that has me frantically rushing around trying to claw back time while desperately wracking my brain to concoct (usually) plausible excuses for lost hours. I haven’t yet reached the stage of stashing dirty dishes in cupboards or soiled laundry under beds, but I fear unless I find a way to control my compulsion, it’s is only a matter of time. No, I’m not having an affair and nor do I have a problem with alcohol as, innocuous as it may sound, it is my addiction is to home makeover shows that is taking over my life. I no longer dare turn on the television during daylight hours as the mere sight of a paint brush or a roll of wallpaper on the small screen erases all rational thought and glues me to the couch for hours on end. Particularly appealing to me are the shows in which, with the wave of a decorator’s wand a neglected, dilapidated old house is miraculously transformed into a dream home, all within thirty minutes or less.
I watch enviously as dark, pokey rooms are liberated from their gloom by the removal of internal walls, while the century’s old solution to our need for light and ventilation (aka doors and windows) are replaced by what seems to have become de rigueur for ‘homes of a certain calibre’, the (preferably frameless) bi-fold door. These floor to ceiling monoliths of modern engineering are so feather light that they can be effortlessly opened and closed with the slightest flex of a little finger, allowing the garden and all its creatures free access to the house. This is, of course, where my unerring practicality shows up as I try to imagine how this modern day amalgamation of doors and windows, allows us to keep adventurous toddlers inside and muddy dogs outside on hot or rainy days while not suffocating? Hmmm, a potential problem, I fear! For me, these impractical inventions have the potential of becoming the ‘what-were-we-thinking’ avocado bathroom suites of the 2010’s.
They say that life imitates art, or the other way around, depending on your perspective and if that’s true, the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s were a wild time, especially if the ‘art’ of interior decorating can be used as a yardstick. The bright colours, bold designs and psychedelic pop art of the era was probably an (over) reaction to the enforced aesthetic deprivation of the post war period when often only the most basic needs could be met.
A few years ago, second hand shops couldn’t give away their huge stockpiles of what has recently been labelled ‘mid-century modern’ furniture but now that it, together with pink, plastic garden flamingos and fishing gnomes, has been deemed to be the latest must have by the decorating gurus, these pieces are selling for a king’s ransom. For me, it should be renamed ‘mid-century madness. Oh, if only I’d kept my granny’s ‘cheap as chips’ 1950’s furniture, I’d be rich … but who knew!
Sigmund Freud is famous for promoting talk therapy to resolve psychological problems but it seems as if writing therapy has the same effect, as proof-reading this blog has evoked what Oprah would call a “lightbulb moment” and I can finally see the absurdity of following fashion! My addiction is cured! Now, what time is Restoration Man on tonight, oh and where can I hide the ironing?