Why should we strip our house of its character?

ANYONE who watches those home makeover, how to sell your house or try before you buy programmes will know that marketing has changed over the last few decades.

When my wife and I were last house-hunting 25 years ago, we loved finding places that were cluttered, poorly decorated or unfashionable, because we could see the potential to create something that reflected our needs and tastes.

Houses that showed too much evidence of recent updating and decoration generated a disincentive to buy because, although well presented, they might not be to our taste, however neutral and up-to-the-minute.

That has apparently all changed.

Prospective purchasers want to see your house devoid of all character, without all your personal possessions, books, paintings and all those things that families accumulate over a lifetime. I don’t begin to understand that, but have to acknowledge that if ever we vacate Baker Towers, we will have to ship out the animals, the books, the stuff of our lives that others would call clutter, paint everything in one of those innumerable varieties of shades of white and remove all evidence that we eat, drink or wear clothes.

Let’s hope that by the time we move again, if we do, things have reverted to those less regimented days when the interior designer’s scorn had not been heaped upon us.

And speaking of marketing, may I put out a plea to anyone in the shower gel or shampoo manufacturing industries.

Given that more than half of the population need spectacles, could you please put the words SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, SHOWER GEL in bigger letters on your products? The same font size as your brand name – which is always legible – would be good.

I am fed up with getting out of the shower to get my glasses to discover which of the many plastic bottles is which. I live with a wife and four daughters, so the ‘products’ are everywhere.

And the man who invents an easy clip-on label for leads for electrical equipment will make a fortune. With mobile phones, cameras, MP3 players and laptop computers to be charged, it would save hours rummaging through the wilderness that assorted cables can easily become.

And there’s all that knitting at the back of the computer too, and assorted USB leads and Sat Nav connectors that seem to entwine around each other, like teenagers, the moment you leave the room.

Comments (2)

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1:25am Sat 31 Jan 09

Waspilot says...

As you have so wisely pointed out in previous columns, no matter what our circumstances, things could always be worse. Take for example a typical exchange between my husband and me during our long-running (27 year) Bathroom Battle.

He: What's that smell?

Me: What are you talking about?

He: Did a fruit truck overturn in the toilet?

Me: That aroma is my green-tea-papaya-jas
mine-ginseng-body-bu
tter-balm-bath-melt!

He: It's left a slick film of slime all over the tub! It's a giant snail trail!

Me: It's silky!

He: It's slimy!

Me: SILKY!

He: SLIMY!

...et cetera, ad nauseam.

His idea of the perfect bath product - one to tackle tough manly dirt - could also strip paint off the wall and has the pleasing scent of kerosene.

May I suggest your pressing problem might be remedied with a black indelible marker, whilst mine would require an addition on our house...or perhaps nose plugs and duct tape.
As you have so wisely pointed out in previous columns, no matter what our circumstances, things could always be worse. Take for example a typical exchange between my husband and me during our long-running (27 year) Bathroom Battle. He: What's that smell? Me: What are you talking about? He: Did a fruit truck overturn in the toilet? Me: That aroma is my green-tea-papaya-jas mine-ginseng-body-bu tter-balm-bath-melt! He: It's left a slick film of slime all over the tub! It's a giant snail trail! Me: It's silky! He: It's slimy! Me: SILKY! He: SLIMY! ...et cetera, ad nauseam. His idea of the perfect bath product - one to tackle tough manly dirt - could also strip paint off the wall and has the pleasing scent of kerosene. May I suggest your pressing problem might be remedied with a black indelible marker, whilst mine would require an addition on our house...or perhaps nose plugs and duct tape. Waspilot
  • Score: 0

10:28am Mon 2 Feb 09

dorward says...

I've found that electrical tape does a good job of labelling the myriad collection of cables I have infesting the floors and walls of my home.

It is available in a variety of colours, to allow colour coding, but also accepts the attentions of a pen quite readily.
I've found that electrical tape does a good job of labelling the myriad collection of cables I have infesting the floors and walls of my home. It is available in a variety of colours, to allow colour coding, but also accepts the attentions of a pen quite readily. dorward
  • Score: 0
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