I’m greatly relieved. Being female and from the 60’s and American I have some shame connected with the “conspicuous consumption” label that often stereotypically follows Americans. That shame is no longer there. I’m currently hooked on a cable HGTV show called “House Hunters International” which follows cross- cultural moves and house hunts all over the world and I have discovered that Americans are no more conspicuously consumptive than anybody else. As a matter of fact, after carefully “studying” (off work for 2 months) the house buyers in House Hunters International, it looks like people are pretty much the same everywhere. The wealthy homebuyers are very particular and the middle-income homebuyers are very grateful.
In the same vein…and still hooked on House Hunters and House Hunters International…Remodelers! Get ready for steady work . All the prospective house buyers now looking for homes are insistent on these four things: stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors, and an “OPEN CONCEPT”.
They envision “Martha Moments” with happy, quiet children watching videos in the media section while the adults belly up to the granite island with their oversized wine glasses, engaging the cook in meaningful conversation as she chops, cuts and bakes.
Are they nuts?????? Fun and reward in “entertaining” in one big room? Really? It sounds like a recipe for disaster.
REAL-LIFE-CHECK! The “entertaining” idea will last about as long as a new video game. Then you will discover:
1. Guests eat, drink and leave dirty dishes.
2. Kids get bored and the older they get, the less they want to be with adults.
3. Stainless steel appliances stay gorgeous if you polish them every day.
4. Everybody looking at the cook is not necessarily a good thing.
5. The staged “open concept” that appealed to you to begin with will suddenly take on the look of a really big room with a really big mess. You have the same mess as before but without the luxury of walls to hide the mess.
So, remodelers and renovators, be ready…soon you will be re-building walls.