Have you ever compared the rooms in your house to the rooms in a magazine? And found your rooms lacking? And wondered why, no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get your rooms to look like the magazine rooms? There’s a good reason for that. Those rooms are STAGED! Even the “real” rooms are staged to some degree.
To prove my point, I went through some of my magazines to see what unrealistic situations I could find in real rooms (I didn’t consider ads since those aren’t real rooms). Here are a few things I noticed:
1. Lamps with no cords. If I could have lamps with no cords, all of my rooms would look a lot better. But unless you live in magic land, lamps have to have cords. You’ll also see lamps that have cords but the cords aren’t actually plugged in because there aren’t any plugs nearby.
2. Furniture arrangements that don’t quite work. I found a photo of a room that looked awesome! But as I studied it, I realized the furniture was too close together for real life and there weren’t any lamps. It’s possible there was overhead lighting, but still, if that were my room, I’d need a lamp or two.
3. Area rugs in impractical locations. I realize that many people have area rugs under their dining room tables. They definitely give a room class. However, even though we’ve always had wood floors in our dining rooms, we’ve never had a rug. My husband insisted the rug made it too hard to pull the chairs in and out. But most dining rooms in magazines have rugs under the table.
4. Floral arrangements or other knick knacks that block the view in conversational areas. I found this violation a lot! One of the most important rules for setting up a conversation area is making sure nothing blocks the view from one seat to another. So a mile high floral arrangement you can’t see over or around is definitely not going to work.
5. A lack of knick knacks or stuff. I found a picture of a kitchen with nothing on the counters. Come on – nothing? Who does that? My husband is a remodeling contractor and I asked him how many kitchens he’s seen with nothing on the counters. He said NONE. A kitchen looks really good with nothing on the counters but no one lives that way.
6. Beautiful food on the counter or table – that’s unwrapped. What happens to food that’s unwrapped? It goes bad! I just saw a photo of a pedestal dish with two beautiful cinnamon rolls. Great for the photo but they wouldn’t be there in real life.
7. Lack of window treatments. Most people close their curtains or want their windows covered up. A lot of the magazine rooms have curtains that don’t really close or no curtains at all – because it looks more impressive. But most people don’t want their windows uncovered.
8. Complicated Bedding. Those magazine room beds are GORGEOUS! They have layers of beautiful blankets with tons of big, fluffy pillows. They are absolutely gorgeous! But in real life, most people don’t even make their beds and most aren’t willing to go through all that every day. How long does it take to make a bed like that? I might go for a couple of pillows and a quilt at the foot of the bed but that’s it.
9. Small Appliances on the counter that aren’t plugged in. They position the appliance so that it looks really good for the picture, but unfortunately, there’s no cord nearby so if it was there in real life, they’d have an unsightly cord from the appliance to the plug. Or something the location of the small appliance, while it looks great, isn’t practical.
I’m not saying magazines shouldn’t stage the rooms they photograph – I think they should. I don’t think any of us would enjoy looking at the pictures if the rooms were completely realistic. If we want realistic, we just have to look at OURS. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t compare your home to the homes in the magazines. Those magazine rooms aren’t real! No matter how hard you try, your room will not like that, at least not for very long, because you actually live in the rooms!
So now that you know why you shouldn’t compare your rooms to magazine rooms, take a look through some of your magazines and see how many unrealistic situations you can find. And I would love to know if you find any that I missed.