Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cookie-cutter Tastes

While on our honeymoon, my husband and I were treated to cable packages that included more than just your basic home-town channels. While I know that many people live their daily lives with upwards of two hundred or three hundred channels from which to pick, we have thirteen, and two of those are Spanish stations (I speak Spanish as well as a toddler, my husband not at all), and one is a college station. It was a novelty to have so many channels at our fingertips.

We didn't submerge ourselves in TV—there were more fun things to do!—but we did sample a few channels, mainly HGTV. I now have a yearning to be on Property Virgins, to redecorate my entire house, and to start landscaping even though I live in a yardless apartment.

But with some time and space between me and the home improvement/decorating shows, I was struck by a possible bizarre potential side effect of such popular networks as HGTV: Is it possible for everyone to be adopting the same general decorating tastes?

On the surface, this question seems ridiculous. Of course everyone's going to have their own style, choose their own art, pick their own wall colors, and add their own nicknacks. But even on the few shows we watched, I was struck by how these vastly different participants (with different personalities, priorities, monetary status, and regional location) decorated the home they finally moved into so similarly—focal walls (or ceiling) with a bold color (especially a shade of red), a large piece of art or two and several smaller pieces, a wooden minimalist coffee table with a few carefully arranged items and always a floral vase, designer throw pillows on the couch, and minimalist decor around the outskirts of the room.

There's a possibility that I'm only noticing this decade's decorating trend, that watching these shows opened my eyes to what's "in" now. But isn't there also a possibility that with more people than ever watching all the same home decorating shows and mimicking them, that we're all going to end up with the same cookie-cutter taste?


TikiBird said...

I think that just as with things like baby names, everything thinks they've got unique tastes, until they see that all their neighbors choose the same things! LOL

Whether the media can cause that kind of trend or whether it reflects what's already out there is interesting to me, too. My theory is that, as with baby names, it reflects the taste of the baby-producing generations mostly, and most people end up thinking it's new and fresh to them. But the older generation has already seen it (in their parents or grandparents' homes) and goes, "Blah!"

I'm always curious what the next generation will think of our tastes--if the next people who move into our homes will see all the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and think, "What were those '00s homeowners THINKING?!" LOL

Rebecca Chastain said...

I often wonder what people will be criticizing in the future, too! I look at my fashion, which I love right now, and wonder what I'll be making fun of in the future. I know it's going to happen, because there's been plenty in my past that has made me cringe. Also, what much-loved home purchases will I be looking back on with fond distaste? I'm sure everyone in the '70s thought avocado and orange appliances were going to be attractive forever...