Confessions of a House Snob

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Civic, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I tend to not wear shoes in my house, but it's because I hate wearing shoes. I don't take them off at the door. I tend to take them off when I sit at my dining table. I certainly don't make my guests take their shoes off. And hey! I still can wear socks in my house! The two aren't mutually exclusive ;)

    I admire people with great design sense - I agree that if you've got that you can make your place look fab even without a ton of $$ if it's a priority for you. I admit that my style is more utilitarian, and I can live quite easily under circumstances that would drive another person nuts. But I am very uncomfortable in any home that is so clean it looks like no one lives there.
     
  2. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    I can't fault people for having no design sense. Some of them are in my extended family. But the "crimes" lean more towards way too many tschochkes or really overdecorated color schemes and furniture rather than towards plain shabbiness. The latter I forgive if people don't have the money or time to care or spend.

    What I don't understand is real messiness from grownups. I live a busy life and always find time to clean and straighten up and I force my poor daughter, who at 23 is not yet a neatnik, to meet my standards if she wants to live with me rent-free. So I guess I'm a cleanliness snob.

    And my shoes come off as soon as I'm home but that's because I like being in slippers or socks, I don't ask my guests to do that. I sure wish my upstairs neighbor who seems to be clomping around in Doc Martens felt the same.
     
  3. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I know what you mean, especially in a place like New York where you can literally dine at a different great restaurant for every meal of every day of the year. When I lived there, friends visited and insisted on going to Bubba Gump in Times Square for lunch.

    But like others of said, for many there's the familiarity factor (or sometimes a chain restaurant can be a special treat if you don't have that one in your area), and cost, and being comfortable. Lots of people are nervous in non-chain restaurants, because they don't know if they'll like the food or if they are dressed right or how much to tip etc, so they'd rather go where they know what to expect.

    I figure the company is more important than the venue or the food (similar case when going to someone's house), and there are plenty of other opportunities to eat in the restaurants we like.
     
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Messyness and cleanliness aren't the same thing in my book. I'm messy- I leave shoes under the dining room table, and my knitting all over the house. Putting things away just isn't really something I value. When guests come over I'll tidy up, either by putting it away, or throwing everything into a laundry basket and setting it in my bedroom.

    Cleanliness to me is about nasty stuff growing in the toilet, or dishes in the sink. I take care of all that. I scrub the floor, clean the bathroom, make sure the sheets are changed on a regular schedule. That matters to me more than clutter.

    DH is the opposite- he hates junk around the house, and nags me to put it away, but I've never seen him with a toilet brush or taking out the trash. (I've finally, after 6 years convinced him if there is raw chicken in the trashcan he MUST take it out that night. It's disgusting the next day otherwise.)
     
  5. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    That's where I draw the line too. I'm not going to criticize someone's decor because they live there, not me - maybe they wouldn't like the colour of my walls or my choice of pictures or our priorities for house repairs and upgrades either.

    But I can't abide a house that's dirty or unhealthy, or people who live like slobs (I'm not talking clutter, I'm talking dirt). There are people in my life who I love dearly, but whose homes I will not go to because they make me so uncomfortable.

    ETA Skittl and I posted at the same time - ITA with what she said!
     
  6. Angela-Fan

    Angela-Fan Well-Known Member

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    I was at someone's house and I spilled water or something on the kitchen floor. I went to wipe it up with a paper towel and it came up black. :eek:
     
  7. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Dornbush 2015!!!

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    I just assumed everyone took their shoes off in the house. I always take my shoes off before I enter someone elses home also. :shuffle:
     
  8. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    FWIW, I know of several African American families who only go to chains when travelling because they know or can reasonably expect non-discriminatory treatment. With locally owned restaurants, there is a little more risk of being not welcome unless you have a recommendation.

    I am a house snob wrt my own house - much to my chagrin. I like to think of myself as a utilatarian plain jane and no I don't need to buy all that nice stuff. But um, no. I tried living in a sparse house with cheap stuff and never felt at home. So furniture and decor shopping I went. I don't care in other people's houses but I guess it is because I don't spend as much time there.
     
  9. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    You know, especially in the summer when people don't always wear socks- this kind of grosses me out. If they have socks on, no problem- feel free to leave your shoes at my door. But how do I know people don't have weird foot infections. Isn't that why we shower in flip-flops at the gym?
     
  10. Angela-Fan

    Angela-Fan Well-Known Member

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    I see where you're coming from. This lady came to my aunt's house once over the summer and she was wearing flip flips. I guess her feet were sweaty and you could tell by looking at the floor where she stepped.
     
  11. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Dornbush 2015!!!

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    Ewww....barefeet!!!! The last thing I take off before I shower is my socks. The first thing I put on when I get out is clean socks...even before my undies are put on. I'd rather someone kept their flipflops on before going barefoot....ewww.
     
  12. El Rey

    El Rey Well-Known Member

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    I have a bunch of friends who moved from Texas to NYC. Sometimes they like to go eat at places like The Olive Garden. They call it "suburban" night. Sometimes they also like to make a suburban weekend and drive out to Wal-Mart :lol:
     
  13. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    It gives new meaning to being anal.
     
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  14. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Well-Known Member

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    Must be nice for you. For me no choice. I have very high arches and with age they have fallen slightly - enough that I suffered greatly for years. After cortisone shots and much physiotherapy I finally have a handle on it but must wear something with a structured arch at all times to prevent pain. So house shoes it is.

    Back to the original house snob question - well I have fairly low standards but do find some peoples places pretty fugly and depressing. I had a similar problem with my own home but unfortunately although I know what I like when I see it all done really have no ability to put it together myself. I spent many years on indecision trying to figure it out. The living/dining room was the big problem with an L shape, 5 doorways and the need for it to provide access from one end of the house to the other right through the middle. Managed to get one consultant to show up to the house but due to remote location that was her only visit. She came up with an unusable floor plan and other that directing us buy a specific size of sofa and suggesting a list of furniture stores was leaving us to our own devices anyway as far as actual choices. We finally stumbled through on our own and at least it is a big improvement on the old look which was stuck in the 70's and is still usable the way we live in it.
     
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  15. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    oh, that! :p

    Reading the original post, I was thinking what a non-house-snob I am, but to be honest, I am one. I am snobby about new construction. I hate it. I'll take dusty, I'll take lived in, I'll take clutter...but keep me far away from anything built after 1960, and especially after 2000.

    Of course, there are exceptions. A friend had a house that I absolutely adored, that was built in 2005. It looked like a converted barn, and was quite modern - but not so cold or cheap feeling as most (decidedly UNcheap) new construction is. I couldn't believe it when she told me how new it was. When she moved out of town and sold the house I was in a million depressions - I think I loved that house more than she did! :lol:
     
  16. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    My college professor called these architects "Pastichio Nuts."

    I hate the newer houses that have at least half a dozen triangles in the roof lines trimmed in white.
     
  17. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure my SIL has all kinds of nasty things to say about me behind my back because they have NEVER been invited to my home. Not once, ever. Every time my SIL goes to someone's house, she makes negative comments about their decor and their furniture. Everything to her is "ugly", out of date, or just plain wrong. And she goes on and on about it.

    I am certain my house won't measure up to her standards. We''re always in the middle of some renovation or another and it takes DH months, sometimes years, to get stuff finished. Our furniture is old and we haven't gotten around to replacing it. But it's clean and comfortable and we're happy.

    I just don't want my SIL running me down behind my back. As for her house: It's nice I guess, if you like beige in every room and vertical blinds on all of the windows. Not my taste at all.
     
  18. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Do they actually use architects for modern subdivisions? Maybe the really swanky ones but I am surprised the midpriced ones do. They are all so similar. So maybe it was one set of blueprints and 2 million copies.

    IMO, there are a set of post WWII war houses that are the worst. The construction materials might not be bad but the design is terrible inside and out. No balance and no flow. A similar thing happened as in the 90's - rapid expansion from returning war veterans. So throw up the houses NOW. I am not talking about bungalows but the period between bungalows and the 60's ranches. Where the bathroom door opens into the living room.
     
  19. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    My full bath is off the kitchen. Seriously. I think it originally was the pantry. My now deceased neighbor (which is where I learned how the house looked before that one owner screwed it up) said that when he was a kid in the 30's, the owner of my house put in indoor plumbing for his wife, but refused to use it himself, instead preferring the outhouse. The old outhouse is still on our property, although someone at some point put a floor in it.
     
  20. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    Where I come from, its's actually rude to just take your shoes off at someone's house. You need to ask, and even then it's a little weird. My mom is hardly ever barefoot at home - she has a set of flip-flops that are exclusively for inside use.

    But a famous Colombian comedian made a joke about Colombians being pathologically afraid of catching diseases from the floor...what did the floor ever do to us? ;)

    (I, for one, always take my shoes off as soon as I reach my bedroom)
     
  21. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Well that was updating an oooold house that was built before any modern conveniences existed so the original design was probably fine for the times it was built. I've seen plenty of those pantry conversions - usually to a half bath with the full bath being upstairs on 1940's homes when it was standard to have just one bath in the house.
     
  22. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    When old houses were retrofit to put in indoor toilets and etc., it made sense for plumbing to be near plumbing. Thus bathrooms were frequently placed right off kitchens.
     
  23. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I've got one of those bathrooms off the kitchen as well -- it couldn't have originally been anything more than a pantry, because I'm sure it's the smallest bathroom in town to have a bathtub in it (it's less than 21 sq ft!). No sign of an outhouse on the property, though. :lol: One of the houses down the block has a garage that is clearly a stable conversion, so you get an idea of what vintage the neighborhood is (mostly pre-WWI). There's only one house that likely would pass Civic's "snob test" -- and it isn't mine. :(

    BTW, I'm one of those shoe-haters and kick them off as soon as I get in the front door. At other's homes, I follow the lead of the host/hostess -- if they are wearing shoes, I'll leave mine on.

    Makes a lot of sense -- that's what my grandmother did when she finally had indoor plumbing put in the farmhouse (built in 1834). I was in 9th grade at the time and remember how glad I was that night-time trips to the outhouse were a thing of the past! :D
     
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Since we're going off topic, I sublet an apartment in NY that had a bathroom with two doors - one to the bedroom, and one to the kitchen. Rather handy when getting ready for work in the morning :)
     
  25. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    But you didn't have the bathtub in the kitchen, do you? IIRC, I've read of a few NYC apartments with that unusual feature -- not sure if they were conversions to multi-unit from single-family buildings.
     
  26. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    No, it was a full, if small, bathroom. I guess it could have been a pantry at some point, but then one does wonder what people did without a toilet in a 5th floor walk up!
     
  27. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Chamber pots, if the building was old enough. Or very strong bladders to be able to wait until they got to the latrine.
     
  28. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    In larger pre-war NY apartments, it was really typical to have a tiny WC bathroom off the kitchen with the full bathrooms elsewhere in the apt. I lived in a couple of those - the toilet and plumbing had broken years before so we just used them as broom/mop/cleaning product closets.
     
  29. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Since we're going WAY off topic :p, I knew a guy in Cincinnati who lived in a basement apartment whose shower was in his bedroom :lol:
     
  30. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I actually like those restaurants...their food is far better than I could do at home. :shuffle:

    Just so you know, we cater from Boston Market on Thanksgiving. 'Nuff said.