If you are on social media you are probably familiar with the ALS ice bucket challenge.
Dump, donate, nominate…rinse, repeat. It is a craze sweeping North America as millions of dollars are being raised for ALS awareness and research. Some go big (front loaders full of cold water) to tiny (little kids filling sand pails with ice and water) but no matter how you execute the deed it has become a daily news feed item and everybody is into the goodwill.
Have you ever noticed how some things become fads or trends? How some topics, actions or causes will catch on at whirlwind speed and gain momentum and notoriety faster than others? This is a phenomenon known as ‘going viral’ and has become the goal of marketers and business owners alike as they try to take advantage of the free momentum that a viral internet trend of video can have.
The same is true with home renovations in certain demographics with similar speed and velocity of a cutesy video of a piano playing cat, you can see neighbourhoods go ‘viral’ when one person steps out and begins to renovate. Like a man with a new ride-on mower in his driveway, men and women alike will flock to the renovation site to try and get a glimpse and have a conversation about what is happening.
If the neighbourhood is small or remote, the frenzy is usually twofold.
I have witnessed neighbours emerging from homes to talk to the trades or estimators they see across the street. They will be bold about asking them to come to their house to have a look as the opportunity is too good to pass up when you have a bona fide contractor in front of your home!
It is with amusement and delight that I sometimes take phone call after phone call from ‘Betty’ or ‘Donna’s’ neighbour who heard that I was coming to give a design consultation and could I please come by after? There have even been situations of me showing up for a consult only to find a roomful of women waiting for my advice!
We are creatures based in need and greed and if one of our friends is getting new flooring or furniture we will diligently investigate until we know exactly what they are purchasing so we can either buy similar or completely outdo our friends.
I know some of you are shaking your head in denial while you read but trust me; I have seen the competition in my clients’ eyes as they design against friends and relatives alike.
If the sight of your neighbour’s house surrounded by sub trades makes you want to start a project of your own, I say go for it! Take the concept and make it go viral throughout your neighbourhood and enjoy the beautiful home you have created.
Like the ALS challenge though, I encourage you to do it just to your liking and adapt it to fit your home, family and budget. You will be far more pleased with the outcome than if you simply try to copy what you may have just seen.
Whatever your motivation may be, keep in mind that your home and its functionality are completely you and while it is flattering to emulate your friends’ design choices, it is more important to have a home that is completely you.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.