Staying realistic in your home choices

I have the cutest picture hanging by my desk at work. It was taken in Canmore and it shows a little bear cub peeking over the top


I have the cutest picture hanging by my desk at work. It was taken in Canmore and it shows a little bear cub peeking over the top of a tall fence. His little furry toes are perfectly pointed as he braces himself staring longingly at whatever is on the other side of that fence. Besides the photo being adorable it reminds me of how often I peer over that fence to see if the grass is really greener on the other side.

Realistically I know that it isn’t, my logic tells me that I have everything I need in my life and that my efforts should be geared towards gratitude and not climbing that fence again. Much of my work is based on clients who covet their neighbour’s kitchen, their mother-in-law’s en suite or their best friend’s boudoir. So many appointments contain the phrase “I was at my friend’s house” or “My co-worker put this countertop in her house” as people gather information on what their peer group has or does not have. This is often a framework for what they will put into their home and sometimes (just sometimes) a person will try to fit a friends’ choice into their homes, even if it is inappropriate.

As you can imagine, I see a mountain of homes every year both large and small – mansions and basements all have owners who dream of their perfect interiors. I would be lying if I said that I have never wished for a bigger kitchen or envied a walk through pantry while doing a new home measure and I find myself peeking over that fence again. To be completely truthful, I am quite intimidated to build my own home. My fear of unleashing that beast within me is a powerful de-motivator whenever I find myself wishing for this dream kitchen or that luxe en suite bathroom. I always joke that I can’t afford myself and it’s true! My dream list would include a lot of extras.

Budgets and banks prevail and give most people a sharp dose of reality and I often meet with clients a second and third time as they hone down their choices to align with their budgets. The good news is there is usually a beautiful compromise available to still help you achieve the look you desire. It is perfectly ok to have desires but it is also a good practice to ask yourself why – why do I want this? Why does this appeal to me? Why am I willing to go further into debt to possess this item? It is a good practice to give yourself a 24-point inspection before any major purchase, be very honest with yourself as to why you are diving into this end of the pool. If you have asked yourself the questions and still find yourself wanting/needing then nothing will stop you but you might come away with a clearer understanding of yourself and a deeper appreciation for what you have just purchased.

Peeking over the fence is alright as long as it doesn’t distract or deter you from your realistic goals. Putting all of your hopes and dreams on a borrowed enviable element may become a huge letdown when the final outcome is revealed. If you are choosing product based on your dreams and realities your finished product will be far more satisfying.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.