The Hallmarks of Prudent and Mature Home Decor

    Could the hallmarks of Prudent and Mature Home Decor be ascertained by that which we choose to walk on? It does not take much insight to observe the difference between the arbitrary and trendy fashion frequenter, and the thoughtful, more prudent home decorator. One of the most notable signs of prudent home decor is the practical choice and application of Area Rugs as they are scattered among similar evidences of design. Therefore, it is at this junction that I will hazard a comparison of the two endeavors and how they approach their inevitable result.

    As we inherently mature in thought and emotion, and as we grow in quality of character, the choices we make in designing a space should naturally follow suit. There are basically two approaches at interior decoration and they differ as light unto darkness when based upon this premise. The one approach is youthful, arbitrary and full of whimsy. The other approach is mature, prudent and pragmatic. Both approaches address the same issue of home decor aesthetics, but by no means are they remotely similar. The phenomena is best gauged by comparing the living space of a teenager to that of their parent. While the room of a teenager may be charming and whimsical, hardly ever would you describe it as an attempt at professional home decoration or design. When we contrast this trendy style with the thoughtful abode of the parent we see some very striking differences in result. Yet it is the cause that intrigues me more than the result. It is the cause that separates the amateur from the professional, and not vice-versa. I am persuaded that maturity plays a large roll in the differing results. And yet, could maturity alone explain how two people, given the same criteria and budget, could end their task with such markedly divergent results? For the time at hand I will concentrate my comparison on those factors that are materially evident between the two. It is not my intent to revisit that which is referred to as a "generation gap", but certainly, underlying motivation does allude to it’s existence. The root of the matter should be found in how we arrive at any decision we make in our lives.

    My wife loves to watch the cable channels that feature home designers and decorators in their dual role as designer and entertainer. If we make comparisons of each "artist" and their talents, we may find that one individual takes a more cursory and seemingly effortless approach, while another is more thoughtful and tends to linger upon a decision before activating it. We could assume that the first person is confident in their skill and therefore is not concerned with the thoughts and feelings of the homeowner that they are designing for. This would lead us to a conclusion that the second person is somewhat less confident and may be delaying decisions as they consider how the result will resonate with the homeowner. Although the approach of two different people with two different styles is in play, they always arrive at an acceptable conclusion by remaining within the principles of home decor. This is evidenced by the fact that almost all of the homeowners are seemingly happy with the results. Could it be that the network would simply edit out or not air the homeowners that were unhappy with the redesign. We are just now learning of homeowners that eventually became disheartened or even angry with the quality of craftsmanship that occurred on some of these shows. We must take note that it was the quality of the work and not the design or decor that these homeowners are unhappy with. This proves to my mind that any style or personality inflection can be used to reach a satisfactory result in home decor because you are following a set of rules and guidelines that have already been established that you know you can depend on. Therefore there must be some rule or principle that is abandoned when we see unsatisfactory home decor results. Let us go back to the parent-teen model to further examine our question.

    If we examine the shopping habits of the young and trendy and compare them to the mature and prudent parent, we begin to see a major variance in intention and motivation. The teen is only concerned with temporary appearance. She buys decor items on a whim and instant gratification is the driving force. Is it because she knows her taste in decor will change? Or is it simple economy that drives her choices. She tends to buy decor items that are inexpensive and disposable. Is this an indicator of budget alone? I believe that we could safely assume that it is not budget that drives the decision, but rather the arbitrary and impetuous nature of the teen. She has not yet developed a maturity level that corresponds to the home decor effect she is trying to achieve. She does not yet understand the meaning of Value. As we look toward the parent we see a very different approach in shopping habits. She is an experienced shopper and out of necessity she has learned that not all home decor products have the same value even though they can be similar in price. The driving force for the mature shopper is to research and find a product that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also has an element of durability and craftsmanship. She would rather buy one better quality item than five low quality (or disposable) products. She has more intention of stretching each dollar she spends in order to maximize the final result. Therefore we can assume that the driving factor of decision for the parent is Quality.

    Quality of craftsmanship, durability and low maintenance will usually distinguish a prudent home decorator from an arbitrary designer. I see evidence of this each day as I deal with clients and their choices in flooring products. The consumer that purchases based on factors other than quality will always be disappointed over time. Ignoring quality means that we base our decision on factors that will not stand the test of time. Such as choosing a product on mere color or pattern, without deference to the quality of that item. But quality usually means extra expense. Not always. Buying quality decor items does not always translate into higher prices. It does demand that you research your purchases and don’t be shy about questioning salespeople and dealers. Just as there are flooring products that are a better Value for your hard earned dollars, there are other home decor items that offer better quality than others that are close to the same pricing. Ask your consultant to show you the best quality item in your price range. On average, the difference in purchasing quality flooring can be two-hundred to six-hundred dollars, depending on the amount of floor being covered. This represents a substantial variance in the Quality of said flooring. Quality can make a huge difference in your overall satisfaction with a purchase, so it makes absolute sense to pay a little more for something that is built to last and still maintain your budget.

    As this applies to area rugs, there are huge divergences in quality and craftsmanship. Most people know that cheap chain store rug cannot compare to fine wool area rugs for quality and durability. You cannot possibly expect to be satisfied with a cheap olefin or polypropylene area rug (especially if it has a solid latex or rubber backing). It will not last for many years to come. The typical chain store area rug is marketed toward the youthful and whimsical impulse buyer. Whenever I enter a home that has these type of cheap, wrinkly rugs with curling edges that are certainly a trip hazard, I know what style of decor shopper the homeowner is. I am also witness to extreme markups on "budget" area rugs and I can say with confidence that the wise and mature buyer seeks quality wool area rugs at reduced prices. Area rugs should not be impulse items. They should be well thought out pieces of floor art, with quality fiber and craftsmanship that prove the insight and maturity of a homeowner’s decor.

    There has been no greater time to investigate the pricing and quality of wool area rugs. With crude oil prices pushing man-made fiber higher and higher, wool is fast becoming more economical than ever. If you must use man-made fiber rugs, make certain they are nylon, without any solid latex backings. However, wool fiber rugs are by far the wisest choice. With proper care, you can expect a wool fiber rug to last a lifetime. Which would you rather have, disposable fashion, or prudent and mature home decor? That which we choose to walk on may say more about us than we care to imagine.

Charles Beason, — Fine Wool Area Rugs and Home Decor Items (our picks for great Value)

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About Charles Beason

Flooring Consultant/ Estimator, Bi-vocational Pastor of Oasis Missionary Baptist Church, Internet Business Owner, Webmaster.

Posted on September 26, 2008, in Area Rugs, Flooring and Home Design, Q&A, Info, Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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