Two professors found that home improvement media was leading homeowners to decorate for the public rather than for their own well-being.
July 7, 2023 7:00 AM EDT
But what happens when people think about what happens to their homes under this kind of surveillance, says Dr. Schneider, assistant professor of markets, innovation, and design at Bucknell University, in home improvement media outlets like HGTV and magazines like Better Homes and Gardens? That can lead to an overwhelming sameness of aesthetics, according to Annetta Grant, who has studied how this has affected homeowners.
In a research paper with Jay M. Handelman, an associate professor of marketing at Queen’s University Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ont., Grant writes that someone else is not scrutinizing or judging your décor choices. The idea that this is possible is called “a perspective that reflects the market.” Their findings were primarily derived from interviews with 17 homeowners undergoing renovations.
“They see all the problems in their home and imagine when someone will come into their home. [that] They’re also criticizing, scrutinizing, and judging their own homes,” Grant said. “People feel very anxious about the decisions they make in their homes, so they’re always worried that they’re going to make the wrong decision.” (HGTV multiple comments from The Washington Post) (He did not respond to the request.)
A “mistake” in this case is now defined as a decision that makes your home less attractive to buyers, even if you have no plans to put it on the market.
Homeowners “are torn between two ideas of what a home should be,” Grant says. Conventional wisdom is that ideally, buying a home has two main advantages. One is that he can build wealth, and the other is that he can change the space to suit his taste. Grant’s framework shows that these two of his advantages are contradictory to each other.
This gaze, she says, is causing a “move toward normalization.” And it’s not just happening in the rooms of the house where people are expecting guests, she discovered. That line of sight extends to the bedrooms and main bathroom.
Of the 17 people who took part in the survey, most expressed a desire to be “smart homeowners who have invested in their home” and now, on paper, my home is worth much more. It’s gotten more expensive, Grant said. Therefore, to be wise, you may omit bolder choices when renovating and decorating.
Instead, a neutral ground is most important, and the goal is to create a place that is non-offensive and appealing to many people. Gabriel, one of the study’s interviewees, told researchers about the feedback he received about his renovated bathroom: ”
You can’t fault them for trying to protect their homeowners, which is probably their biggest asset. And they are constantly bombarded with data that attributes dollar amounts to relatively trivial decisions. For example, Zillow does paint color analysis. According to its latest analysis, a long-essential white kitchen can now reduce a home’s price by as much as $612, while a charcoal gray kitchen can increase costs by an average of $2,512. (To get these very specific numbers, Zillow showed study participants homes and asked them how much they would offer for each home.) The company’s behavioral scientists then used statistical modeling to We found out how the relationship between listing and asking price changes depending on the color of the room.)
In a news release about paint analysis, Zillow quoted Menaz Khan, a color psychologist and interior designer in Albany, New York, as saying: However, they may be attracted to charcoal on a psychological level. ”
Kahn specializes in determining how color and the built environment affect people’s mood and well-being. But she told the Post that when she and her husband built her first home, she fell into the same trap of putting other people’s opinions before their own.
“I’m always drawn to the unconventional and the unusual,” she says, but her real estate agent “was always reminding me, ‘Resell, resell, resell, resell.'” That really stuck with me. It remained. …Then we moved into a house. I was so scared that I couldn’t do anything. I’ve never drawn anything. I lived in those white walls and was always thinking about the next homeowner. It was all for the next homeowner. ” She says she wishes she could have customized her home to make it feel more like her home.
Ruth DeSantis, a climate scientist in Calgary, Alberta, discovered Grant’s work on Facebook and said it immediately resonated with her. She describes HGTV’s aesthetic as “trying to achieve this perfection, even though I don’t like it, even though it’s completely impossible and unrealistic.”
“I have friends who come to my house and say they love my kitchen, minus the white goods,” she says. However, this research led her to stick with the white ones “because I like them,” rather than switch to the stainless steel ones, which she finds less attractive and difficult to clean. “Some people tear down and replace perfectly good kitchens because they use colors that are out of season,” DeSantis says. “I think the message needs to change because the environmental impact is so huge.”
“I often get asked the question, ‘Is this trending?'” And I always advise [clients] You shouldn’t go down that path,” says Bona Joni, an interior decorator who works in Washington. “It’s a trend and it goes out of style. If you have gold finishes everywhere, in five years it’s not trendy anymore. Then you have to reinvest.”
Mr. Grant has discovered just that. “Even if homeowners have renovated their homes to the latest standards, those standards are always changing, so once the renovation is done, they look around and start thinking about the next renovation,” she says. Masu.