House lust

A couple of things I read today reference a condition that I have more than a passing acquaintance with: the upper-middle-class American obsession with houses. Perhaps this affliction isn’t confined only to the segment of society once referred to as “Yuppies.” In the past dozen or so years the proliferation of DIY television programs, “dream house” reality shows, and plethora of shelter magazines have introduced consumers of all income brackets to architectural, interior design, and product ideas that were once only the province of professionals.

My friend Debbie and I have often discussed the phenomenon of home improvement junkies, and have marvelled at the vast amounts of money and energy people are more than willing to expend in achieving their dream homes. Jennifer Moses dissects this topic as well, and wonders—as did Debbie and I—if this all-consuming drive for Martha Stewart kitchens and Sissinghurst curb appeal is just another way of masking insecurities and avoiding Real Life.


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