Author Topic: It's about quality.  (Read 4708 times)

iwasjustwondering

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It's about quality.
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:11:31 PM »
I think one of the reasons people like to consume so much is because they like to demonstrate that they understand what quality is.  It's not a question of possession; it's a question of knowledge.  Of wisdom.  "I know enough to know that the silk drapes are supposed to fold onto the floor, rather than hang above it."  That sort of thing.  "I know that 2003 was a particularly good year for this vintage," or whatever.  It's about connoisseurship, which is a very interesting concept, and which strikes me as a feeble attempt at actually creating art in some way.

I have a perfectly nice, 1700sf house, 3bd, 1ba, on 1/3 acre in an awesome neighborhood in a great town.  I put in hardwood floors in three rooms that had had carpeting in 2011, when I was still not flexing my true mustachianness.  I had to re-do the finished basement with tile and new furniture two years ago, after a floor (insurance paid for the whole gut job/mold remediation/redo).  My house is pretty darned OK. 

However, it's not going to be featured in any design magazines.  There are two types of hardwood floor, and the kitchen has pergo.  There is no place to eat but the kitchen.  We have one bathroom.  I could go on and on.  Anyway, people keep coming in and *suggesting* improvements to my home.  "You could knock down this wall, close off half the kitchen and create a dining room."  "You should make the entrance hall smaller and gain some room for the living room."  "Here's where the half bath would go." 

What.  The.  Fuck. Yes, I can figure out where the half bath would go.  There's really only one place where we could put one.  It's not like I need advice on how to spend my money.  I just don't *want* to spend it.  I've got college tuition breathing down my neck, and I'm not about to start dicking around with expensive renovations. 

I have finally just started telling people, "I understand that spending more money on the house would improve the quality.  But I have decided to live with lower quality.  I'm not going to fix it up now, or over the summer.  It's not going to be my New Year's Resolution.  I'm going to have lower quality floors, lower quality landscaping, lower quality lighting, etc., than the things I could imagine.  I've been to Versailles.  I have watched HGTV.  I get it.  But lower quality stuff is really really OK with me."


CarDude

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 07:29:40 PM »
Mmm, I enjoy HGTV, but it's definitely selling a lifestyle, and it's not one most folks need.

greatreader

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 07:34:29 PM »
I hear you. Part of our renovation angst revolves around how everybody else thinks we won't survive our children's adolescence unless they each have their own bedroom and bathroom... sigh.

It's nearly impossible to get people to understand why you don't value the same things they do. Probably best not to waste too much energy trying.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: It's about quality
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 07:43:05 PM »
Since you used the word connoisseur, I'll offer an observation: there's a difference between appreciating the quality of a good item but being able to derive enjoyment from lesser ones, and being unable to derive enjoyment from lesser goods at all.

This applies more directly to food/beverages, but I think it's applicable here. Even when fully remodeled, my house will be more functional than decorative, especially the kitchen. (Good example: I hate cabinet doors, so I will build my kitchen with all open shelving.)

zataks

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Re: It's about quality
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 12:16:50 AM »
This applies more directly to food/beverages, but I think it's applicable here.

I think this is a great point.  Both GF and I are total foodies and love the best food. (Michelin starred, bomb-diggins, yknow?)  She maybe a little more than I but I think that's because I haven't been exposed to as much of it.  However, we both also love the refried beans I make from dried beans that probably cost about $15 for the entire pot (that includes the cost of my home-rendered lard, the veggies, spices--everything.  And the pot is typically several pounds of dried beans).  So, while we can appreciate and enjoy high-end food, I don't tell others they must go eat there (in fact, extremely high end restaurants create a moral dilemma for me) and we still fully enjoy very cheap foods. 
Several of our meals this week were a mix of rice and beans with some veg and a little bit of beef. 

But now we're working on her new condo and replacing broken plumbing, lighting/electrical, paint, flooring, etc.  Sure there are far fancier things we could buy to 'upgrade' the place but tomorrow we're heading to the Habitat for Humanities ReStore to see if there's anything there that is on our list (I broke our shower head!) for cheap before looking for any sales elsewhere. 


Argyle

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 10:01:38 PM »
Yes.  I absolutely love my kitchen the way it is.  In fact I love my whole house the way it is.  But it does not look like the fancy new kitchens you see in the magazines.  It looks like a kitchen from the 1940s, which is what it is.  This is deliberate.  It is perfectly convenient, even though it's not laid out in quite the current fashion.  Everything functions well, there's oodles of space, it's full of light, and it has two handy large tables.  And when I have to replace something like a light shade, I deliberately get something that looks timeless or even a bit retro, so that in fifteen years people won't say, "Oh, I see you bought your lightshade around 2014, time for an update?" 

Despite all this, I swear every single person who comes in says, "Hey, you could update this kitchen!"  Which is really a veiled way of saying, "Hey, your kitchen's not good enough, is it?"  And I want to say, "Are you crazy?"

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 10:11:10 PM »
There's a PBS cooking/foodie show called The Mind of A Chef. It gets fancypants at times, but the 1st season host, David Chang, also spends time waxing poetic about how much he loves instant ramen noodles.

The point is armchair connoisseurs are looking for ways to demonstrate they know what the best is, but the best connoisseurs know how great it is to slum it sometimes.

zataks

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 03:52:26 PM »
There's a PBS cooking/foodie show called The Mind of A Chef. It gets fancypants at times, but the 1st season host, David Chang, also spends time waxing poetic about how much he loves instant ramen noodles.

The point is armchair connoisseurs are looking for ways to demonstrate they know what the best is, but the best connoisseurs know how great it is to slum it sometimes.

+1 for Mind of a Chef and Chang. Big fan of both.

AMustachianMurse

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Re: It's about quality
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 04:07:46 PM »

Even when fully remodeled, my house will be more functional than decorative, especially the kitchen. (Good example: I hate cabinet doors, so I will build my kitchen with all open shelving.)

This is interesting to me, what type of material are you going to use for the shelves.  Any mock-up drawings, or pictures that inspired your design?  I too am a minimialist, and I love the look of floating shelves, etc., but I would imagine doing what you are talking about would be very difficult in a kitchen

kyanamerinas

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Re: It's about quality
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 04:10:49 PM »

Even when fully remodeled, my house will be more functional than decorative, especially the kitchen. (Good example: I hate cabinet doors, so I will build my kitchen with all open shelving.)

This is interesting to me, what type of material are you going to use for the shelves.  Any mock-up drawings, or pictures that inspired your design?  I too am a minimialist, and I love the look of floating shelves, etc., but I would imagine doing what you are talking about would be very difficult in a kitchen
i love the look of open shelves but would only have one or two for the most frequently used things (say near sink for the bowls/plates/glasses used every day). otherwise i think they would accumulate dirt/dust (have some now in rented) and make for more cleaning. plus, i'm just too disorganised!

Eric

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Re: It's about quality.
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 04:55:52 PM »
This is an advantage to being a life-long renter that I'd never considered.  No one ever asks me when I'm going to upgrade X or renovate Y.  Sure I may get asked when I'm going to move to a nicer apartment, but that's easy enough to deflect with a "I hate moving", which is a universal truth for just about everyone so it gets a positive response.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: It's about quality
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 05:00:42 PM »

Even when fully remodeled, my house will be more functional than decorative, especially the kitchen. (Good example: I hate cabinet doors, so I will build my kitchen with all open shelving.)

This is interesting to me, what type of material are you going to use for the shelves.  Any mock-up drawings, or pictures that inspired your design?  I too am a minimialist, and I love the look of floating shelves, etc., but I would imagine doing what you are talking about would be very difficult in a kitchen

The easy way is to secure a "cleat" to the wall first, then fasten the shelf onto the cleat. It's not as clean a look as a shelf with hidden hardware, but it's strong and easy to make. I've got one or two ideas for hidden hardware as well, but the recycled wood I'm planning to use isn't the right dimensional thickness.

The idea hit me in the head (pun intended) when I kept hitting my head on open doors in my small kitchen. I've seen it in tiny homes, but also a few homes I did design work on.