Interior Woes: The Top 5 Things I Hate in Home Design
As an interior designer, I love all things related to home design. I am just as curious, intrigued and fascinated by architecture, product design and construction as I am with home decor; and I can often be found browsing estate agent websites looking at the homes that are available, because I just love to see the places where people live.
One of my favourite things to do when I'm a little bored on my laptop is to make out I've just won the lotto and am looking for my new home. Other times, I look at what I'm more likely to afford (if anything! - "Stop doing that!" said a psychic to me recently, "In order to manifest what you want, you must only focus on the very best!"). The trouble with looking at the more realistic homes is the fact that, I feel the experience of actually being in them when I'm looking; and that brings me on to this blog!
There are certain things that really get me frustrated when it comes to home design; some things that get me so irritated, I have to rant a little bit whenever I see them on the listings. These things sit in my head for long enough to get me thinking about how they could possibly change for the better; how, if I had some kind of power, I would make it a rule - a law in fact - that these things be corrected immediately for the sake of everyone who has to put up with them in their day-to-day lives.
These things make me angry, because I care about people; and I feel that landlords, land owners, housing developers, local councils - and whoever else is involved - are taking advantage of their positions to the detriment of those who rent, or buy these properties from them. The mental health, financial positions and general wellbeing of people looking for a home is being put very last on the list of ahead of greed (in my opinion!) and that makes me so cross!
So, what are these things and why do they irritate me so much?
Let's see, shall we?
1. Studio Apartments
Top of my list is the 'studio apartment' - or, in plainer words - one room and a bathroom! Basically, a hotel room. They infuriate me! These ridiculous 'homes' are the epitome of the greedy landlord; they are forcing tenants to live in one room, simply so they can earn even more money from even more people being forced to live in one room. I abhor them; and I abhor them even more for being pretty much the same price as a whole flat - and even more in large cities, because people on lower incomes have little choice of where they live.
I know these little properties can still be made to look beautiful and lots of things can be done to make them perfectly acceptable places to live - I've seen plenty that have been done beautifully, but that isn't the point. The point is, these people don't have a separate bedroom, because the greed of others would rather cram as many homes into the space they have available, than simply letting the tenants have one more room.
You all know by now that the bedroom is the most important room in the house to me. I would rather have a bedroom with a bath in it, than a lounge with a bed in it! The thought of having to sleep, work and live in one room, every single day really depresses me; it takes me back to our teenage years when we were stuck in our bedrooms if we wanted to study, or watch something different to what our parents were watching downstairs.
Now, in my teenage years, I'd have loved a studio apartment; but we're not teenagers anymore. We need a space to live and a space to sleep.
Give people a bedroom!
2. The Box Room
The humble box room; the bedroom I had growing up. The bedroom that barely fits a bed into it, let alone a wardrobe and a chest of drawers - and if you're thinking of having a bedside table, forget about it! The radiator is taking up that spot!
Box bedrooms annoy me much more in today's society, because people are staying at home with their parents much later into their lives, as the general cost of living gets higher and getting on the property ladder becomes almost impossible. I lived at home into my early thirties and having the box room was not fun. We need our bedrooms to serve us more as we get older; we have more possessions, we have relationships, we work or study from home - and all of that takes place in our bedrooms.
These rooms are another example of greed over necessity, in my opinion. In the same way kitchens barely fit in a fridge, these 'bedrooms' serve for nothing useful. Make these rooms a little bigger and suddenly 5 houses in a row become 4 and the greedy developers lose out on one more chunk of money. But who cares about your needs; their need is greater, right?!
3. Lack of Parking
For the same reason, developers are making roads even narrower, so that two cars can barely pass one another in the street and they're limiting parking spaces to two - and sometimes even one per household. It's ridiculous!
As I just mentioned, people are living at home much later into their lives these days and therefore, the average house in the UK, excluding London, has 1.33 cars (weird!), so one space really doesn't cut it, does it? Even in households with one car - what about having visitors? I get absolutely sick of visiting friends and having nowhere to park, because greedy developers won't allow extra space for cars at the expense of extra sales of property!
4. Neglected Homes
I can't bear looking through the rentals and seeing homes that aren't being looked after by landlords, who expect people to still pay the outrageous prices they charge. People will pay it, because they're desperate and just need a home to live in as cheaply as possible; but this doesn't mean slacking on taking care of the property should be acceptable. It's high time something was done about landlords who let buildings fall into an unhealthy state, or allow their tenants to live in their property, at risk of illness or injury.
I see so many homes that clearly have damp issues, blown plaster, worn carpets, sub-standard kitchens, ancient bathrooms, awful interior design and generally terrible standards; it shouldn't be happening. People deserve more.
5. Wasteful Housing Association Rules
The more up-to-date rules from the Housing Association state that, as flooring is a 'decorative addition' to a property, rather than a 'fixture', all flooring must be removed when a tenant moves out - no matter how long it's been there.
They state this is due to hygiene reasons, which I understand, but what about carpets that are new, or well-maintained? There are still some council tenants who take care of their homes - I may well soon be one of them! And what about those tenants who can't afford a carpet; must they live with cold, unwelcoming floors forever?
What happens to the carpets that are removed? Are tenants really going to go to the effort of selling them, or giving them away? No; they'll end up at landfill, ruining our environment a little bit more - or dumped at the side of the road somewhere, looking a mess.
What if the tenant takes it back to the house to offer it to the new tenant? Doesn't that just make the process an entire waste of time? (I recommend this, by the way - if the flooring is decent!)
I hate this rule; I think an inspection should take place to determine the quality of the flooring in place and if it is deemed unacceptable, then it should be removed. Why waste perfectly good flooring when someone could make use of it?
And there we have my little rant! I hope I'm not alone in my interior woes and that you find these things just as irritating as I do. I'm pleased I got that off my chest.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read; I'll speak to you soon.
Lots of love