Thursday, January 3, 2013

Me vs. Apartment Therapy

Thanks to a good friend being all brazen with her flashy ideas for throw pillows, I am on a redecorating spiral. As it stands, my decor philosophy has been this: "Is this out of my way?" We have a few pieces of artwork on the walls (the Chat Noir vintage collection poster, some Coca Cola thingies, and a painting done by yours truly), but it's kind of depressing otherwise.
See: almost all of the walls in our apartment
This does not mean that I have bought anything* (or done anything, period) yet, because by the end of March, Three and I will be moving, either just outside of Nashville or completely out of the state**. And I really don't see the point of decorating anything, save for keeping the house clean, until the move. So I've entered into inspiration mode, which, for the most part, is really fun. I've suddenly discovered that Pinterest does have a use, and I keep browsing Etsy for fun little kitschy figurines and wall hangings. All in all, I am starting to get a pretty good idea about how I want our new place to look.

But then I come to Apartment Therapy.

I've visited this website before, but I'd basically forgotten it existed. You know what? I kind of wish I hadn't remembered that it did. The website as a whole isn't that bad, really. I like a lot of their DIY projects, even if they are sometimes so damned useless it makes me cry***. And the apartment/house tours are really fun, especially when it's a house that looks like it's actually lived in.

And this is pretty much where my patience with the website ends.

There's a certain degree of pretentiousness that just seeps through every article, every image ... just everything. I actually cringe when I read through some of their pieces. I think that part of the problem is that it's so focused on major cities (LA, Chicago, and NYC are the most commonly referenced places, as are locations of most of the stores they feature), which isn't in and of itself a bad thing. I mean, people live there, too, and they'd like their places to look nice. But it almost has an elitist bent to it.

Going through the website had me wondering if there was something wrong with me. Is it bizarre that I find their oodling over mixing polka dot wallpaper with a zebra print rug (and I'm not even kidding) very off-putting? Does everyone else feel like a pauper when finding out that the gorgeous chair you like is actually $15,000****?
"And when they thought my $149 per panel curtain suggestion was 'too pricey,' I told them to go to IKEA or Etsy!"
It's almost insulting, actually, how they label a $2400 couch as a bargain. I understand that I'll probably spend more money on something like a good, long-lasting rug, but a $3500 one? Not going to happen. If I'm going to spend that much on something, it's going to be for a car. Or hell, a down payment on a fucking house.

Which brings me to my next point. My biggest complaint about AT is that, well, we rent an apartment and probably will be renting for a good while. Almost every single article or idea is for someone who owns their home, be it a condo or an actual house. They've got a section called "Renters Solutions," which has some good ideas, to be fair, but it's not nearly as extensive as something called Apartment Therapy should be.

I browsed AT for almost four hours straight, hoping that I'd find a little bit more than a suggestion to use window film in the bathroom (which doesn't even apply in my current apartment, where we have a grand total of one window and two sliding doors), but came up with nothing. Google was pretty much my friend here. Also, thanks, Better Homes and Gardens!

Luckily, I still have several weeks ahead of me to ... plan? Dream? Whatever. But I'll tell you what I won't be doing: looking at Apartment Therapy*****.

* Not entirely true. I bought a burgundy lamp base in the shape of a horse because fuck you, I wanted it.
** I'm voting for the latter, but at this point, everything is contingent to Three's job.
*** Their DIY stump article had me eye-rolling so hard, and not just because I really hate stumps used as decoration. Just go look at it. I dare you. And also, the first set of gold stumps (which REALLY??) is from a store, so kinda reneging on the whole DIY angle.
**** This is an exaggeration. I haven't found any this expensive, but if it's out there, I'm sure AT has found it.
***** Probably. What? I'm a glutton for punishment.
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