Social media has normalized having aesthetic homes and this unrealistic standard needs to stop

Even if that’s not the case — since the average person or family doesn’t have a home that’s organized and Instagram-ready at all times — your favorite influencers are likely using these popular and trendy design themes in their homes, taking it a step further by welcoming the massive social media buzz that You follow them into those intimate spaces.

Seeing the ins and outs of a complete stranger’s home is a completely modern phenomenon. It’s not without consequences either. The home decor trend on social media may inspire your own tastes and DIY projects, but it also impacts what you buy, your mindset, and impacts an already broken real estate market. Social media has normalized having aesthetic homes, but let’s not be fooled into thinking that this is a normal thing that we should all strive to achieve.

Broken system

It’s no secret that in 2023, the dream of owning a home, or even taking on a financial responsibility as large as a mortgage, seems less likely for many. If it seems like we’re being manipulated by the system, that’s because it is.

Although it can be an exaggeration to harp on how much better our parents were than what we do now, it’s a fact that’s hard to ignore. Sixty years ago, or even twenty years ago, a single-income family could afford a comfortable home in a safe area. But as the middle class continues to disappear completely, the same promises made to our parents – college degrees that lead to employment and a steady income, for example – do not apply to us.

Home prices continue to rise, as do interest rates, as the Federal Reserve attempts to limit the effects of inflation, which has reached record levels. Mortgage rates are higher today than they were 20 years ago, thanks to this tactic by the Fed — but the problem doesn’t end there. In addition to high housing costs, there is also a shortage of available homes, making these prices very high.

Even with the lower number of listings available on the market, mortgage rates are higher than we’ve seen previously, according to Redfin. The average mortgage payment we make each month is $2,632. There is also evidence of fraud and corruption within the National Association of Realtors, our country’s premier real estate organization and to which many Realtors belong.

Even if you have the income to buy a home in this market, you may have difficulty finding housing within your price range. And even if you’re lucky enough to find and afford a home, you’re saddled with a mortgage with a higher interest rate than we’ve seen in decades — meaning that even if the housing market cools down in the coming years, the high interest rate remains in place.

What happened to owning homes instead of houses?

Combine the collapse of the housing market with the power of social media, and we have a recipe for disaster. This is because although affordable homes are now scarce, social media is impacting the real estate market in tangible ways.

Consider the following: All Realtors, buyers and sellers use social media to either research potential purchases or sell their own homes by presenting them in the best possible light. Since the demographic using the most social media platforms and those looking to buy or sell homes are typically the same, buyers can scope out potential neighborhoods, floor plans, or interior designers and contractors they might prefer, and sellers can attract more interest. to their properties by showcasing trendy décor pieces and popular boutique amenities, enabling them to sell their homes in record time.

Social media is the perfect place to brand and advertise a home if you are looking to buy or sell. You can reach a larger audience in a limited amount of time – but since social media is the powerhouse we know today, it doesn’t end there. Now, our homes are expected to be too look Move-in ready all the time, whether you’re selling a home or not.

The homes we now see every day on Instagram and TikTok used to be the homes of the wealthy, like the celebrity homes featured on Architectural digest videos, or at least the homes of those who can afford weekly cleaning crews and interior designers. But if you don’t have a home that’s worthy of being featured on social media, all you have to do is change everything about the home you have now — or even buy a new one.

Our homes are imperfect, and they’re meant to be. It shouldn’t bother you that compared to all your friends or your five-year plan, your bedroom has clothes on the floor or laundry waiting to be put away. Maybe your sink is full of dishes, or you have a closet in the guest room full of things you promised yourself you’d get (eventually). Your basement, finished or not, is terribly cluttered. Your laundry room is an explosion of clutter and socks that will never find a companion. Your home decor theme and overall aesthetic is best described as “baby” or “bachelor pad meets fixer upper.”

So when we browse through posts, reels, videos and other content, admiring cashmere blankets or expensive leather sofas, it’s no wonder we feel like we’re falling behind.

Historically, in early America and across the pond, the parlor or drawing room was the only space within the home that was landscaped. It housed the most expensive furnishings or the most elegant aspects of home decor, such as books, pianos, and fireplaces. It was the only room in the house kept ready at all times to receive visitors or host friends, meaning that the rest of the family home could still have an intimate feel, while still maintaining a dedicated space for hospitality. Nowadays, we’re privy to everything from garages to closets to nurseries for complete strangers.

A home is an inner sanctuary for the family, a quiet respite from the worries and troubles of the world. It is a place of peace and values ​​the bonds of parents, children and siblings, no matter how chaotic or chaotic. Our homes were not meant to be staged, constantly photo-ready, or set up for good friends and strangers alike to comment on and judge. There’s something frighteningly miserable about learning about the design of a stranger’s home, someone you’ll likely never meet or know, and feeling like a failure because our special, individual space doesn’t live up to theirs.

Lack of aesthetic is the new aesthetic

It should come as no surprise to any of us that all of the many aspects of “home aesthetic direction” come down to money. If you can’t afford a 60-inch frame TV or renovate your master bathroom, your favorite influencer probably has 30 affiliate links to corresponding and cheaper decor tricks or a “fool-proof” way to beadboard walls in your bedrooms or get rid of your popcorn ceilings, without… contractor.

We always want to present the best possible versions of ourselves on social media, and our homes are no exception. Why do our homes need a certain aesthetic anyway? There is no conceivable way that our kitchens will always be clean or that our children’s toys will be put away at the end of each day. Most of our homes don’t have six-car garages, basketball courts, or infinity pools.

The modern home aesthetic has also given rise to sterile and clinical folk homes. White and gray are the most trendy colors, and stainless steel appliances and cool-toned fixtures may be the aesthetic of the day, but they have led to spaces that lack character and warmth. The answer to this ever-coordinated perfection is the modern “aesthetic” trend, which celebrates the good, the bad, and the ugly inside our old homes or old furniture. While this response is a good thing, as more people are encouraged to share the basic-looking, less expensive look of their home or apartment, before the dawn of social media, this was known as having a casual, average space.

Although it may not seem like it, most of us probably fall into the trap of having unaesthetic homes. There is no dominant design trend ruling every room in our home, no interior decor on speed dial, and no rugs or chairs online (which will likely look outdated in a few years). Most of us don’t fall into the aesthetic trend of a home, and that’s completely normal. Our homes are where we eat, sleep, raise our children, and make memories. Our homes are where we spend long days and short years, where our children take their first steps, where we build our surroundings as we build our lives with the coffee table we bought at a thrift store our first year out of college, the entryway table we inherited from our grandmother, and the painting we got as a gift. A wedding does not replace anything else.

Our homes are ours and ours alone, which is what makes sharing them so intimately on social media so embarrassing. For some, it may seem nicer than they’re used to, and for others, it won’t even begin to measure up. If our main concern is not how our homes meet these daily needs and comfort, but how they look to someone else, we have fallen prey to another social media lie.

Concluding thoughts

The homes you constantly see on social media may look like they belong on the cover of a real estate magazine, but they also lack the authenticity and realism that your home might have. Most likely, you can’t help but feel the envy of the mansion-owning influencer every time you see him, perhaps he has his own elusive home that they’re looking forward to too. Social media may tell us that the grass is always greener, but let’s be real. It’s just cleaner, has more money, or will be messy and crowded once the camera cuts out.

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