Saturday, July 07, 2018

Saturday and Sundry Scribblings on Home Decor as Sleep Aid

During the last several weeks - months even - for various reasons I've had trouble sleeping. I removed myself from our bed, so as not to disturb the husband's sleep, and have taken to sleeping in one of the recliners we bought earlier this year, padded with a few pillows. As a sleep aid I turn on the TV, subtitles on, sound muted, watch until eyes signal imminent closure. I regularly choose a segment of something from the selection of documentaries or reality shows available via Netflix.

TV has become a definite sleep aid, even when I'm not trying! Earlier in evenings, of late, I've missed great chunks of TV series or movies we've been watching.

Among the jumble of sleep-aid stuff I've watched in snatches, in the early hours, have been episodes from a couple of series from the UK relating to house decor, sales, and how to best present a house when trying to win over the goodwill of potential buyers. I understand this kind of thing is called "home staging".

In one such series an American, rather over- bubbly, "house dresser" (Tracy Metro in "House Doctor") runs around different areas of the UK showing sellers where they are going wrong, then tarting up their decor, often in fairly iffy (to my eye) ways! It was nice to see a few of my old stomping grounds included though, as featured locations. Even a house in often ignored Hull was the star of one show!

In the other series a more down to earth estate agent, Sarah Beeny presents "Selling Houses". In each episode, a couple looking to buy a house in a specific location and price range, is featured. Three options of houses for sale are suggested. The sellers are allowed to critique one another's styles, first. Then they are given a thousand pounds to use on improvements to their decor and property, so as to better appeal to the chosen buyers. The conclusion (which I often missed) showed which house the buyers (allegedly) had chosen.

What amazed me more than some of the decorative style (or lack of same) in "Selling Houses" - both before and after so-called improvements - were some of the house (and flat/apartment) prices! Yikes! Admittedly the locations were in the south of England's "leafy suburbia" or one of the outer London boroughs, rather than the more down to earth (and pocket) northerly towns and cities. How do people afford these prices - three hundred and thirty thousand pounds + in many cases for a 2 or 3 bedroomed house, and just short of half a million pounds for a not all that swish apartment in outer London! These are in pounds remember, add around a third to translate to dollars. Jaw hits floor. The buyers (always supposing they are genuine buyers and not actors posing for this show) were youngish - in their late 20s or thirties. The mind boggles at the thought of mortgage payments !

The other thing I found surprising was how potential buyers fixate on wall colour, decor items, pieces of furniture. The latter will disappear entirely when owners move out, and the former are easily changed. I can appreciate that, in some cases, new owners prefer to move in with "nothing to do", but I'd bet that happens only rarely. We all like to put our own marks on our homes, and a few pots of paint will not break the bank. Ever the cynic, I wonder, could everything possibly be faked and scripted especially for these shows?

Fake or genuine, I've always had a soft spot for these types of programmes - I guess it's the arty farty streak in me. Years ago, back in the UK, I enjoyed "Changing Rooms" a then popular series with a house decor theme. Its presenter, who was part of the show's appeal for me, was one Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. He got himself in hot water more than once with house owners due to his outlandish style of decor. It was good to see him again a few months ago, somewhat older and a tad less flamboyant not, in this case as a sleep aid, but in a series of shows we watched: "Hidden Houses of Wales" (Netflix again). The series featured some historic houses in Wales, houses still lived in as real homes. The shows investigated the history of these houses, with current owners interviewed by Laurence.

Anyway, back to the point of all these of these nights I'll be back in bed, sans sleep aid - we have no TV in the bedroom. I predict numerous visits to bed and mattress stores in our future!


Anonymous said...

Aromatase inhibitors often cause sleep disturbances and insomnia, and other side effects.

Anynomus said...

Retrograde mars transit of your sun keeping you awake?

Twilight said...

Anonymous 1

Yes, though I've been off AI prescribed for me for some weeks, due to adverse side effect. Once insomnia kicks in, though, it's hard to break the habit.

Anonymous 2

Retro Mars ? Could be - hadn't thought of that! :)

Jones said...

Are you aquarius? Because I am and I have sleepissues since weeks too. My horoscope on says, that the middle of the year ist the time, were I have to work out some problems. Well, I guess it is right. ;) Keep your head up, there will be better times again! :)

Twilight said...

Jones ~ Hi there! Yes, I have Sun in Aquarius. Thanks for your comment and the link. Some of my sleep problems originated in medication prescribed for me following surgery in March (early breast cancer - a lumpectomy - Pluto was then conjunct natal Mercury! Sun sign can tell us only so much). I've now changed medication - so that's one problem dealt with (I hope). Our mattress is the other baddy, something which is about to be remedied ! So though my sleeping isn't exactly back to normal, I'm managing better, but still on recliner with TV as sleep aid! I hope you are doing better sleep-wise too.