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Old 04-01-2015, 07:39 AM
 
12,117 posts, read 6,692,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
She had never thought of downsizing, the word would have been incomprehensible to her. She used to delight in saying we kids would have to deal with it all some day. Unfortunately, to this day I define my mother (partly) as a rather fearful, "fixed" woman who could not let go. I still see that house and all its heaviness in my dreams. If she had had a life outside her home all this would not have mattered so much, but she defined herself by her house. Sad.
Are you sure that didn't make her happy though?

I know my living environment is very important to me. It's my little retreat where no one can come in and tell me what to do, how to live, etc. I like being surrounded by stuff that is "me", not just trendy stuff from Home Goods. Some people like more of it or less of it but a house being a home and a reflection of one's personality is important to some people. It doesn't indicate the person doesn't have a life otherwise. I feel depressed when I see those modern sterile houses, it feels cold and impersonal, but if it makes someone feel better that is what they should have.

My mother was quirky and her house reflected it, but that's true to mom.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,379,395 times
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We are "boomers" that have lived in a 2 br condo for 35 years and expect to stay here until we die. Our problem is too much stuff we have kept that not only would the millenniums distain but we do not want either. Actually getting rid of the stuff is difficult because of a combination of nostalgia and inertia. Disposing of something with a lot of attached memories is harder than I thought it would.

Acquiring stuff is likelier than getting rid of it. One time on a neighborhood walk I acquired 50 lbs. of cast iron frying pans for $5. New value is over $150. How could I resist. I gave a couple away and still use the rest. I have a collection of civil and mechanical engineering texts from the last century. I will not likely use them so what should I do with them? A friend's son and the local library are the likeliest recipients.

Then there are the machine and auto repair tools.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:29 AM
 
491 posts, read 598,162 times
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Hackwriter, I think that too...I sure don't know anyone young or old who entertains as much as the clients on Property Brothers seem to think they do, lol.

One thing in my own family I think has changed is I lived close to my grandparents growing up. I remember being rocked when I skinned my knee on that rocking chair, or drank milk from that tin cup etc. Now most kids live a long way from their grandparents and see them maybe once or twice a year. Those things don't have any memories for them.

I am grateful(now) that my mom was a minimalist. When we cleaned out her apartment it took the 4 of us maybe three hours. That included taking a pickup of furniture to the auction and a load to goodwill and scrubbing everything down. We even had time to make lunch. There just wasn't much there, which is how she liked it. I find myself getting more and more like that as I age.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:52 AM
 
1,511 posts, read 1,551,961 times
Reputation: 3416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
If millennials are so intent on living in small spaces, I support that as I, too, live a fairly minimal life (one bed, one sofa, one dining table, etc.) in spite of being a baby boomer. But then who is it who buys all the McMansions (large houses on tiny lots) that STILL keep springing up everywhere, even since the mortgage crisis? Every one of the baby boomers I know is looking to downsize as their children have left home and they have no reason for a living room AND a family room, four+ bedrooms, and an equal number of bathrooms.

I think part of the explanation for your way of life is the word "urban." You want to live in the heart of a metro, which is something I find irresistible. BUT how many people, once they have children, stay in apartments/condos in city centers? Not all that many and if they do they would have to have very well-paying jobs.

Where I live, the new construction that seems to be the norm is (1) "luxury" apartment buildings. Meaning apartments that rent for an average of $1,000 and come with gyms, pools, outdoor exercise spaces, indoor rec rooms, media rooms, and coffee bars. The other type (2) is the single family home of 2,500 sq. ft. and up. Neither of those types of housing seem to be what downsizing baby boomers want. Those who can afford it might go for a 55+ active adult community, which is usually an exurb. But for those who don't like or can't afford that lifestyle, we're pretty much looking for housing better suited to newlyweds. And wherever that turns out to be, we won't have a ton of closet space to keep stuff the "greatest generation" pushed on us.

Personally, I think the buyers of the 2,500+ sq. fit. houses are Gen Xers and you, BATCAT, are just an atypical one of those.
I realize I'm atypical of my age group; that's why I mentioned that my wife and I (urban DINKs) live more like the sort of city-dwelling Millenials that the article focuses on than the X-ers we are.

The piece may not be the best journalism ever, but it does make it pretty clear that it's talking about Millenials living in the city in smaller spaces. I won't argue that a lot of people move outside the metro areas once they have kids (although here in Seattle, you see a lot of folks raising kids right in the city more and more) but again, I don't think this article is talking about families in three-bedroom houses in the suburbs. It's talking about people who choose to live in more compact spaces.

As an aside, living in Seattle, I had to chuckle at what you posted out $1000/mo luxury apartments. That would be nice! $1275/mo in Seattle gets us a 1 bed bath with zero amenities in an old building. There is, to be sure, no pool!
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,236 posts, read 4,209,374 times
Reputation: 11627
Without reading any but the first post and the article, I have to say:

The young couple pictured are ugly beyond belief. They've made themselves ugly. He has a disgusting haircut. Her hair says "meth addict". His shirt is hideously unflattering. She needs some sort of undergarment beneath that shapeless teeshirt. But they are strictly CONFORMING to what people like that have been taught they are supposed to want to look like. So, they choose hair and clothes for their Conformity Value, rather than choosing what will make them attractive. Most people, of every generation, are like this.

Their apartment is hardly "free from clutter". It's simply filled with modernistic stuff - which, I assume, they have been told is "not clutter". I see plenty of clutter. I see MOSTLY clutter. Judging from their long torsos and enviably narrow hips, I'm thinking that they're from peasant stock, and their home reflects the heritable nothingness inside their heads. This "look", in the way they have furnished their bleak-but-cluttered home, strictly CONFORMS to what people like that have been taught they're SUPPOSED TO HAVE AND WANT.

In any event, considering that most people's possessions are low-end, mass-produced, badly-designed garbage, prone to going out of style, I am hardly surprised that one generation finds itself unable to interest the next generation in its furnishings. Things of that calibre are typically out-of-fashion within one third, or one quarter, of the original buyers' lifetimes. So, why would ANOTHER generation be interested? These things are probably already past their expiration date.

I've seen too many "inherited estates" (all Mom's & Dyaaaaaaaaaad's stuff) which consisted of absolutely nothing but ugly china (in my native Mississippi, the Rednecks all had the 'tasteful' white china with a "simple platinum band", and the equally bleak and shapeless crystal with the "coordinating platinum band". I don't know any 'normal' people here, though, and have no idea what "The Good China" looks like in Oregon.), ugly furniture from department stores, ugly pictures in cheap-looking frames, and "accessories" bought to coordinate with the stylistically-vague furniture. The china and crystal had cost plenty, when bought from jewelry stores, at top-Dollar. The furniture had been "the best!" - only it was "the best" some rather ordinary store was selling. The pictures were what ordinary people bought, because they were supposed to. Likewise with the predictable accessories. These things ALL came to be associated with ordinary people of a certain era.

A designer who's the genius behind shaping the rather transcendent little town we left behind, when we finally fled the South, says, "Women will tell you they want something "DIFFERENT!". But to them, "DIFFERENT!" only means "Different from what MAMA had". It does not mean 'different' from what their friends have. In fact, these women want EXACTLY what their friends have."

I have a friend from a wealthy Semitic Gentile immigrant family. He married a woman from a formerly-Jewish (they wanted the daughters to be debs/Chi Omegas/league ladies, and becoming Episcopalians was the quick/cheap/easy way "in") family of exactly his socioeconomic standing (new-rich social climbers/family fortunes founded around 1910 - but from good families in "The Old Country"). Families like that, with serious social aspirations, bought 'Licensed Williamsburg Reproductions' from Baker Furniture. It legitimized them, at least among the other new-rich (Funny, but the genuine WASP aristos I know become absolutely nauseated by the reproductions of the furniture that their own American ancestors had in the Eighteenth Century. Same with houses. "Oh! That is so DOCTOR'S WIFE COLONIAL I want to VOMIT." - and instead, seem to love things from 1870-1929) So, new-rich my friend and his debutante wife filled their home with 'Baker Williamsburg'. His parents and her parents had hulking "Colonial Homes" filled with 'Baker Williamsburg'. My friend's generation has inherited all of the parents' Williamsburg, on top of their own Williamsburg.

The twentysomethings of the family, however (all of them downwardly-mobile, to a degree), are completely disinterested in all that 'Baker Williamsburg'. So, my friend, downsizing, ready to move cross-continent, decided to list a few pieces. He assumed all that used furniture was worthless, since it was used. He started with a bed. When a young husband/wife pair of attorneys showed up at the door within the hour, with greedy, excited looks on their faces, he realized maybe he'd asked too little. He looked up the prices for the rest of the stuff, and realized the pieces were still being made, and used examples command high prices. But note that his disinterested young relations are moving DOWN in the world, while the very interested buyers of the furniture are moving UP in the world. It's about individuals choosing what's appropriate for them.

A whole new generation of new-rich WASPS (and WASP-wannabes) are "going Colonial", and buying Georgian furniture, commissioning Georgian houses, legitimizing themselves...

Nobody is going to legitimize himself/herself, though, with stylistically-vague mass-market furniture, bought through middle class venues, a quarter-century back. Most of it will NEVER "be back in style!" - ever. Leather sofa sectionals are not "collectible". Someone expected otherwise?

The aristos I know treasure the Victorian pieces that have been in their families, as well as all sorts of offbeat things passed around in their families. But, they have bigger/better brains, with more elasticity and a natural ability to process and appreciate visual complexity. So did their ancestors, who chose those pieces, those paintings; those books; that china with the beautiful flowers, which the necks saw as being "too much!"; the florid silverware the rednecks considered "too ornate!"...

Lesser people are more conformist, less elastic, more rigid and dogmatic in their thinking, less adaptable. And the abrupt stylistic changes their families undergo, from one generation to the next, offer material testament to their cognitive limitations.

____________

(In case you're wondering, my background is 'worse-than-the-worst', and I'm not white. But our Decorator has been with us since we were all penniless freshmen at a podunk university in the Middle-of-Nowhere. He and our Ad Man have been guiding us aesthetically, for our entire adult lives.)
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,217 posts, read 8,302,227 times
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I would KILL for my mother's Henredon sectional from the 1960s!!
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,302,495 times
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Perhaps OT, but we're not all downsizing like the world asumes.......

Baby Boomers Aren


We're going to place twice the size of our current abode, to be able to 'absorb' my mom when she can't live alone. We are going to have a blast furnishing the place.

Millenialls don't want my stuff? Heck, I don't want most of it and I'm not taking it with me.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:27 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,302,495 times
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LOL herons! I can't wait to haunt the consignment stores and auction houses in Palm Beach county!

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Old 04-01-2015, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Maritime Northwest, WA
84 posts, read 118,751 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
Without reading any but the first post and the article, I have to say:

The young couple pictured are ugly beyond belief. [...]

Judging from their long torsos and enviably narrow hips, I'm thinking that they're from peasant stock, and their home reflects the heritable nothingness inside their heads. This "look", in the way they have furnished their bleak-but-cluttered home, strictly CONFORMS to what people like that have been taught they're SUPPOSED TO HAVE AND WANT. [...]

The aristos I know treasure the Victorian pieces that have been in their families, as well as all sorts of offbeat things passed around in their families. But, they have bigger/better brains, with more elasticity and a natural ability to process and appreciate visual complexity. So did their ancestors, who chose those pieces, those paintings; those books; that china with the beautiful flowers, which the necks saw as being "too much!"; the florid silverware the rednecks considered "too ornate!"...

Lesser people are more conformist, less elastic, more rigid and dogmatic in their thinking, less adaptable. And the abrupt stylistic changes their families undergo, from one generation to the next, offer material testament to their cognitive limitations.
. . . WOW.

I can't decide if this is a Poe or not. I'm impressed, in a way.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,546,296 times
Reputation: 16771
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Are you sure that didn't make her happy though?

I know my living environment is very important to me. It's my little retreat where no one can come in and tell me what to do, how to live, etc. I like being surrounded by stuff that is "me", not just trendy stuff from Home Goods. Some people like more of it or less of it but a house being a home and a reflection of one's personality is important to some people. It doesn't indicate the person doesn't have a life otherwise. I feel depressed when I see those modern sterile houses, it feels cold and impersonal, but if it makes someone feel better that is what they should have.

My mother was quirky and her house reflected it, but that's true to mom.
My dad sold most of the furnature after mom died, but I got all the keepsakes. It hurt more than I can describe when I was unable to keep them. I'd like a few pieces of Mom and Grandma around. But since I went back to single I tried to make my houses comfortable and bright, but still use dark colors since I like them. I'm not a minimalist and I like 'stuff'.

The current/last one is special since I picked it out all by myself off the internet and have done a lot of work inside. It's painted dark blue and with black trim, which some would say is 'too dark' but I like it. Its still a work in progress. But its a small house and I didn't have much furnature wise to bring with me. Fitting a regular sized couch in the living room didn't work.

So I bought a saw and sander and paint and have MADE my own. The computer desk is large enough for the computer but not overly large and can be moved. I made room in it for a large keyboard too. I put up shelves from scrach. I made the couch and ottoman, and all of the the stuff I made stores things inside. The coffee table is waiting for warm and dry to finish but it does too. I've still got other projects, but I LOVE that the stuff in my house is all mine. And I have art I'm going to put up, and my stuffed animals sit in the living room. I'd love to have little things sitting around but the cats would end up making rubble of them, alas. Mostly they leave the stuff critters alone but for the one who grooms them.

I decided I needed to make this MINE, and so I have shelves for my books (hardbacks, not paper) and all my sound stuff (living room has beautiful acustics) and have decided I can't look back.

It's interesting there are all these shows which turn out cookie cutter origionals for couple who 'must have open flow' and so on, and they look so sterile they look like movie sets. And then there are the shows about people who search 'junk' for funky things which they sell for nice prices for the rest who like a house to have a real personality. They wouldn't be in buisness and on tv if plenty others don't want to decorate with rusty character and eshew the model home look forever.

Last edited by nightbird47; 04-01-2015 at 01:15 PM..
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