We can probably all agree that there’s a big difference between a house and a home. A house is something you live in. A home is a house that has become intensely personal in the way you relate to it. But let us go one step further. Some homes eventually graduate to museum status. Then you have something altogether different.
We have all been in those sorts of homes. Heck, many of us can remember our grandparents treating their homes like art museums. It was hard to visit and feel comfortable at the same time. You were always afraid of touching or breaking something.
Here’s the thing: it’s easy for a house to graduate from home to museum without you noticing. It just sort of creeps up on you. If you are concerned you might be headed in that direction, early intervention is key. Here are five signs your home has graduated to museum status:
1. Decorative Hand Towels in the Bathrooms
Imagine visiting someone’s home and being directed, upon inquiring about the rest room, to not use the towels hanging by the sink. They are for decorative purposes only. The hand towel you’re supposed to use is hanging off the front of the vanity. That type of home has reached museum status. If you have decorative hand towels in your bathrooms, you might want to rethink your strategy.
2. Covers on the Furniture
Plastic furniture covers were all the rage back in the 1970s and early 80s. It wasn’t uncommon for people who owned leather furniture to throw covers on it. They had no intention of risking scuff marks or stains. The only problem was that nobody wanted to sit on the furniture. They were too afraid of upsetting someone. So what did they do? They sat on the floor.
Look, waterproof shoe covers are a great idea for keeping dirt and water off your dress shoes. Just ask the good people at Salt Lake City’s GC Tech. But your furniture is far different. It is meant to be used. If people won’t use it because you have it covered, your home may have already reached museum status.
3. Irreplaceable Artwork
Your home has definitely reached museum status if it is fully decorated with irreplaceable artwork. By definition, that artwork could just as easily be displayed in a museum. The fact that you display it in your home says something. From the paintings on your walls to the vases and lamps on the tables, irreplaceable artwork is a ‘look but don’t touch’ accoutrement.
4. Strict Rules for Guests
If your home has graduated to museum status, you probably have strict rules for your guests. One that immediately comes to mind directs how your guests can move kitchen chairs. Rather than sliding them out from the table, you insist they be picked up and moved without any direct contact with your hardwood floors.
5. Restricted Spaces for the Kids
An extension of the strict rules are restricted spaces for the kids. Your home may contain rooms that are strictly off-limits to anyone under the age of 18. Kids are only allowed to play in designated areas, and only with designated toys. You are not interested in the carelessness of childhood messing up your home.
By the way, none of this is to say that having a home more like a museum is a bad thing. It’s not. It is your home; you have the freedom to do anything you want with it. The only point is to warn you if you don’t want to go down that road.