being better than ‘real estate beige’

Just one of the many things that I find fascinating about real estate is that once upon a time, some super helpful loud mouth realtor out there told someone that their place would be more appealing if they painted everything this (horrible) ‘neutral’ shade of gross tan beige color – also known as ‘real estate beige’. Because it’s ‘neutral’ and you want your place to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.

I’m not really sure I agree with the idea that any space (or anything) can appeal to everyone. Or that a coat of bad beige paint is going to be ‘the thing’ that transforms a space. Actually I’m 100% certain both are impossible.

Just for fun I spent five minutes browsing current real estate listings and easily found a couple of great examples of ‘real estate beige’.

real estate beige

Oh shoot, I almost just fell asleep I was so bored and uninspired… sorry, I’m back now.

And, to prove my point about the rest of the space being just as relevant and impactful, here’s this gem I came across – a coat of paint is not what this room needs most.

living room 1

If you aren’t creative, or a designer, or if you just have bad taste in furniture – please, just hire a professional to help you bring your space to life. You’ll be happy you did. You are worth investing in your space… in yourself. And if you don’t care what your place looks like and you love your horrible taste – then own that shit and celebrate the ugly furniture owning bad ass that you are. Really go for it, all the way – that is amazing. Maybe that’s what’s happening in that last image, yes, must be.

But really what I keep thinking every time I ruminate over ‘real estate beige’ – it happens from time to time – is that it seems like that advice caught on like wildfire and spread, to become this desire to be appealing to everyone all the time in general… not just in your house but in our whole lives. Twisting and maneuvering who we are, what we say, how we dress, almost everything, to have everyone like us and approve of us. But what is the cost of trying to please and get approval from everyone else?

The real question is, is what you are doing, creating, who you are becoming, transforming yourself to be, a real reflection of yourself, what you love and what inspires you, really all the way, or are you maybe holding back to keep others happy, or trying to anticipate what they will like and get their approval and validation?  When you look around, and inside yourself, are you super excited, inspired… or do you have everyone’s approval but just feel kind of bored, uninspired, and like taking a nap?

One of the biggest fears I face over and over as I move forward in pursuit of my own big dreams is that I will do or say something wrong and somehow mess everything up, that I will do something and people won’t like it – they won’t like me. I know it sounds crazy and is completely irrational, but fear is often irrational, it’s a total jerkface for sure. Similar to what I was writing about in my ‘being nice’ post, hesitating and staying ‘fitting in’ can feel safer… it’s familiar. But if something isn’t really ‘you’, you can’t really love it, and you might not be sad but I’m pretty sure you can’t ever really be super fulfilled-can’t-get-enough-bursting-at-the-seams happy, and who wants to settle for that? Who really wants anything that isn’t the real us. You can’t simultaneously be tuning all the way into what’s really you, and also be making decisions about yourself anticipating what others want and will like. It’s impossible. I promise.

One thing I really love is that these days pretty much anything goes, in all areas of life, and there’s a lot more acceptance, celebration even, of everyone’s uniqueness. Going for what you want even if it’s so far out in left field it doesn’t make sense to anyone but you is rewarded and admired. What I’ve noticed in my own life is that the more I move to a place of finding what makes me feel awesome, without ‘caring’ what others think, or if they will approve, the more validated I actually am by others. Magically, connecting with your own energy and rocking your own way of doing things and feeling good about it looks and feels good to other people too. Making that shift can really be scary, definitely, and there’s nothing wrong with that, take that jerkface feeling of fear as a big acknowledgment that you’re moving in the right direction… your direction.

It takes courage to put yourself out there without holding back… but it beats living a life of nothing but ‘real estate beige’, hands down.

And just so that I don’t leave you with that traumatizing image of a bad living room (that person is not living in their true energy, trust me) – here are some inspiring design images that I really love from professionals who are really following their path and are being rewarded big time. Enjoy.

creative inspiration

From top to bottom (one designer per row) // Kara Mann // SHoP // Parts and Labor Design // Kelly Wearstler // David Adjaye // Jonathon Adler

One Comment

  1. Real Estate Coaching

    I like the effort you have put in this story – thank you for all the great stories!

    http://www.inman.com/2014/12/18/tim-harris-we-are-all-in-this-industry-to-be-of-service-to-others/ Tim Harris: ‘We are all in real estate to be of service to others’

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