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Solutions: House has something you can be thankful for

Jeanine Matlow

Many of us have felt the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence at one time or another, especially where our homes are concerned. It’s easy to admire someone else’s scenario while downplaying our own.

A recent guest at my house appreciated the unique features like the high ceilings, the view of the pond, the open layout and so on. When she said she was envious of these details, I realized I had been coveting the highlights of her home.

For starters, her remodeled kitchen was a far cry from my own that was constructed in the late 1980s, a decade that is not likely to take the design world by storm anytime soon. I was also smitten with her spacious laundry room and her big backyard with a play structure that would make my daughter swoon.

Because I’m often invited into other people’s homes, I’ve seen many ideas that I’d like to take with me when I leave.

Still, when I find myself in “the grass is always greener” mode, I remember that we should also be careful what we wish for.

I’ve gone from wanting a bigger house to acknowledging that I can barely take care of my own. The last thing I want to take on at this point is more upkeep.

We went to a party a few years ago at an impressive house with a home theater. I couldn’t find my daughter or my husband because they were glued to that room.

After a brief moment of suffering from “the grass is always greener” syndrome, I knew that I would rarely see them if we had a home theater because they would camp out there.

Another time, my daughter was lucky enough to go swimming on New Year’s Eve because our friends have an indoor pool at their ultimate entertaining pad that features fun activities for all ages.

No matter what the temptation, in my heart, I know that we chose condo living for a reason. We are not fixer uppers, do-it-yourselfers or maintainers in any way, shape or form.

So, an indoor pool, while amazing in theory, would not be the best choice for us at this time.

The best part about seeing homes that are filled with inspiration is that we can enjoy them on occasion before returning to our own familiar environment.

That’s where we can relax and reflect upon what’s within our own four walls that brings us comfort and joy.

After Thanksgiving has come and gone along with much of the turkey and trimmings, we can still keep our gratitude in mind. In many cases, our homes will be near the top of the list.

One of the features I’m especially grateful for right now is our garage. It may not be as glamorous as a new kitchen or as luxurious as a home theater or an indoor pool, but it sure comes in handy when winter hits ahead of schedule.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at