Last week, Tess posted about mooching off neighbors' holiday cheer, and a few weeks ago, Jenny from Little Green Notebook wrote about getting inspiration for her new chandelier from a neighbor's lilac beauty. And I'm certain that they aren't alone in their curiosity; I'll be the first to admit that I've gotten plenty of ideas just by paying attention to the homes of others while I walk or ride my bike around the neighborhood.
Since I've started writing for Apartment Therapy, I've thought a lot about the acceptable limits of voyeurism. Some people would probably find it strange to look into other people's homes, but for me, I think it's an entirely natural impulse to take in one's surroundings and to be curious about the ways that other people live. I would never advocate intrusive or prolonged snooping, but the split second that it takes to glance at curtains or a striking paint job can be truly eye-opening.
To my mind, when you pay attention to homes in your neighborhood, it really gives you a sense of how the community lives. Each city or town has a distinct look, color palette, or approach to life, and in many places, these can even vary radically by neighborhood. While playing a bit of "quick open house" certainly feeds my curiosity and love of interiors, I also like to think that it gives me a better feel for how my style and home fit into their surroundings. Furthermore, given that I live in an area where many apartments share significant architectural features, it's really helped me think about my home within a particular context, as well as to realize just how diverse the spaces within that context can be, despite a lot of architectural similarity.
Do you share this tendency to peek into windows (in a non-creepy way, of course), and if so, have you gotten ideas from it, or is it just a means of satisfying curiosity?
(Image: Carolyn Purnell)