My Facebook feed has recently gotten very décor-heavy. Where it used to just be selfies with beer and pictures of cats, now I'm seeing a lot of DIY headboards, freshly hung curtains, and new bookshelves. All my friends collectively seem to be hitting the point in their lives where they care about what their homes look like.
For me, that shift happened when I was about 26, a couple years into my first post-grad-school apartment, when I realized I had no plans to move for a couple more years. I had a modicum of disposable income for the first time, and once I started browsing Apartment Therapy at work, I started to want my place to be reflective of my style and who I am as a person.
Before that, I didn't really care. There was a brief flicker of interest when I went to college and spent my first week at school creating a painstaking collage covering the entire wall on my side of my shared dorm room, but that effort took care of my decorating impulse for the next 10 years. When I moved to my first off-campus apartment, money was prohibitively tight and I had nobody to impress, so I just started making do with whatever furniture was around. (Imagine my surprise when, six months into my lease on one "furnished" off-campus apartment, a guy I didn't know showed up for the furniture he'd left behind three or four years earlier. Not wanting to pay to have the furniture removed, the landlord just started renting the place with the furniture in it.) That was how it was for most of my friends. Every once in a while I'd see a dorm where someone had picked up laundry or hung a picture, and I would be impressed.
For me, part of the change was about going into a longer-term place. I wouldn't be leaving in three to six months, so it made sense to unpack and try to create a space for myself. Once that happened, I found myself caring about curtains and framed pictures and what sort of a bedspread I would be, if I were a bedspread. I started to think of my apartment as part of a movie: if I were designing sets for a movie about the person I wanted to be, what would this space look like?
Once you start to care about décor, it's hard to stop. I don't think I could go back to that third-hand college sofa now, and not just because of the bedbugs.
When did you really start to care what your home looks like?