PDA

View Full Version : How important is it for you to live in a nice house/neighbourhood ?



Maciamo
06-01-07, 12:32
I took it for granted that everybody wished to live in a nice house within a nice neighbourthood, because I thought that everybody craved beauty.

But I had a discussion about this with some people, and I was surprised to find out that quite a few people actually do not give a damn about the esthetics of their daily surrounding. This changes my way of understanding people, because as I thought that the search for beauty was universal among human beings, I also thought that people who lived in ugly places either had no taste/sense or were really too poored or lazy to try to improve them.

I still do not understand why some people 'cannot care'. Personally, it makes me sick and depressed to see ugly houses (the exterior as much as the interior). All I want to do is bulldozed them and rebuild something more beautiful. I have often wished that I (or someone else, or an assocaition) would have enough money to rebuild a city like Rome in its heydays.

Restoring beautiful, but rundown neighbourhood would be one of the first thing I would do if I won, say 100 million euro at the lottery. Naturally it is not wasted money as a restored house can be sold for more afterwards.

Another vital thing is harmony. I have seen neighbourhood with nice houses, but built in such different styles that it was disturbing.

One of the top 5 reasons for which I couldn't stay longer than a few years in Japan was that the city architecture was too ugly, and the urban planning was disastrous (I also couldn't help complaining about it on a nearly daily basis). For me, a nice environment is as essential as eating good food or feeling secure. I would happily trade my voting right (even my citizenship), or the cosiness of my house if it was to make it more pleasing for the eyes. I can live with few friends, but I couldn't live in a world without beauty (I din't know how the Japanese manage to survive, psychologically).

I realised how irritating and depressing it was for me to live in an ugly city or neighbourhood. On the contrary, it cheers me up when I see a masterpiece of architecture, which is partly why I like travelling so much. I can be in a state of ecstasy just by standing in front of some majestic (neo)classical monuments.

This is partly why I feel so strongly about punishing vandals (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24112), especially those who disfigure beautiful historic building with graffiti. For me vandalism against a beautiful historic building feels as painful as being kicked or punched by someone. Destroying completely such a building would feel like being beaten by a gang of thugs.

I knew that I felt a bit stronger than average about the beauty of architecture or sculpure, but it really baffled me that some people with enough financial means would deliberately choose to live in an ugly house and neighbourhood.

I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I am too "visual", because I feel less strongly about painting. Maybe it has to be 3-dimensional (the more sculptures and mouldings the better), built with "noble materials" (I hate concrete), and on a scale big enough to fill one's field of vision.

Nevertheless, I am certainly more visual than sensual, as I hate massages and don't care much about a confortable sofa or chair. I am pretty auditory too, as I can also feel in complete ecstasy with classical music (none else), but I guess that feeling strongly about music (type varying according to the personality) is fairly universal - or am I mistaken again ? Yet I do not miss music when it isn't there, while I would always miss beautiful architecture and decoration.


How do you feel about this ?

gaijinalways
06-01-07, 19:50
Funny, something my wife doesn't understand is that I like simpler environments to live in, but yes it is nice to see architecture that doesn't simply follow the 'box' style. But also, people do have to consider what is affordable. How important is it? Hard to say, as I don't think about it a lot. recently I rarely listen to music, yet I also like to travel for architecture, yet I don't think about it at home so much. Though to be honest, that is another thing that makes me find Tokyo depressing.

Maciamo
07-01-07, 11:34
But also, people do have to consider what is affordable.
In Belgium at least, the price of a house depends much more on the "reputation" of its neighbourhood (status, population, quietness, greenery, convenience...) than on its looks. I explained here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24372) how contradictory I find that in Brussels the nicest historic houses are in the poorer/cheaper areas, because of immigrants.

gaijinalways
07-01-07, 12:57
That's interesting, so it should be easy to get a 'nice' looking house cheaply as long as you're not too worried about property values (or possibly crime).

Kinsao
11-01-07, 16:28
Hmmm, interesting! :cool:
I'm not knowledgeable about architecture but i don't think that's necessary in order to be somehow concerned about visual aspects of the environment where you live. But like you say, some more concerned than others on such things...
I suppose it depends partly on how much time you spend at home... for instance i don't spend much time at home, and when i do it's normally in concentrated pursuits such as practicin music, so i don't visually notice much about the 'view from the window' so to speak. Personally the environment around me matters a lot to me, but i guess to some ppl in my situation it's not so important, for instance if they spend a lot of time at work, their working surroundings would be more important to them maybe.

I like to live in a house that has big and/or many windows so that i can get plenty of light and a good feel about what's going on outside - regardless of how beautiful or ugly that external environment is. The light is kinda understandable because i believe that sunlight is good for you isn't it? i mean in production of vitamin D and possibly helping with depression (or is that all just an urban myth? i don't think so though...). Anyway i know i feel better under lots of light, so windows = good for me. :) About being able to see easily outside, well i also like to live in a busy area where i can see many ppl passing by, stuff going on etc. I think this has something to do with living alone; i feel less isolated when i can see the world go by. :-)

Also me neither i don't like concrete buildings, it just isn't nice to look at imo. >.< I don't like to have a plain wall built up right near my window, and also i like to be able to see some plants/trees somewhere in the view. :-)

I am lucky enough to live in a neighbourhood with imo nice buildings... the actual place where i live it's mostly victorian terraces, they are not really anything special but quite harmonious, also they have tiny front gardens and ppl do their own thing at the front so when i'm walking down the street i can see different styles in the little gardens ^^"... and in the other direction it becomes posher, the houses are bigger (although made into flats most of em are now), and more individual with different architectural features like little balconies with different shaped pillar-thingies (dunno how they are called >.<) and decorations and that... pretty cool imo (would love to live in one of those flats with a little balcony but the one-bedrooms have rent about twice as much as my house! O_O).

Also in my neighbourhood is a park and although it is quite borin in the sense of not much there it is really good at the same time because i can get to see grass and trees every day. :)

In addition there are lots of little shops in my neighbourhood which is really great for me as i don't have a car, i can do all my 'essentials' shopping in my area. Plus, my area is not a 'bad' area so ppl feel safe to come and visit me. :)

All these things add up together to make me like my neighbourhood... ^_^... although i really like the architecture around here it is also the combination of other things... mainly the busyness and convenience of it.

Places i would hate to live include: bungalow - i really don't like the feeling of being all on one floor for some reason, guess it's gonna suck when i get old >.< I don't know why i feel like that cos neither set of grandparents had a bungalow, and always it was holiday cottage (so good memories attached to em ^^"), just i don't like them. >.< On the contrary, i really love flats on 2nd (in America 3rd) floor and higher... the higher the better... i just love the feeling of being high up especially if there are also big windows. :blush:

I'd also hate to live in a quiet cul-de-sac... i'd get to feelin isolated and depressed... used to live in an area like that (my first ever flat) and didn't like it >.<

Maciamo
11-01-07, 19:24
I suppose it depends partly on how much time you spend at home...

Personally, it doesn't matter. I see my house as an extension of my personality. I want to be proud of how it looks like, as much inside as outside. Some people are obsessed about tying up and making everything impeccably clean when they receive guests in their house. I am to some extent too, but I would be much more ashamed of living in a well-tidied house that is not beautiful and in a less tidied one that surprises by its beauty.


for instance i don't spend much time at home, and when i do it's normally in concentrated pursuits such as practicin music, so i don't visually notice much about the 'view from the window' so to speak.

It obviously depends whether you live in a city, with view on other buildings, or in the countryside with no neighbours within hundreds of metres. I grew up accustomed to the latter, which may be why I care about the exterior of my own house, as I had plenty of opportunities to walk around it and see on from every possible angle.


I like to live in a house that has big and/or many windows so that i can get plenty of light and a good feel about what's going on outside - regardless of how beautiful or ugly that external environment is. The light is kinda understandable because i believe that sunlight is good for you isn't it? i mean in production of vitamin D and possibly helping with depression (or is that all just an urban myth? i don't think so though...).

Light is important against depression, but that would only be important to have a lot of it in your house if you don't go out very much. As for vitamin D, I don't think the body generates it from indoor light as the UV rays needed to cause the metabolism in the skin do not pass through glass windows (which why, indcidentally, you cannot get suntanned or sunburned through a window).


In addition there are lots of little shops in my neighbourhood which is really great for me as i don't have a car, i can do all my 'essentials' shopping in my area. Plus, my area is not a 'bad' area so ppl feel safe to come and visit me.

Recently, with supermarkets' online shopping and home delivery, it may be less important to live at proximity from shops. The area's safety is nevertheless very important to me.


the actual place where i live it's mostly victorian terraces, they are not really anything special but quite harmonious, also they have tiny front gardens and ppl do their own thing at the front so when i'm walking down the street i can see different styles in the little gardens ^^".

This is excellent. Harmony in a neighbourhood is very important to me. Brussels has a lot of nice houses, but unfortunately lacks cruelly of harmony between styles and construction materials. For instance in the same street you will have a house late 1800's painted in white, followed by an art-deco house made of light coloured bricks, then an art-deco house of light brown bricks, then a late 1800's house painted in grey, then another one made of light brown stone, then one ugly concrete building, etc. Few streets have houses built all in the same style, same material and same colour. The further for the city centre and the worse it gets. It is particularily shocking when you compare Brussels to central Paris or many districts in central London, which have great urban planning that respect the harmony. Some Belgian cities are fairly harmonious (e.g. Namur (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/namur.shtml)), but not Brussels.

Kinsao
12-01-07, 00:46
Personally, it doesn't matter. I see my house as an extension of my personality. I want to be proud of how it looks like, as much inside as outside.

Ah yes, I'm with you. :) I was thinking more along the lines of 'the view for me when I look out... the surroundings I see from my house'. I guess the arrangements inside the house could almost be a whole new topic! :blush:


It obviously depends whether you live in a city, with view on other buildings, or in the countryside with no neighbours within hundreds of metres. I grew up accustomed to the latter, which may be why I care about the exterior of my own house, as I had plenty of opportunities to walk around it and see on from every possible angle.

I grew up in the country but now live in the city. It's true that an 'eyesore' type of building stands out a lot more prominently in a country setting. :auch: In the city, my current house, being part of a harmonious row, stands out not at all!


Light is important against depression, but that would only be important to have a lot of it in your house if you don't go out very much.

Ah, well maybe I'm thinking a bit from the 'artistic' point of view then; because I draw and paint, having good lighting is pretty important to me, and natural light is better than electric (and better than daylight-simulation bulbs, lol).

Also, regardless of how much time I spend in the house or not, I find that a room with plenty of light just feels better and nicer to me, as soon as I walk into it. :-)


Recently, with supermarkets' online shopping and home delivery, it may be less important to live at proximity from shops.

I agree with that from the practical side, but for me it is as much the 'social' element as anything else. I like the fact that the people in my local shops know me, talk to me, notice if I don't go in for a couple of weeks, that kind of thing. It makes me feel to some extent part of a community. Again, that's particularly important to me as I live alone. Of course, I go out with friends, but they don't live near to me. I like to feel some connection with the people who actually live around me, too. That helps to make the neighbourhood feel nicer. :-)

PhilSparks
04-02-16, 16:30
It is very important to live in a nice house/neighborhood. Very helpful post. Thanks for sharing.

LeBrok
04-02-16, 17:48
I still do not understand why some people 'cannot care'. Personally, it makes me sick and depressed to see ugly houses (the exterior as much as the interior). All I want to do is bulldozed them and rebuild something more beautiful. I'm sold on this one.


have often wished that I (or someone else, or an assocaition) would have enough money to rebuild a city like Rome in its heydays.

I thought it was my idea to rebuild all ancient structures from their ruins. Like this new Parthenon.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6092/6227488077_d1cb7de6de_b.jpg

Highlander
11-06-17, 14:11
I still do not understand why some people 'cannot care'. Personally, it makes me sick and depressed to see ugly houses (the exterior as much as the interior). All I want to do is bulldozed them and rebuild something more beautiful. I have often wished that I (or someone else, or an assocaition) would have enough money to rebuild a city like Rome in its heydays.

There was an old rundown house here. Monsterous, huge bay windows, gables, etc. Old Victorian-Gothic style. In its heyday, it would have been striking. The owners, being elderly, hadn't just fallen on hard times but due to their age could certainly not maintain it properly.

It was sold & bought up. The new owners bulldozed it, despite how it could have easily been repaired and returned to grandeur. I'd know. I went & viewed it myself what seeing as I have relatives in the construction business and upon their retirement my parents have taken to buying 'ugly' houses and flipping them.


What did the new owners build?

Something modern. Compared to the old structure the new one is uglier than a mud fence as the saying goes. But that modern idea sells because so many people think it 'very beautiful'.


My point? Beauty is subjective. I have lived in a number of countries. Have spent time in cities or areas in some cities which, due to knowing locals [I have been invited to a number of countries by friends & colleagues over the years], the average tourist would very likely find "ugly". Interesting, in a way, as a number of these "ugly" regions are often a reflection of reality and not all dolled up for said tourists. Some reservations in North America can be a good reflection of this - the pretty store fronts for tourists & beyond the cute facade well it an't so pretty anymore. A fault of their own? Not entirely.


As for your question about how important is it to be in a beautiful place? Not that important. I am far more interested in the people, the history, the culture, etc. than to find myself wondering if the mural in front of me was painted by a reborn Michelangelo or someone with a can of spray paint & too much time on his hands.

timetraveller
24-11-17, 15:52
I don't understand either. People prefer to go to a beautiful place to spend their holiday, to be surrounded by nature, scenery, etc, but why they don't appreciate their daily surroundings? I mean, I feel happy every day because my neighborhood has a nice style of architecture, flowers, garden, trees, but not the chaotic graffiti. But there are people prefer to see those painting, they call it "life"