I’ve been a rather practical person. When I was in college, I was teased that if they wanted to show a prospective student what a dorm room looked like, they could show mine because I hadn’t done anything with it. One year I did paint the walls. I never hung pictures. I was there to study.
However, beauty is important. In fact, when investing in real estate, beauty is the most important factor. In my book, From Paint Rags to Riches, I distinguish between utility value and aesthetic value. The utility value of a residence is keeping you comfortable and safe. The aesthetic value is how the home makes you feel. A view of the ocean or a mountain will make you feel differently than a view of a street. Many people are willing to pay more for that view – often a lot more. You may have seen home advertisements that say “million dollar view.”
Trim is another factor in a home that can make a huge difference. When you walk into a home without baseboard trim, you might not notice that it is missing. If you walk in again after it is added, you will feel different and realize that something has changed, even if you can’t put your finger on it.
Another example is adding featured images to these blog posts. I started without them. I like a clean look. Then I added a few images. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Now I’m editing all posts to have a featured image.
Think about artists and musicians. The top performers are some of the most highly paid workers in the world. I once heard of a carpenter who was being paid $50,000/week to restore an historic home. He used hand tools to carve the trim and match what had been done over 100 years ago. He was being paid for his artistry.
What about how you look? We like to be around people who are attractively dressed and happy. They bring beauty into our lives. If you dress up – even just a little – people will notice. Where I live, few men wear ties and jackets. For a year, I wore a tie and jacket to work every day. I was stopped on the street a couple of times a week and told how great I looked. To continue the experiment, I stopped wearing the tie and jacket and went to a mock turtle neck and sweater. I looked nice but I was no longer being stopped on the street. Now I’m back to jacket and tie.
Think about how you can add beauty to your life. How can you make your home different so that you feel happier and more inspired? What about work? Add more beauty to your life and help others do the same.