The Truth Behind Home Tours

Home Tour My Poppet Kitchen
I love flicking through the pages of glossy shelter mags and checking out home tours on sites like The Design Files and Apartment Therapy. I like to see how other people inhabit their homes, it says a lot about them, what they chose to surround themselves with. There is also a part of me that is a little voyeuristic, not in a creepy way (but maybe sometimes a little creepy – I’m the person that opens cupboards to snoop during real estate inspections).

Mostly the houses on show are beautifully designed, highly styled and tidy, which is the one thing my house never is – TIDY!

There is a lot of talk in the media about the how fashion magazines cause body image issues, but for me home mags give me house image issues. It’s not so much ‘house envy’ as it is ‘tidy envy’. Do people really live in such tidy spaces, and if so why can’t I?
My Poppet home tour TV room

So as you can imagine, seeing images of my tidy home on the internet has left me somewhat bemused and surprisingly, enlightened.

what’s in front of the camera is not real life, it’s just a moment captured in time.

Recently my newly renovated kitchen has been featured on The Room Illuminated where Kate did an amazing job of photographing the space, which is normally quite dark as it faces south, and made it look bright and airy.

Kate The Room Illuminated

Kate from The Room Illuminated photographs my kitchen

And this week you can see my full home tour and interview on Houzz, which is a pretty big deal in interior design and home renovating circles.

But here’s the thing, it took me several stressful days to get these rooms looking this tidy. You know all those clutter free surfaces on benches, sideboards and tables – they don’t usually look like that. The floor in my sewing room, haven’t seen it in months. I actually had to have a friend come and help me move my crap around just so I could get some decent shots.

Initially I felt a little disingenuous, but the reality is no one wants to see my piles of washing or dishes in the sink. I’ve likened it to dressing up and getting your hair done for a wedding, you need to look your best in those photos.
My Poppet lounge room
So the upside of this experience has made me realise that I shouldn’t have ‘tidy envy’ when I see pretty pictures of homes on Pinterest, because what’s in front of the camera is not real life, it’s just a moment captured in time. (At least for me) it’s a little moment of aspiration, to look back on to remind me of what my sewing room floor looks like under all that fabric and scraps of thread.

pretending that everyone is pretending makes me feel better.

I know there must be some super tidy and always styled homes out there, but pretending that everyone is pretending makes me feel better, so I’m going with it.

If you want to see my home looking all dolled up pop over to Houzz to read the feature At Home With … Cintia Gonzalez From My Poppet where you can leave a comment and be in the draw to win a $50 voucher from Little Circus Design.


  • Love it! As I look around my crazy messy household I definitely have to remind myself that your stunning pics are a “moment captured in time” and what a mighty fine moment it is! Love the renos Cintia, congrats on the feature on houzz and loving your bright and colourful space.

  • Letishia says:

    I really needed to hear this. I find myself getting depressed at how perfect all the Pinterest houses are and I can’t even seem to keep my lounge room tidy. In your post you say people don’t want to see your mess. You’re wrong! I do! I would love to see a real life shot of how someone with style like you actually lives day to day.

  • I have to say, that makes me feel so much better! I am exactly the same way, suffering from “tidy envy”! Our home is always ridiculously cluttered and I always wonder how people, especially when they have kids, manage to keep their homes so nice looking. I guess that most of the time they don’t! 🙂 Lisa

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