In praise of unrenovated kitchens and overgrown gardens | Johanna Leggatt

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Our enthusiasm for turning where we live into display homes is making them soulless - and us boring

If you want a picture of marital misery, or perhaps you are a sadomasochist and wish to test the limits of your relationship, then grab your partner by the hand and head to a home hardware store or Ikea on the weekend.

You’ll find scores of like-minded types there. Walking about drearily like they’re in line for the gallows, bickering under their breath about paying through the nose for reclaimed river rocks, and rolling their eyes when one person suggests a Balinese-style gazebo (and fair enough, too).

Related: The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can't afford

Our gardens didn’t have water features or hedging, and no one competed for what estate agents like to dub 'kerb appeal'

Related: Every time I go to Bunnings I feel like I’ve left a little bit of my soul behind | Paul Daley

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