<i></i>

I can't tell you exactly why it happened. But I know it started after I stumbled on a photo gallery while cruising the internet one day.

What kicked off with mild intrigue, a sort of “wow, I didn’t realise you could do it quite like that" – has become an almost-daily obsession. Sometimes I tell my boyfriend about it. Sometimes I think he actually wouldn’t understand.

There are whole weeks when I just go back at look at the same stuff. Over and over and over again. Other days I'm after something I’ve never seen before.

But no matter what, I always, always come away feeling a bit unsatisfied. Like, why can't I rely on my own thoughts and ideas? 

Yet, that doesn’t stop me tuning in the next day to look at more pictures. Maybe even take a video tour.

And so the cycle repeats.

I guess you could say I've been a regular visitor of home design blogs for more than a year now.

What began as an innocent interest in finding a new couch morphed into something way less benign.

At an intellectual level, I know there is nothing wrong with wanting a nice place to live in. And given the huge amount of mass-produced crap out there in the furniture/homewares world (that nevertheless has a non-budget price tag); it makes sense to seek inspiration from professionals and enthusiastic amateurs.

At first, it also seems gently savvy and alternative to seek out where the good “vintage” finds might be. And if you do find that “rare” vintage “piece,” to look at what kind of occasional chair or custom cushion cover might look good with that too.

In the same way as one might consult a recipe book. Or a dictionary.

But what a slippery dip that is. One minute you're browsing coat stands (because we really do need one of those). The next you're looking at Zachary and Becca's "evolving San Diego loft" and pondering a Scando-Japanese makeover of your own. 

Indeed, where home design blogs morph into something a bit more um, irrational, are the way they suck you in, Hoover style, with their just-so tableaux and perennially, breezily funky occupants.

Like: hey, I just picked up this one-of-a-kind rug on a stopover in Istanbul and threw it with the (organic) moose head I had mounted on the wall. And everything goes with an original Eames chair, yeah?

It is for this reason that I reckon home design publications are to 30-something women what fashion magazines are to teenage girls.

We know now that Kate Moss doesn’t really look like Kate Moss. She gets makeup, a stylist and a blow-dryist to help her along. And even then, they call in the airbrush team.  

So we don’t get stressy when we don’t look exactly like Kate Moss. And besides, we know the Moss is one in a million, or something close to that in statistics numbers. She’s called a supermodel for a reason.   

Why then, do I check out pictures of other people’s perfecto designed and immaculately curated homes and feel that weird piney feeling? Like, man, that $2,000 Italian vertical bookshelf would look so excellent at my house! And what an outré idea to have it in the toilet!

Why do I look at my own cobbled together abode and think, optimistically, that with a few whimsical bird silhouette paintings,  Diptyque candles and a 1950s sideboard, I too could rule the design world. To the point where someone would want to come and do a glowing photo essay of my home, comprised of quirky-yet-clean still lifes. (Of course, focussing mainly on my collection of boutique beer bottles, 1970s ceramics and the indoor sub-tropical plant wall.)

Why do I get so dazzled by pictures of people’s distressed industrial apartments, with the entire thing made up of exposed walls, exposed light fittings and custom spray paint murals from their successful artist friend Simon and reckon that would totally go in my totally suburban house?

And at the same time, lust seriously after a place that has a 19th century chandelier and views of the Paris skyline (because it is in Paris) and think: yes – this is a look that is achievable in Canberra in the year 2013.

It is the interior design-equivalent of believing I could get my hands on the Victoria’s Secret fantasy bra. And that in that improbable event, I would look just like Candice Swanepoel if I wore it.

Indeed, just as I’ve never seen a supermodel,  I have never actually seen a real life home that looks anything like the pictures on those blogs (sorry family and friends).

So, I know I know, it’s time I stopped trawling through the Nordic-inspired living rooms, modernist kitchens, hotel-style bathrooms and bedrooms whimsically jam-packed with rare Vintage pieces - and started on a home improvement that would actually make a positive difference to my “space”.

Like maybe doing some cleaning from time to time.