Last week I had an idea for writing a post about pretentiousness. Specifically, I was going to throw out the question "What is the most pretentious thing you've ever seen in someone's home?" First, however, I decided to take to the internets to see what people actually identified as pretentious decor these days. Before my search, I had visions of golden toilets dancing in my head. After....not so much. What I found were cardboard antlers, chandeliers in nurseries, and Noguchi coffee tables to name just a few.
Something about theses assessments didn't sit right, however, so I decided to start at the beginning, with the word itself. Google defines pretentious as "attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed." That suggests that pretentiousness doesn't necessarily come from the object itself but from the owner's attitude toward the object.
To illustrate: I know a couple who used to live in an exclusive neighborhood in a home they had remodeled. We visited them not long after the remodel was completed. The wife of the couple was excited to show me their new bathroom. "You," she said, "are going to LOVE this." She opened the door and said, "A bidet!" Now, I've never had anything against bidets, nor do I now, but at that moment, I thought, "How pretentious!" Of course it wasn't the bidet that was off-putting, it was her announcement of its existence like a Price is Right model presenting a showcase showdown.
To avoid the pretentious pitfall, we need to put peoples/bloggers opinions aside and furnish our homes with things--whether they be Noguchi coffee tables or bidets--that are important to us, that make us happy. We shouldn't furnish them with things we think others will be impressed by or love. Our love is quite enough.