I SEE Home magazine was in my copy of The Weekly Times last week, which is all very nice but really, it makes me depressed.
There's always one of those beautiful, architect-designed houses on the front, with its stunning landscaped gardens and shimmering pool and a view to die for. I swoon at the clean lines, the uncluttered shiny surfaces and modern appliances.
I feel so inadequate when I look around my own house, which was built when Ned Kelly was in short pants. It's so old and run-down even the rats have moved out.
My husband can't understand what I'm complaining about. When I asked for a new kitchen, he said that if it was good enough for his mother, it's good enough for me.
What should I do?
Yes, I know what you mean. I lust after all those houses with their glamorous names like "The Monarch", "The Liberty" and "The Manhattan".
I call mine "The Rustic" and the look is sloping floors, cracked plaster, peeling paint and dead blowies on the window sill.
You are suffering from a common affliction called "chronic house envy" - sometimes know as "renovation rescue-itis" - which affects those who watch too many lifestyle TV shows or buy too many renovation and design magazines.
Symptoms include drooling at the first sign of a marble benchtop or glass splashback and palpitations on witnessing an outdoor kitchen, a lap pool, home theatre with surround sound or remote-controlled light dimmers.
The only time our lights dim is when the water-tank pump kicks in.
We've got an outdoor kitchen all right, but only because the dog keeps ripping a hole in the fly wire, which lets the flies in.
We've also got one of those mud rooms where you can take off and store your dirty boots - it's also called the lounge.
But look, try not to get sucked in.
All these places look lovely, but they are designed to make you feel dissatisfied so you will spend money on a facelift for your house. In the end, it's not so much a facelift as Botox.
Sure it looks good and makes you feel wonderful initially, but the effect is not lasting. Pretty soon, like the cracks and wrinkles that reappear on your face, the scratches, dents and scuff marks start to appear on your "whisper of snowfall" white walls.
The dogs make a bed out of your Laura Ashley cushions and the kids' skateboards make your polished floorboards look just like the ones in the woolshed.
So celebrate your old dump and think of it as a favourite cardigan - faded, moth-eaten and baggy, but it's still oh so comfy and cosy.