A Place To Hang Your Hat

Home shopping is generally said to take a few weeks or months, involving much traipsing and peeking and weighing of options, but really it's a lifelong process. Everywhere you go, from childhood onward, you're mentally filing away architectural preferences.

"Wow, check out the built-in bookcases around Evan's fireplace. I wish I had a bungalow. (Age 22)"

"Hey, look at what this vaulted ceiling does for the light here in Aunt Mary's Great Room... (Age 27)"

"Oh man, Mike's secret Nintendo coat-closet hideout is awesome! (Age 8)"

Then comes a day when you realize that you, yourself, could soon actually have a house of your own, and it changes your perspective significantly. The excitement spurs you to get more critical, to try editing the wishlist down to a manageable size. You start to face some harsh realities.

* Awesome Fireman's Pole = Massive Insurance Liability

* Secret passageways are kind of impractical unless your house is really big. You might save a little time with a shortcut to the kitchen via the crawlspace, but who wants to show up for breakfast covered in cobwebs?

* A five-story entryway, with assorted balcony overlooks dotting the soaring walls and a massive glass pyramid at the top, could feel a little cold and overwhelming and irritate the neighbors. An architect friend actually pointed that out to me a little while back, puncturing in one comment what had been my fantasy home for twenty years.

In the end, for Penny and me, the list came down to a couple of important factors, seemingly at odds with each other: I really want a view of the woods; she really wants a pool.

I picture a modest little place, contemporary in design, you know, but homey. Someplace that feels like a haven from the elements, but with an appreciation for its natural setting. You know, maybe like this one:

I could see us being happy there, even though I don't see a good spot for a pool. And Penny can appreciate that -- she's on board with the whole architectural masterpiece thing. She just wants enough room for her office, any children in the future, and the visiting mothers-in-law that are sure to follow. Mainly, though, she's all about the pool.

Her vision of our ideal home is a little different from mine.

And that looks pretty nice too. But even with only these two criteria, I can foresee us having some trouble locating a property in our price range.

(to be continued)


Anonymous said...

Alright, Frank Lloyd. Why not carve out a nice architectural feature from a normal house. Every house has SOMETHING cool to exploit. Penny's already got the harsh parameter on you, so... good luck, brother!

Anonymous said...

colin. this title would have been better for your zipper story. i'm just sayin'.

- kohn

Anonymous said...

Kohn! Dude!

Anonymous said...

What happened to the house on Heatherton Ct.? I liked that one...there were woods in the back. Your little chillins need some friends, you know. They might not find them in a secluded, wooded area. Just sayin'..