Day by Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On houses

Found this post at Sippican Cottage via BabyTrollBlog, and I have to say I agree with this guy 100%.

Everyone looks around and sees houses like this. They pass unremarked now. After a while, if it doesn't look like this, people are going to think a house looks strange. And it's wrong, wrong, wrong. The situations where a house nailed on the ass end of a garage are appropriate are so few there's no use talking about them. Never do this.

There's Postmodern evil afoot here. Everything is boiled down to a pastiche, and you put all these disconnected totems into a blender and put the mixed up parts on a concrete rectangle. It's making us all crazy in a very subtle but profound way.

There has been a concerted effort to dismantle all standards of right and wrong and beauty and truth. If ever truthiness was put into sticks and bricks, this house is it. When you rebel against standard things, sooner or later you run out of ways to be original, and all that is left is to do the exact opposite of good. It's the only permutation of new that's left to you after a while. The American house is becoming that perfect distillation of bad ideas. Everything exactly at cross-purposes with its stated purpose.
When the Ragin' Mrs. and I were house hunting, we found several houses in the $100k price range that just made us shake our heads. You can put all kinds of fancy add-ons to a bad house, and it's still a bad house. A house has to flow. We were looking at one house for $90k where every bedroom and the master bath were up a steep set of stairs that were a pain in the ass to climb. There were other houses where rooms seem to have been added on just so that the owner could say "Look, I've got a four bedroom house!" Yes, an extra bathroom is nice, but if it's tucked into a corner that you have to crawl through a maze to get through, then people won't use it. And the garage should NEVER, EVER be the focal point of the house.


Modern houses are ugly things. The cookie-cutter syndrome has taken over in suburbia, and it makes the Ragin' Mrs. and I vomit to see these legions of soul-less houses rise up everywhere we go. There are styles of American houses that have names - Saltbox. Victorian. Arts and Craft. Back when real craftsmen build real houses out of real wood, not pressboard walls covered in tarpaper and plastic siding. What would the modern home of today be called 100 years from now?

Cardboards? Generics? Blahs? Fall-aparts? Will the homes built today even last 100 years?

Fight back! Get soul back into the house you live in. You'll be happier for it.

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