Have you ever done one of the "Tour of Homes" things? They go by other names too. I know I've heard it called the "Parade of Homes". There are probably other names too. They are all the same thing regardless of what they are called.
Tim and I went to the above one last Saturday. We always enjoy touring model homes and these were very newly built. So new in fact, that one model didn't even have time to get any of their interior doors in place. No worries, I know what doors look like. I can imagine them.
Now when you think about it, every house is pretty much the same. Floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors. Kitchen, living/family room, bedroom, bathroom. That's a house. A Box with dividers in it. And maybe that's why I am constantly amazed at the enormous number of different ways to put those boxes together. It seems to be infinite variations.
Despite those zillion or different ways of creating what is effectively the same thing, there are some things that never change. For instance, brand newly built homes always have the same smell. It's all the New everything. Saw dust and wallboard, paint and grout, Polyurethane and PVC adhesive.....it's unpleasant. And it's the first thing that smacks me in the face as soon as we walk through the door. But unavoidable I suppose. It's just an observation, not a criticism.
The vast majority of the time, everything always looks lovely though. These homes are decorated so beautifully that each room is like an art installation. Each piece of furniture, every fabric selection, the colours and even the tchotchkes are perfectly suited to each room and to each home. I marvel at the talent of the decorators of these houses; their creativity, their vision. To be able to walk into an blank, empty space and immediately see the finished product in their minds is incredible to me. And then to bring that vision to life is a whole giant step further down a mystery road to me.
I will admit that occasionally, when I don't care for the decorators taste, it's hard for me to see past it. I'm not saying that the decorator had bad taste. Not at all. I'm just saying that it just doens't appeal to me. I just don't share their vision.
I like rooms to be light and bright and happy places. And occasionally we walk into a house that is darker and more closed and somber and so sleek and minimalist that it feels cold to me. It does not say, "Welcome Sam!"
I know that some people really like that style. I am just not any of those people. And that's fine. It's just decor. It's not the bones of the house. And Tim urges me to see past the stark greys and blank surfaces, to admire the lines of the room, the flow of the house. I find myself distracted by how the decor makes me feel instead.
Or the decorator has gone the other way and it's just too much. Too frou-frou. Too Girlie. Just too much! Then I feel like I"m suffocating, I'm crowded by the sheer amount of stuff in the room. Yikes! Bows and lace and pink coming at me from every direction!!! We once walked into a master suite that was so ridiculously over cute that even Tim burst out laughing. And once again, it's distracting.
But most of the time, the decor is perfect and each home is different and interesting and it's about how the home will work for you, the individual. Does it speak to you? Would it serve the purposes of your family, your needs, your taste?
Tim and I find that, a lot of the time, we like the kitchen of one house, the master suite of this other house, the patio of yet another and the laundry room of a different one. And even when it's a room we really like, there are usually things we would want to change. Yes we do that. We have those conversations while walking through the home. We are shameless. But honest! We say things like: "It's a nice room. I like the workspace, it has plenty of storage, but there are no windows! I always prefer to have natural light in every room" And then Tim points out that the room is on an outside wall and a window can be put in. Like that. Yes we do that sort of thing. Throughout the entire walkthrough of each model. In every room. Often.
If we had endless buckets of money, at this point, we probably know exactly what we want and could tell an architect exactly, precisely what we want in a custom built house, right down to the placement of windows and arrangement of shelves in a pantry. Ahh it's fun to dream.
I'm not certain how many more possible variations on the theme of box with dividers there are left for us to see but we will probably keep going for the ideas, the entertainment and to admire other people's creations. It's sort of like an art gallery. Kind of.
And when there is another Tour of Homes or Parade of Homes, I'm sure we will go to that one too. And some of them we will like, and some we won't, and we will talk about it all the way home.
Clearly we are easily amused.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.