Heritage Homes 2013

Last weekend was the homes tour of lore.  If you couldn’t guess by the title, this is part of a longstanding series.  Well, since 2007.  I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

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I went with my Mother-In-Law this year.  We pulled up to this house and I said, “Oh yay!  You don’t know how many times I’ve drove by this house in the dark trying to look in the windows.”  🙂  She gave me a suspicious look.  But it’s true.  You don’t even know this house is there until you pop over a little rise and see a massive chandelier glowing out of nowhere.  Naturally, you have to go back.

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The theme this year was mid-century modern.  Which is just another word for a whole lotta garage.  This was the funnest house, but like I said, you couldn’t even tell it was there.  However, once you walked inside the whole place opened up with white granite, floor to ceiling windows, vintage gold wallpaper, a five foot chandelier, the sleekest kitchen ever, and panoramic views.  Out front there was only the standard collection of misguided juniper bushes.

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From the street you couldn’t see a single window.  But once you were inside every room had a breathtaking view.  At least for being in the middle of town.  This was the view from the bedroom into the neighbor’s yard.  The views from living room looked over a ravine with a straight shot view into downtown.  The master bedroom had more private views of an inner courtyard.  We liked it.  And subsequently deeded it to Gayla.  First come, first served.

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Next on the list was the craziest house ever.  Even better, it was brined in green shag and perfectly preserved since 1960.  I remarked to Gayla that the husband must have been like her son.  “Okay, I’m going to build you your expensive house, but I’m only doing it once.  Don’t expect anything else, ever again.”  It even smelled original.  A man true to his word.

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The place was modeled after a nautilus with a long hall along it’s spine.  You can kind of see it on the aerial shot.  Inside the big octagonal living room there were two floating octagonal spaces, one for the dining room and one for the Steinway piano.  All swathed in the brightest green shag you would care to imagine.  And it wasn’t just the living room.  It was the whole house.  A sea of green.  All pulled together by acres of the most shocking wall paper, built-in planters, and octagonal sky lights.

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In the end we decided there was only one person we knew who could handle the excitement.  Aunt Becca, it’s all yours.  😉

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It even had a pool.  How’s that for green shag compensation?

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The next house was a rather modest rancher.  The people who lived there were trying to bring everything back to period.  They had pictures of the brass light fixtures, faux Georgian dining table, and Navajo printed couches of the previous owners – laid out on the counters like evidence from a crime scene.  A little bit of public education, “If you do this, please stop.”  They had made a point to bring in all mid-century furniture, the original wool shag cleaned up like new, they found vintage light fixtures and seemed like they meant business.  My favorite were the floating bunk beds you could see hovering at the end of the hall.  Kind of like this, but with some nice space age lines.  Anyways, I put Violet in this house.  It has that nice modern simplicity that I think she would appreciate.

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As for me, I’m taking this one.  It needs me.  It looks like the perfect home for the perfect family on the outside, but on the inside it’s gone soulless.  The current owners did a master addition on the back.  It’s all perfect, shiny, and new with a bathroom the size of my kitchen.  It looks like it came straight out of a magazine.  Yawn.  What this place needs is some kitsch.  As is, it’s all white and sheet-rock with the obligatory modern updates.

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And a view of the desert.  Gayla was not impressed.

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The view from the hot tub, back across the lawn.  You can see the master addition poking off the back.  They did such a good job matching it up I can hardly believe it’s an add-on.  That’s how you earn karma in my world.

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Some nice outdoor living space.  But I still find it sacrilegious.  Vintage white wrought iron is definitely called for in this instance.  I love me some retro froth.  Floral ironwork, green shutters, fluffy curtains, wainscoting, floral wallpapers, vintage linoleum, vases of flowers, vivid colors, lace, little birds that sing, porches, pink toilets, aprons, chintz, and Doris Day.  Sigh.  Makes you wonder what’s wrong with the world.  How do you all manage?

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The next house was this little subterranean number.  I’m giving it to Sarah on account of the incredible privacy.  To get to the front door you had to walk down a flight of stairs to the courtyard.  If you can’t tell, someone tacked this giant foyer with clerestory on the front.  It serves no purpose other than to display photos for recreational dusting.  The way the doors are arranged you don’t even walk through it, you kind of skirt around it.  My guess is that I could have spent money better than that, but hey.  Once inside it had a lovely kitchen with a bar open to a central dining room, which dropped down into a wood paneled living room with big windows.  Very natural and calming.  (Barf.)

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I prefer brash and desperate.  I have no need of Koi fish in my life.  Thank you.

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This house was another oddity.  It wasn’t on the rim with the great views.  It was just a tiny rancher at the bottom of the hill with nothing to say about itself.  When some female bought it and poured money into it like nobody’s business.  The entryway is new, the garage is new, and the master bedroom off the back is new.  What there was of the house before, I’m not sure.  But this lady knew what she was about.  In other people’s houses you could see the errors of their ways, or where they ran out of money or vision.  But this lady followed through.  Beautiful custom mahogany cabinetry.  Sleek and flawless.  White quartz slab counters.  White sparkling floors, faultless decorating, and a master bathroom that was perfectly detailed down to it’s sculptured bars of soap and custom shampoo dispensers.  Kind of evocative of this and this, but prettier and with that same white sculpted bath.  Which kind of made me realize that in a bathroom, less is more.  So who gets this house?  Natalie.  She’s the only person who is that anal.  🙂  Ha.

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As Gayla and I were wondering along we decided there was no hope for finding a house for my mother.  She was like, “You know, none of these really say, ‘Sandy’.”  True.  So I gave her this one.  It had a cozy feel to it.  Lots of wood, light, a sleek kitchen with open shelves.  Custom cabinetry built by the same as in the previous house.  A floating buffet along the rock wall in the dining room and a mid-century dining table you wanted to pet.

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I think she’ll manage.

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And last on the list was another house mascarading as a garage.  But lucky for you, it’s the only place with interior photos.  Eat your heart out.  This one goes to Megan.  I think it has enough quirks to suit her.

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And now I have nothing to do but wait a whole other year to do it again.  There is really nothing like sunshine, walking boots, bubble tea, and legitimized snooping.

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