Lately, I’ve found myself looking at house plans when I’m bored and killing time on teh Interwebs. I’m casually interested in architecture, and I grew up on This Old House and now watch HGTV when I’m bored and nothing else terribly interesting is on.
Landmark Designs is the main website I dink around on because it’s straightforward and bullshit-free. The downside is that you can’t search by architectural style, and it’s hard to look for something specific outside basic dimensions. Plus, not many of these plans are terribly outside the box, though I can understand the marketability of things that are not outside the box.
I’m partial to Craftsman style homes, but I’m particularly partial to houses built in the 1910s and ’20s, that gap between when Victorian left off and before Craftsman really got started. It’s not exactly Art Deco, but it’s not completely removed from it. I don’t really know why, but it’s just the right combo of detail and clean lines and form and function for me. Plus that gorgeous woodwork. I have a thing for well-finished woodwork.
It may be that my grandma is a Child of the Depression and kept hold of most of my great-grandmother’s furniture from the Twenties. It could be that the coolest old houses around here are what the local oil barons built around that time period. But because of that Grandchild of a Child of the Depression upbringing, I can appreciate the utility of a boring-ass ranch.
Two things I would like in a house I would buy are a woodstove and a screened porch or sunroom. Woodstove over fireplace because it doesn’t seem to take much for a fireplace to look ugly. The problem with woodstoves seems to be you can either get something that burns super-efficiently (pellet stoves), or you can get one that will work in a power outage. Having lived through multiple lengthy power outages in the winters of my life, I want that backup. Also, I now live in a house with electric-only heating, and it’s fucking expensive and fucking ineffective when it’s cold. If I have to do this again, I want to be able to supplement that shittiness with the pure awesome of FIRE.
Screened porches are the shit in the 10 days’ worth of ideal weather we are alotted here, split between the spring and fall. The rest of the time it’s too hot or cold or windy or muggy. Screened because then you can enjoy it despite the bugs that are alive 5 out of the 10 ideal-weather days. But sunrooms are like porches you can enjoy in the winter. And if it’s decked out with screened windows, then it’s pretty much the same as a screened porch. Except those are rare motherfuckers.
And then there’s my confusion with separate living and family/den rooms. I just don’t get it, but I’m not the formal-living-room type of person. Like, maybe if you’re in a small house with juuust enough bedrooms and you don’t have space for the family desktop computer or the battalion of bookcases in the living room alone?
Because you know my house would be lined with bookcases. I already have two bookshelves that were made as family projects. And despite my good intentions to not have too much shit, there are plenty of books that I will feel the need to have a physical copy of. And possibly anime series/movies that I will be compelled to buy on disk. Hopefully I can be satisfied with digital copies of most things. Much easier to store and move, though I hope to hell that sellers-of-digital-copies won’t find new ways to be dickish about them. (It’s probably too late already.)
And that concludes today’s ramblings.