Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, August 27, 2012

Street of fantasies

DH and I went to the annual Street of Dreams, where local contractors develop a largish plot of land with several  million-dollar houses to show off the latest designs and doodads.  This year we are seeing a lot of water features, both indoor and outdoor.  Trickling steams and plashing falls in every garden.  Sophisticated fountains, many combined with gas fireplaces in the great room or the bathroom.   And speaking of gas fireplaces, a two-sided one appeared in EVERY house.  I was rather taken with the two-sided fire separating the entry from the great room, though I wonder if anyone actually uses those great rooms. High vaulted ceilings and furniture floating like an island on the sea of hardwood flooring.   It's a kind of conspicuous consumption.  We can afford this great big show-place of a room that we never actually use because it's really not all that comfortable.

Last year, bamboo was VERY big.  This year, it's cherry, though a more modern house did have some lovely bleached pine.

Color: What are designers thinking to use gray in the Pacific Northwest? It may be tres chic, but it's what we get for weather 9 months a year, and we want something warm and cozy to counteract it. Pinky browns and yellowy tans are a lot more welcome.  Everyone was mad for metallic all over, but again, the silver bedroom wall was just too cold for this area.  Copper tints are what we need here.

Previous years have featured separate media rooms with the full on giant screen TV, surround sound, rocking theatre seating and a popcorn machine.  The closest we saw this year was a TV and game room in a basement with a small kitchen attached.  Actually, it would probably make a great teenagers' hangout.

Every year I ask myself, "What were they thinking?" This year, one home featured a bedroom set up with twin beds, a boyish rustic sort of theme that might be suitable for a twelve-year-old but would be scorned by a 14-year-old, and a full wet bar with built-in wine cooler.  WTF?

I fell in love with a cast brass bathtub.  It looks like the sort of thing some Roman matron might set up in the summer villa.  I tried it on for size and oh, my it was wonderful!  Our house would probably need structural reinforcement to support the weight.

Why do they make a stove backsplash with fancy 3-d tiles when you know it's just going to collect cooking grease and need to be cleaned by someone actually sitting on the stove with a toothbrush?  In fact, what's with this great love affair with tile anyhow?  The modern solid floorings and countertops are easy to maintain and by the time they start to show wear, you'll be wanting to remodel anyhow.

The only thing I came away longing for was a big pantry with a gazillion shelves.  If I actually had a place for everything, I might stand a chance of getting everything into its place.  Failing that, I want a support staff to follow me around and tidy up my messes.

Wow, could I have written a more boring blog post?


  • At 12:48 PM , OpenID heideho said...

    I've often wondered if the designers of many homes ever actually lived with a family or entertained real people (not just other designers they were trying to impress). If we stay in our house, then I'd like to replace the rotting carpet in our family room with a wood floor and move the dining room table in there. That way I could cook, clean and visit with people at the same time. Formal rooms are a complete waste of space imo.

  • At 1:33 PM , Blogger Acorn to Oak said...

    Not a boring blog post at all. I'm in total agreement with you on those crazy ideas and boring colors. I live in a sunny area and I still wouldn't want to live in a gray cave! I think it's kind of weird that gray is so popular. And, textured back splashes seem ridiculous to me too. People who think they're great must never cook! And, tile! Ugh! I always thought it looked so pretty until I had it. It's awful! The grout lines are impossible to keep clean. I'd rather have plastic laminate! I'd better stop or I'll be worried about having a long boring comment. lol

  • At 8:29 PM , Blogger Galad said...

    Appreciate the update,though may house will remain early eclectic :-) I find it kind of fascinating to see the trends and always wonder who really lives with them.

  • At 10:33 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    The only people who actually dream about this street are the bank loan officers, the accounts receivable people at the utilities (esp the heating people) and the supply stores that sell the wood/tile/cabinets to the contractors.

    The rest of us weep because the nightmares.

    Could I have written a more sarcastic blog comment?

  • At 12:26 AM , OpenID barbfroman said...

    I'm so glad to hear from someone who went to the Street of Dreams. It is weird about the special touches they put in the homes. I think the designer who came up with the room should have to clean it. That'd teach him/her to be more practical. But then, that would probably put 2 or 3 maids, cooks and handymen out of jobs. Thanks for the report.

  • At 5:07 AM , Blogger Saren Johnson said...

    That was the major buying point for our house: a large kitchen.

  • At 6:30 AM , Blogger Timothy Young said...

    Street of Dreams, I just can't believe they are real for the same reasons your blog covers. People can't be that stupid can they? Did they go to school just to learn how to make bad designs?

  • At 9:27 AM , Blogger Rose L said...

    I have not been to the Street of Dreams in years. Last time I went they had a shower that looked like a rocket ship with all the buttons and gadgets and such in it.
    feretiz 245

  • At 5:17 AM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    We were talking about this yesterday. I don't understand the whole conspicuous consumption in a good economy but in today's uncertainty? No sense at all.

    I would enjoy looking at those homes but I think they would bewilder me (although the bathtub sounds sinfully wonderfully)

  • At 9:12 AM , Anonymous Maggie said...

    A fascinating post! Thank you for comparing this year to previous years. Now that people watch movies and read books and do buisiness on their computers, who needs media rooms or libraries or home offices anymore? Why aren't homes getting smaller?

  • At 10:29 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    I got through it, and you KNOW I have the attentionspan of gnat spit! Yeah-- I only ever like "modern" things about five years after they have shocked my senses!


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