Architectural Rant

I just got my daily email from the automated real estate server around here.  I have a search set up to automatically send me listings that match our criteria.  And there is one thing that I continually do not understand.  I think we are perhaps guilty of this just a little bit, too, but not as flagrantly as other people.

Today’s lone listing was described as “Spanish/Southwest” style.  The exterior pictures were indeed of a house with a Spanish influence to it – there is a big brick wall with arches in it, and a terracotta fountain, and other little touches like that.  Terracotta roof tiles, southwestern plants.

However, the main part of the house and the interior are all completely what I call “standard”!  It’s a ranch house from 1966 – so my American readers can probably visualize the exterior – and the interior looks very much like the interior of our home (granite countertops, hardwood floors, sort of the current ‘neutral interior’ style for this area).  Nothing Spanish about this house, other than a few exterior elements!  This is not the first time I’ve seen this sort of thing.  There’s a very Spanish-looking house near us which used to be tan stucco, with palm trees and things (but the style is also quite Spanish), but the owners painted the stucco black!  So now it looks like some dodgy Mexican monastery.  (It doesn’t help that they have a black Hummer parked outside all the time.)

Now, our home is considered a ‘Craftsman’ style.  I never heard of this style before moving out here, and to me it just looks like a ‘generic’ style, which is why we chose such mod interior appointments like the blue/green dichroic glass backsplash tiles, the black granite countertops, and the funky spaceship pendant lighting when we did our renovations.  I realize that there may be architectural die-hards who think that we have broken the true ‘Craftsman’ rules.  Maybe this will be a problem if we ever go to sell it.  But I still think it’s not that bad.  As a seller I think it’s not that bad.  Perhaps if I were buying a house, this would disturb me.

So what do you think?  If you have a home whose exterior is clearly a certain architectural style, should you be obliged to make the interior styling match?

Seattle, Suicide and Gloom

When we announced we were moving here, someone (who shall remain nameless) said that he’d read somewhere that there was a high rate of suicide in the Seattle area because of the gloomy rainy weather “all year round.”  For several years, I didn’t really feel this was a problem.  The summers are always glorious and sunny – even droughty, sometimes – and the winters were wintery, although rainy.

Well, in January we’ll have been here for eight years.  There must be some kind of psychological internal switch that flips after seven years of living here, because we’ve only been having the gloomy weather for about two weeks and I’m already frustrated.  I have to put the interior lights on every day, just to stave off irritation and depression!  Don’t worry, I’m not contemplating suicide…just a change of residences.  I always get very interested in real estate listings in the fall.  I also start pestering Chris about moving to some other location.  Unfortunately, my preference would either be “back to VA” or “England,” and the cost of living is freakishly high in both places, and Chris hates the weather in VA, and the weather in England is the same as Seattle!

So, there’s my observation; the comment about suicide in Seattle may actually have been valid.  It’s quite irritating to look out at this dark and wet yard every day.  This post is a bit of a rant but it needed to be said.


Chris picked up three laptop bags at work yesterday as the result of a “sell off for cheap all this old swag with logos we don’t use anymore” project.  Anybody need one?  I’m happy to send them to you.  We don’t need them.  I don’t know why he bought them.  Clearly, he’s been hanging around with Dad too much.