Architectural Rant

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Ramblings

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?

  1. Don says:

    Frank Lloyd Wright used to have a hissey fit if one of his clients put a plush recliner in the living room of one of his designs. It destroyed the look he was creating. Many of them were intimidated enough to forego the pleasure. Others hid them when he was around.

    FLW began his career in the Arts and Crafts tradition, but evolved from there. His design elements, however, stayed rooted there.

    You own the house. Furnish it anyway that pleases you. Yes, you may pay a penalty when you sell, but don’t let money rule your life.

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