May 5th, the house is completed, staged and opened for sale. It was interesting seeing the house like this. It was nice seeing the house filled with furniture. Someone else's furniture. Furniture that I didn't have to move.
Walking throush the house a week earlier was curious. All grey and white. Crown molding, mirrored closet doors. The walls were naked. The house was alien and vacant. Now, with the staging furniture, generic art and accesories it was like a diorama. A story was being told. One of the bedrooms had a crib, another was set up for an older child and a third for a teenager. My, what neat and tidy children these kids are. Perhaps there was a marketing thing going on here. But the furniture gave it balance...Suddenly all of the little things that drew my eye were obfuscated. I was distracted into seeing the bigger picture.
"Wow our house turned into this." It was an interesting experience... It is basically the same structure. Larger openings. Different colored & bare walls. A giant deck...a really giant deck. It's still the house I grew up in, but the history has been wiped clean. It's a blank slate now, ready for the next family. There are little things here and there out in the yard. I hid a few items under the house... treasures for some adventurous kid someday, perhaps. But the way it is now, with stone counter tops, marble bathroom, neutral palette... It's almost too nice of a house now.
Too nice for me at least. Too nice and pretty for probably anyone im my family. You see, my family isn't really in the big part of the bell curve. We're messy... in a good way. No, we're not the Addams family. My father built Heathkit stereo gear in the 60s. He did woodworking. He built the tables, desks, dressers & cabinets in the house. My Mother was an artist and made crazy-quilts and soap and melted Eyeglass lenses into curtains and made copper enamel switch plates for the house, and... oh the projects were endless. The hall was done in New Yorker covers, Certain doors were covered with magazine covers, another was covered with pictures from seed catalogs. and the carpets during the 70s? Oh my!
Yes, we are a messy crowd. But that's what life is about, right? You can go around putting things into neat piles and tidy little rows. One day following the next until you have an army of stacks arrayed behind you. A testament to a placid & organized existence.... Or you can chase your fancy, try the next thing, follow a whim investigate a passion... even tilt at windmills, what the heck. In my family one of the inevitable side effects of how we live is a mess. Drifts of sawdust, srcaps of cloth, piles of vegetable trimmings, sprinklings of potting soil, splashes of solder. If you live life right and do a lot of things you are going to make a mess or two. Perhaps, even a glorious mess. You can't worry about staying between the lines when you are in the midst of the thing, you've just got to get at it. You can tidy up later.
We document our messes too. I take pictures of my messes. My mother did. I suspect my brother may do it too. In the last five or so years of her life my mother would collect the best images of her studio messes during the year and publish them in a calender she would then give away to friends & family. It was known as the X-Mess calendar. A celebration of the chaos of living. If you put my family into a nice house the way this one is now, the walls would quickly become perforated with thousands of holes from hanging & rehanging things. Floors would become splattered, dented and aquire holes of their own. Ceilings would have hooks driven into them for haning uncommon objects. Doors would be painted bizzare colors or get faux treatments... My mother actually burned holes in the front door so it would have just the right distressed look....
Yeah, it's not our family's house anymore. And that's a good thing. See... the job of Alex Lehr & crew was to make our house a house for anybody. Something that will appeal to the widest section of the buying market. The big part of the bell curve. A house that is comforting and unchallenging. Something with crown molding. An empty canvas ready for the next family to make a mess. Alex & Company did a great job. Over one hunderd people came through the house on the first weekend and one of them bought the place. I hope they enjoy living there.