Allison and I wanted a fixer with good bones because we hate to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We also don’t like to pay for someone else’s taste—even if it’s good, it’s not ours and while they could have good taste, it’s not ours or maybe their good taste is not good for the house. I say that because I often see MLS listings or tour open homes where I’m like, “why the heck did they put wainscoting and jumbo size crown molding in that split-level ranch?”
We talked that our next house would ideally be a a mid-century modern ranch in need of updates. I’ve always loved early to mid 20th century design. When I took modern art history and saw a Barcelona chair projected onto the classroom wall, I knew what I was buying a pair of once my school loans were paid off. Luckily we did find a great house for the ones I did eventually buy. The place is on a large lot, with wonderful oak trees and views of the east bay hills, and with overhangs that are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is a fixer though.
While I’ve been a subscriber to Dwell, Architectural Digest, and Fine Homebuilding, it’s really awesome to see sites like Pinterest and Houzz come on the scene. It’s made collecting design ideas, products, and potential contractors for this house easier. After we closed on the house and were seeing my family back in Maine, I put together a small document showing spaces in the house we bought against pictures of similar spaces in houses we liked. I created the doc in Adobe InDesign and exported a PDF to share with our architect. A screen shot of the file in InDesign is below:
This has been helpful for Allison and I to discuss (and argue) over the detail in each room. It’s also been helpful in sharing with our architect and friend, Patrick Perez. I don’t think I can share such a doc freely, but my houzz profile is public and it’s easy to see what we’re thinking: