Sunday, November 7, 2010

In to The Wood

On Saturday the Junior League of San Francisco hosted the Elle Design tour of houses in my San Fran hood. Technically I am not currently living in the hood since we are biding our time in a temporary apartment while occasionally visiting the CMR in said hood.

But that didn't stop me from heading over to meet a friend so we could be voyeurs and check out the interiors of houses of people that we kinda know so that we could make interesting design comments (read as snide remarks) about the insides of their houses. It was fun. Seeing the homes and, of course, making snarky comments. (As if the two of us live in houses that would even be remotely considered as candidates for such an event? This knowledge did not discourage us. Nor did affect our ability to be wry, witty and a tad bit rude.)

We walked around and saw a total of 6 homes. Our neighborhood is not that large, but according to the junior league, it was large enough that there were shuttle buses that went between and among the various houses. Total distance between the two furthest homes? About 3 city blocks. What kind of weenies does this home tour attract? 3 damn blocks? Really? Perhaps design folk are inherently lazy? Suffice to say that we walked between them feeling mighty superior to those lazy-bones that were taking the shuttle.

The homes were lovely. They were lovely in the way that staged homes are lovely. All traces of actual living were carefully removed. The homeowners own furniture was partially removed and replaced with - well, designy stuff. They all looked polished. Polished as in the way that a hotel lobby looks polished. Nice. Swell to look at. Clearly not for human living on a daily basis.

In some ways the tour does give you some ideas about interior decoration in your own home. The tile work alone was worth looking at. Still, I would like to go in one super cool interior design that meaningfully accommodates the following and still looks amazing:

  • 13 pairs of dirty tennis shoes in the entry hall
  • Various game boy, nintendo, ipods, cell phone storage strewn artfully about
  • Baseball equipment in the living room
  • Real life crap that must be in your kitchen like, oh I don't know, say food. Or a wet tea towel. Or the school class list.
  • Knick knacks the the average house actually might contain like a shoe shaped ceramic sculpture, macaroni frame or your grandma's cut crystal candy "basket".
  • Art work that does not require the hiring of an armed guard to stand in front of it.
  • The kinds of crap that are on my two boy's dressers: baseball cards, little rubber bracelets, a half bag of jolly rogers left over from camp, and 17 small "gold plated" baseball and basketball trophies. Or a pile of Sports Illustrated that MUST NOT be thrown away under penalty of death.
  • The kinds of crap that are on my own dresser: bad school photos, a bowl full of single earrings that have a pair somewhere (I don't know where, but I am hopeful that it will be rediscovered), seven buttons that belong to seven different pieces of clothing that I will sew back on "one of these days", 4 half bottles of perfume and a half dozen safety pins in various sizes.
  • School crap (back packs, strewn math papers, old tests, half sharpened pencils and the spanish/english dictionary that is rarely used, but must be close at hand.)
  • Office miscellany like rolls of scotch tape, a flashlight and the unpaid, yet not overdue PG&E invoice. Oh, and the coupon for buy one get one free V8 juice.
None of the houses had this stuff. I don't know what they did with it. Maybe they have supernatural powers of storage and organization. I thought my powers were sharply honed, but maybe I am way outta my league? (To be honest, I know that this isn't true. I peeked in a couple of drawers and a closet or two. Guess what? Empty. Me thinks that they have all this stuff in some file boxes locked in the garage, but I'm merely speculating. They just want you to feel bad that your house doesn't look like this all the time. They're mean that way.)

And, for those of you that want to know the most recent article "des decor" that is critical this design year I now know what it is. Last year when I went to the Architecture Institute tour it was the oblong dish with the 4 shiny apples. If you put that bad johnny on your kitchen counter you were in the know.

This year?? One (or several) large ball of twine/rope. And I mean large. Like 2 feet in diameter. It can be rope, sisal, twine or some other natural fiber. But, it must be large. In more than 50% of the houses there were at least 2 of these. You roll them in to the corner and, voila! You can consider yourself hip with 2010 decor. Me? I don't get it. You can't even put something on top of it like the various school papers or even a pair of dirty tennis shoes. It just takes up space and acts as a deterrent to dust balls finding their way there.
At least with the apples you could eat one now and again. Large ball of twine? No identifiable purpose.

I came back home full of ideas - none that would work in my CMR - but still the thought of having a living room with a light fixture the size of a mastodon (and oddly looking like one), a chair made of knotted twine (a theme, perhaps?), seven area rugs laid artfully overlapping (trip hazard) and topped off with some modern art that would scare the children was sort of fascinating.

1 comment:

Steph said...

We seems to have the same crap in our house as you do in yours! And our house hasn't been on a tour of homes (yet)... need to get my ball of twine going before the holidays.