No matter if you are sitting on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out, that brand new designer house you built just doesn’t seem to work. I don’t know how often in the past year I’ve come across homeowner remorse that has set in, in less time then it takes for paint to dry.
In the post-modern era of craftsmanship on steroids and the long tail of customization, house design is suddenly very ‘in’ vogue. Visual statements, starchitects, and niche themes are objects of design. Tract houses have been relegated to the middle class, and those in the know, long for points of difference.
Purging back into my recent memory of visits to these new builds what stands out front and center has to be a series of tragic flaws that runs much like fault line throughout each and every one. Looking good is one thing but what happens when those lovely cathedral or vaulted ceilings that showcase your new home are west facing and your entire open plan living area cannot be inhabited from noon till dusk?
But lets not stop here, there are luminescent ponds that friends and family plunge into given the inability to distinguish between floor elevations. Or flat roofs that look so artistic and linear yet provide no liveable shade in a tropical destination. Ouch, lets instead resort to running a house full of air cons at sub arctic temperatures just to get a few hours of needed sleep. But that of course is only possible once darkness falls.
My point here is twofold. First is the conundrum of interior designers who are not involved in initial concepts. They inherently take on messes that cannot truly be cleaned up. This ‘outside in’ situation is absolute madness given the considerable time you actually spend living in a house versus sitting across the street admiring the sleek lovely lines. Another conundrum faced is simple issues such as mega show widows that require vertical or horizontal solutions after that fact that end of being a band-aid solution when you have suffered a head on collision with a speeding truck.
Second is that perhaps architects need to revisit houses they design, sleep, cook, lounge or suffer day to day life. Revenge of the client is so appropriate. Trophy wives as Donald Trump knows are a revolving cast but when does a house become a home? My point is that is takes two to tango and this means an early meeting of the minds between architect and interior designer.