Feb. 8th, 2010 05:42 pm
gfrancie: (Default)
As kids say on the internet, OMG Y'ALL... there is a house for sale on my block. You know you want to live on my block. You could come over for pie and gossip. (you know LJ gossip is hot gossip...)
This lovely home has had like... one or two owners since being built in 1950. An elderly lady lived there for a long time and I know it was recently up-dated. When her family tried to initially sell it -no one really wanted it. It had good bones and many nice features but it was definitely in need of a bit of work. The bathroom had a pink tub, toilet and sink. Tres retro.

So let's have a tour? Shall we? )

All this could be yours for under 500K!!! A deal... or something.

And as always I must offer a disclaimer before I start getting comments along the lines of, "well I liked that house." I like the house too. OMG motherfuckers I am trying to be funny. I am making fun of how real estate is often written up. So lighten up. I am not making fun of your taste in houses.... and maybe I am. It isn't like I am paying your mortgage.

Anyhow wouldn't you love to come and live near me?
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
In Seattle in the Capitol Hill neighborhood; once you have wandered past the semi-empty store-fronts of Broadway and all those hipsters (with their terribly cultivated hair-dos that look askew in just the right way to suggest that they don't care but they do enough to spend a great deal of money on hair-product) you come to a number of beautiful older homes where older money usually resides. All right so mostly there isn't old money living there now, but once upon a time they did. Usually near Volunteer Park, (a great conservatory and a place to have anonymous sex in the bushes. Cacti and cruising all in one place!!!) you see these enormous old homes with equally beautiful old trees which shade them so lovingly in the Summer. It is a wonderful place to walk around if you like late 19th century/early 20th century American architecture. These were homes that were built for families and their domestics. Now they are mostly inhabited by a small family. An upper-middle class couple and their highly prized children; Hannah-Alexis, (one name) Fenton, (a brief foray into reviving old family names) and Ryan Madison (adopted daughter from overseas). They have a woman to come in and clean once a week and they do a Nanny-share. (the children absolutely adore Lupe) In some ways not much has changed in a 100 years in these homes. The wife does some volunteer work on the side. (something vaguely having to do with the poor, but not actually dealing with the poor on a daily basis) and the husband does something that causes him stress (so he retreats to small rooms where he gambles on line or has several fantasy football/baseball leagues he is part of) Now let's peak in their house.
Yes let's! )
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
The housing market is taking a bit of a beating in these parts. Home prices are reducing and sellers are practically offering free unicorns that vomit rainbows and piles of hookers and blow to get people to buy their house for a price that doesn't leave the seller having to take up a second career doing all sorts of acts on Craig's list.
Let's not dwell on their sad state. )
gfrancie: (Default)
Let's feel faintly retro shall we? Let's peruse this house. It is described as being a "A mid-century enthusiasts dream." I wonder if they were enthused about beigy browns in the fifties? I can appreciate some modernist/mid-century looks. I have long admired that whole Palm Springs mid-century look. (if you ever want to really saturate yourself with it, watch the Jet Set episode of Mad Men) It is lots of glass, open spaces and strangely feminine but not furniture. It is the sort of experience where you want to lie by the pool and talk about how you spent January in Ibiza and ran into Jackie O who was actually walking around barefoot. (kind of an OMGBECKY moment) You could wear caftans and drink martinis and mention that dinner party where Robert Mitchum was misbehaving as usual but your forgave him because he was such a kitten in his own way. The hair is very Valley of the Dolls.
This house isn't Palm Springs reclining decadence. It isn't quite Frank Lloyd Wright-esque as it lacks all that limestone he was so terribly fond of but it has some similar qualities. I don't want to slag off ol' Wright but I sometimes wondered if he was a mole or a vole at heart. He doesn't exactly seem fond of direct light and you get some of that quality in this house. Well there is some direct light but there is also that peculiar love of looking at large expanse of wall. Thankfully it isn't piles of stone. When I went to the Robie House in Chicago I kind of got what Wright was aiming for (kind of a large boat that is protected in a storm) but all it did was make me feel claustrophobic. Maybe I am not advanced enough when it comes to my interest or taste in architecture to appreciate claustrophobia as a sort of neat feature to a home. That and the fact that he designed all the furnishings to go with the home -that just seemed a trifle OCD. (but I sort of understand it at the same time) But less Wright talk and more house talk.
house talk and tour )
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
Many houses that are for sale and have pictures will aim for a particular look. Some might be super modern and for an upwardly mobile single or a couple who like to read Vice magazine and eat soba noodles with their other upwardly mobile friends. Other homes are for well-established people who might be down-sizing now that their kids are gone. This house wants to inspire fertility. Imagine living here with your three attractive children; Ava, Jacob and Madison Fong (adopted Chinese kid!!!) You buy this house and children will spring forth from your loins. You have no choice. Though if you don't want to be spontaneously pregnant passing by this home I suggest using some sort of regular birth control. (at the very least hop up and down before you have sex)
A tour )
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
Have you ever wanted to live surrounded by wood? I mean a lot of wood? Now you can! It is right by Lake Washington so you could get up in the morning, hop into the lake have a quick swim and then feel a little itchy afterward. Maybe this is just my experience. It is a nice lake. Though back in the bad old days of the 1950s/60s no one was allowed to swim in that lake. (apparently they thought it wasn't a good idea to swim around raw sewage. Third world chic!) And if you take a walk further down the lake you can watch the hydroplane races once a year. Or at least watch drunk people on their boats watching hydroplanes racing. Another fine Washington tradition. But let's cross the street and go back to the house. The home has multiple levels (4) and there are stairs and doors leading everywhere. I think what we have here is a house ideal for a French farce. Just get yourself a saucy maid and some sort of sexually repressed English person and you are set. There is a woodstove and a fireplace. A little something for everyone. I can attest that a woodstove is useful when the power goes out. Which it will. It is a windy part of the world and we like to have the power go out in the middle of winter. As a child there were a number of occasions when we would have to cook a meal on the woodstove. (we had ancient power lines where I lived and they liked to go down more often than a girl in port.) I distinctly recall many cups of hot cocoa and not quite grilled cheese sandwiches. Now you can have the same experience with your own woodstove. Please note the stain glass windows. It seems that someone either took a course and got arty or they went and ransacked several churches circa 1974. I like stain glass but the glass in the bathroom makes me feel like there should be a folk-mass put on. Where are the guitars and tambourines??? Where are the whole wheat hosts for communion? Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore...Alllll-leeeeigh-looooooooooooooo-YAH...Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore.... Wave those Palm fronds!!! Bathing will never be the same ever again. Let's go into the kitchen. Some modern appliances (because nothing says 1997 like a stainless steel fridge.) mixed with a red stove. I would love to get an up close look at that stove. It looks like it might be a classic. There are so many dials and things on the back. Is it NASA era? Will it make tang? But then you get distracted because there appears to be a view out the kitchen. At least into the forest. Knowing that part of the the neighborhood I am guessing the house is built into the side of a ravine or something. So you can go out onto the decks. (there are several) and do things like lean over and drop your hat or your drink and it sits there for several months until the cold and leaves claim it. Another part of the house has many many bookshelves and big windows. For some reason it reminds me of Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. Those who have been there know that the place has a similar look to the house. Lots of wood and built-ins. So now you can make your own miniature Elliott Bay experience. Though I don't know if the house comes with the squeaky floor boards. I realized years ago that Elliot Bay would be a difficult place to do any subtle assassination a la some spy movie as the damn floor boards would give you away quick. Maybe if you buy this home you can also fill it with some guy who is always in your way and practically camps out in one section and you wonder if he is a hobo but no he is just a guy who camps out right where you are trying to get at a book. Geez guy, do you follow me around? If you can't afford the guy I am sure a cat will do. The cat will even camp out on the newspaper you are reading. Like I said there is a lot of wood going on. You can play out your log cabin little house on the side of a hill fantasy or something.
Now there is a room I am saving for last.
The bedroom.
It took me a moment to figure out that it was a circular bed. For a second I thought, "okay...indoor hot tub?" Nope. It is a circular bed. They took Jennifer's bed from WKRP and installed it just for the occasion. Yeah. It totally changes the whole vibe of the place. Quirky wood house becomes a "hide-away" owned by a guy named Jeff or maybe Randy. It is sometime in the mid-70s and he has this vague job as an "Entrepreneur". He invites you over to listen to Deep Purple, maybe the Doobie brothers. He puts on some weird incense that he says he picked up in the Orient. (who says the Orient? Oh yeah...Randy does.) He has opened up this bottle of wine that is vaguely Spanish. "I dig things that are a little more...European." "um...okay." And he talks a bit about this EST course he took and how it has really freed up his life. He decides to give you the grand tour and of course you end up in the bedroom last and he has a blue light bulb or something in there so you feel like your Aunt Mildred did when she had cataracts. And when he puts on this one switch Black Magic Woman starts playing and you are like.."oh he can't be for real." But you are kind of into it because A. you have had a lot of wine and not a lot to eat. B. Okay so maybe the blue light makes Randy or Jeff or whatever his name is... maybe it is Jean yeah.. how about Jean. Jean sounds hotter than Randy. Randy works at Radioshack or something. Anyways Jean is beginning to look good. And he starts talking about how he is into genuine truth and he wants to offer you some genuine truth and you don't say much because you wondering to yourself, "did I wear granny panties?" (sometimes after drinking wine you can't remember which pants you put on.) and He says the truth of the matter is that you would look better without your shirt and that really two adults should get naked together and be cool. Yeah. That is his truth. Can't argue with that kind of truth can you?
The next morning he makes you some coffee "picked it up when I was in South America" (you think...wait I have seen that stuff at the hippie health food store) and then you need to get going because you can't go to work the way you are. Plus you probably lost your pants somewhere. He talks about how you and him should get together for some fondue and fun. He is a vague man. Eventually over the years Jean becomes stuff of legend when you tell stories about him. Did he really exist? What about that round bed? No one is really sure.
Just under 600,000 and comes with a garage! What a find.
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
There is a house for sale in my neighborhood that I have always been rather curious about. Here it is. It is slightly different from some of the other bungalows as it is brick and stucco. I am more familiar with seeing in a place like this in Pasadena -which btw has some really beautiful homes. Even the short little palm trees out front of this house kind of give off that Southern California vibe. The exterior for a few years looked a little down at heels and then someone did it up a bit. But even when it wasn't at its prettiest it was still a neat looking house. Leaded glass windows always give a place an interesting look.
As for the inside it is keen on light and for the staging they went for more of a Pottery Barn feel. Obviously in the living room you can sip a local wine, listen to NPR and feel good knowing that you can appreciate World music and the works of Dostoevsky. That is right. You read Crime & Punishment for fun! Okay maybe not. You have read some of it but in the end you would rather read some Murder mystery or Twilight and you keep those books hidden in a drawer by your bed but when you have company over -it is Pynchon on the table. (that is right folks. I know all of your book-reading secrets) I do like the fire place a lot. There is an awful lot of white going on in this room and I would be inclined to paint it yellow or something. So there is still a lot of brightness but one doesn't feel afraid to burp in the living room.

I am weak for the dining room as it has built-ins. But I am always a little slutty for built-ins. A place for everything and so on. You can show off Grandmother's tea set (if you are that kind of person) and have your linens in one place. Built-ins encourage civility and socializing. While the grey in the dining area might kill my appetite a bit it is saved by that single red wall. Grey and beige have a habit of making the author want to slit her wrists just to liven up the decorating scheme. It might be an extreme approach but sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands (so to speak) and improve the so-so stir fry being served. You only get a vaguely out of focus shot of the kitchen. They went for the cheap and easy trick of stainless appliances. All I can think is, "oooh boy wiping fingerprints off. What a party." It is a small kitchen but it looks like there is some storage. There is a space above a cupboard. You use that space to hide chocolate or put lesser-used items that develop a slight fudge on top from living up there. Usually a waffle iron or some vase that someone gave you that you forget to use because you never remember to have fresh flowers.
As for the bedrooms they look spare and tidy and they more pillows than is humanly necessary unless you give birth to some sort of mutant multi-headed child. One bed has so many pillows that a person's feet would hang off the edge if they attempted to lie down. Why so many pillows? Are they hosting some lamaze class downstairs? Is there some kind of house-wife pillow fetish I am not aware of? (did Dan Savage cover this in a letter that I missed? Is this like furries for the new decade? I am confused.) They have managed to make a bedroom in what was probably an attic. Now they can give it the fancy title of "master suite". Not as many pillows there and the wall paint does border on beige. But they did provide some closet space. I keep imagining myself waking up and bumping my head in the mornings. I am not the only person with this worry. I mustn't be. Downstairs there is a sort of ad-hoc living area. I believe this is what we might call a "media" room. This is where you privately watch your reality shows and Gossip Girl. Upstairs you tell the guests how you are a fan of something like The Wire because it is so gritty. But we know you. We know you are watching the new 90210 or that one show about all those Mama's boys. You have a season pass on Tivo.
Outside there is grass in the back garden. Not much of a garden because you don't want to scare prospective buyers with up-keep. The front is completely patioed. But out back you sit and drink your micro-brew and talk about what you heard on This American Life Though after a few drinks you start talking about what Heidi and Spencer in Us Weekly and how Spencer must obviously have syphilis or something.
So for just over half a million you can have a pretty house that has been thoroughly snarked by moi. Move on in! I will bring you a pie.
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