16 March 2009

On Houses and Ticky Tacky

I posted as my Facebook status yesterday that I needed a nap and a house not made out of ticky tacky. Of course, everyone assumed that I was referring to the theme song to Weeds. Not so. Yesterday, before my mother headed off into the wild blue yonder, she and I decided that we'd do a little exploring. We drove out to Cary. I have several coworkers and a friend who live out there. I'm not a fan of pre-fab homes or modular homes. Generally, if was built in the last 8 or 9 years, I probably don't like it.

I didn't know, but Cary is filled with the KB Home variety of house. I felt like I'd gotten stuck in a giant Havahart trap. If it wasn't townhouses, it was single family homes. If it wasn't McMansions, it was apartments. I am 100% certain that there are cute houses, cute neighborhoods, and places where each house has it's own different look, landscaping and feel. We could not find those places though. I started getting really depressed thinking about the future of homes and architecture. Where are today's Frank Lloyd Wrights and David Owen Drydens anyways? They certainly aren't part of the KB Homes posse.

After winding our way, in the pouring rain, from Cary to Durham, we went in search of some type of house that was cuter and less like it's next door neighbors. We ended up driving around a neighborhood in Durham that was somewhat half and half. It was enough to get us back on the mentally restorative path.

I grew up in a neighborhood where no two houses looked anything alike. Our house was hugged on two sides by woods and a creek. Is it so ridiculous to want to replicate that? I don't need huge amounts of acreage, nor do I need huge amounts of square footage. I do, however, need (someday) a house that feels like it's mine and like it has a personality all of its' own.

Last fall, when I was toying with the idea of buying a home, I was looking mostly at 1 story Bungalows that were built between 1900 and 1940. (I love ranch, California and Chicago style bungalows.) There are a ton in the area and that seemed like a great fit for me, living there by myself. Now though, I've been lusting after bigger, better, handsomer properties. I was thinking about American Colonial, Saltbox, American Foursquare, Cape Cod, Dutch Colonial, maybe a little faux Tudor and in my loftiest of dreams Colonial Revival.

Do I have the money to accomodate my desires? Of course not. But a girl can dream. When I was growing up, I never dreamed of planning out the perfect wedding, or tried to picture the person I was going to marry, but I have spent my life thinking about houses. I have deep-running opinions about what types of houses are suitable, what size yards are appropriate, numbers of bedrooms, back porches, of course, where to put my vegetable garden.

There's no McMansion in my future, but hopefully a yard with a dog and a garden.


c.e.d. said...

I'm so glad to know there are still people who appreciate the homes from days long ago. I can't stand seeing all the cookie cutter homes that are cluttering up the landscape. Cary has to be the worst! I remember driving to work one day and there was a forest on the side of the road. A week later there were about a hundred townhomes frames, waiting for roofs. It's so depressing....

Jadielady said...

When I was little, I used to love nothing more than picking up those big magazines full of blueprints and decorating ideas. Or on vacation mom and I would pick up one of the local real estate guides, and go through and circle our favorites.

I still hope for one day to own one of those pretty old farmhouses, with the wraparound porch and a door going out from the upper floor so you can hang out on the roof.
If there's enough yard to have some bunnies that'd be nice :)

Cindy said...

Just a few days ago I made a reference to the Weeds theme song and no one had a clue what I was talking about or had even heard of the show. Weird.

The outskirts of Austin are similar to Cary, and oddly people are purposely choosing to move out there because they like that everything is the same-- and also actively CHOOSING to live with restrictive, expensive HOAs.

*sigh* They move to Austin, a town with the slogan "keep Austin weird" and they want to be protected form the weird.