Monday, November 22, 2010

Jock Itch

I was pretty jocky at one time. Basketball, shot put, swimming. I was into any sport or event where you didn't have to bend over (forget field hockey) or run longer than the length of the basketball court. (or soccer) And I also have an ongoing love affair with nearly anything old - let's say at least 50 years old and so vintage sports stuff really does it for me. Recently I've been inspired by using sports stuff in decor. There is something quirky and fun about using objects form the world of sports in your house. Who used them? To win? To lose? Did they live out their usefulness in the garage? Did they see glory days? To use them on a shelf in your home is to give them a home after their glory days are done for sure. This is not to say that I am endeavoring to recreate the inside of a TGIFridays or a Ground Round. Vintage sports stuff is not a theme - it's a device in a space that needs quirk and interest. Artifacts from someone else's sports career are just that - they can be interspersed with books on shelves, left alone in corners, hung up on walls, or on ceilings, strewn on window sills. I'm thinking about vintage bowling pins, skis, old basketballs or catcher's mitts, (super-worn, old leather from the 1950's is a bit of a turn on for me - photo above) - even more obscure equipment like an old fencing mask or javelin or croquet mallet would be cool too. If it has a connection to your life, then it really works. This weekend, my cousin, Spenser, was visiting. He's is new on the professional triathalete circuit and tales from his most recent race got me thinking about using bicycles inside. Why not? They are beautiful. Leave it to etsy to show me a bike wheel clock today! I get so many complaints from female clients that they can't stand their male partners' sports obsessions. I'm telling you ladies - it ain't chintz, but it can be chic. Think old, check ebay, etsy and yard sales, watch Hoosiers and make it work, jock-style.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The resale boogeyman

For whatever the reason, I hate it when my clients say the word "resale" to me.

Call me a dreamer or a romatic, but I hate to be tied down or constrained in any way by the untamable, fickle and downright illogical beast that is, the real estate market when I am working on a house. And frankly, "resale" refers not to the current real estate market, but for most people, the market of the future. I would like to shout from a mountain top that none of us could possibly know what will sell houses five, ten, fifteen years from now. And yet we, as homeowners constantly try to crack this nut. If we are able to make changes to a home that will entice the mythical future buyer, then our homes will appreciate and fortunes will be made.

It doesn't work this way. (anymore)

Sure there was a time when appreciation was more or less formulaic. And if you are trying to sell your house, right now, you had better find what out today's formula is for selling. But if you're not selling your house at this moment, let it go. The needs of strangers who may or may not buy your home in the unnamed or calculated future are very simply, moot. We don't feel this way - we feel beholden to them - but they are indeed moot. You are betting the walls that surround you and nurture you and shelter you and you are very likely to bet wrong.

I know there are folks who call me irresponsible or immature in this matter - surely you must consider the value of your biggest asset when you make changes to your home. But let's be clear - thinking about the value of your home - and thinking about what future buyers want are two different considerations. One is rational and logical and unemotional. The other is completely subjective and nearly impossible.

Again it's an issue of timing. And I contend, if you not planning on selling any time soon go for what you can afford and what you need in your home. Go for what so many of my clients have passed on, in fear that the resale boogeyman will come and take their fortunes in the middle of the night:

-paint a room rasberry

-skip the bathtub

-go for the artist's studio

-yes to blue cabinets

-kill the formal dining room, it won't mind

-get a purple door