Thursday, June 16, 2011

I live in the ugliest house in California

And can offer the following exhibits to support my case.  Here is the view from the kitchen window:

Yes, the view from the kitchen window is the bathroom wall.  The first time I came to look round this place I assumed it was a prefab that came in two bits and that someone had measured something wrong.  Apparently not, though.  It's a real house designed by an architect (who might have got their degree at Joe-bob's School of Architecture and Ribs-to-Go).

Now that summer's here, though, it occurs to me that the peculiar setting of this window might be "designed" to keep the kitchen cool by cutting down the amount of direct sunlight hitting the glass.  That could also have been achieved with a pretty, vine-clad pergola of course but Joe-bob's School of Landscaping and Mufflers While-you-wait must have been away across on the other side of town.

And while we're on windows . . . if you've got a stretch of wall and you need a window in it, where do you put that window?  In the middle, right?


But if you've got a stretch of wall and four windows to go in it, two big ones and two little ones, you space them out evenly and balance the sizes, right?


And if by some fluke you happen to put two doors side-by-side leading onto the porch, symmetrically arranged on a step, you make these two doors the same, right? 


Every opportunity for symmetry, balance and order that this house offered has been wilfully ignored in favour of an architectural approach I like to call "fling the windows at it and where they stick, they stay".

Except one.  This one.

Two windows, the same size, the same design, on either side of the apex of the roof, which is halfway along the length of the wall, giving the whole elevation the character of being "eye-sweet".  And where was this care taken?  Where were these simple classical rules of building design applied?  Look closely; note the wheeliebins and the fuse panel.  Yup, it's the garage.  Just to rub salt into the wounds.

I'll spare you the inside (for today).  The sunken chocolate-brown bath with carpet up the side and gold taps.  The collection of centre-light/ceiling-fans, each one different and every one hideous (ripped out of Saddam Hussein's palace, perhaps, for being too ornate), and the Flinstones' climbing-wall of a fake fireplace.

So why did we buy it?  Well, here's the view from one end of the porch.

Here's the view from the other.

Tell you what, though:- I'd rather be me, in here looking out at the view, than be some poor jackrabbit or coyote out there in the view looking in at this eye-sore.

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