Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Palimpsests

We're here.  We're at the new house.  And we are all really tired.

The new house is new.  Built in 2010.  Finished just last week.  And the old house was old.  Built in 1950. Loved for over half a decade.

It took us almost two years to decide on a house to buy.  The reason it took so long is that I couldn't give up on the idea buying an old house.  I loved the idea of finding something old and fixing it.  I loved the idea of transforming something (ugly?) into something else (beautiful?).  I love the palimpsest of an old house - all  those layers of "beautiful" - built up over decades - that give the house some sort of - authority and authenticity?

It's ironic really.  I'm an architect.  Mostly, I design new buildings and new places.  But in my personal life, I felt like I needed to prove my value by living somewhere old.  As though years and years of someone else's assignment-of-value would validate my own worth.

Philosophy, psychology.  Maybe I'm still struggling a little bit with our decision to buy new.  But you know what?  The new house is to all kinds of awesome.  We've had some control that we would never would have had on an old house.  Like choosing to orient the house for maximum sunlight.  And since we used a builder, we left a couple gaps for our own design input. Or perhaps I should say, we left couple of projects to do ourselves. And one is almost done.  I'll be posting some photos soon.

On a practical level - and speaking of projects - I really miss the palimpsest of hooks in all the old house's closets.  Yesterday, I spent about $50 at the local building center on hooks for the new house's closets.  Now on to installation.

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