Friday, June 29, 2012


This use to be my next door neighbor's house. It was built in the twenties with lots of charm, beautiful windows and a tile roof on a corner lot. It had been in the family from the very beginning until they decided to sell it to a developer who is basically dismantling it (slowly hand-bulldozing it) and reconstructing a new home with a second story and a large upscale master bedroom. They have installed a chain link fence around the property with a plastic covering so no one can see how they are destroying history. (I was able to sneak in and take some photos). Am I sentimental? Yes. But I know who lived in that home, the pattern of their lives, the way they parked their cars everyday of the year, the decorations that displayed every Halloween and Christmas. I have felt such sadness over the whole process. And what is the purpose of this demolition? There is no amount of enlightening that will ease my remorse. This was the upstairs bedroom, the one that will be transformed into a "master suite". Call me old fashioned, but I am a preservationist when it comes to history and architecture and roots. And so here I am in my shop taking a new piece trying to make it look authentically "old", and the whole time I am waxing and distressing I am mulling over the fact that what I am creating is being destroyed right next to my home. I am creating old, and they are dismantling it. Is it a personal preference or is it simply greed and profit on their part? In a neighborhood with character, style, and architectural dictates, why would someone want to come in and build a home that only insults the grace of its surroundings? Looking down and through is my idea of vision. We need to see something that speaks to us. When I paint a piece of furniture, it sometimes takes me awhile to really see a piece. I might paint it one color and then go back later and do another color. Yet, I think ultimately the design and the shape and the various ideas will suddenly come forth, and you will know, without explanation, why you choose to do what seems authentic and fitting, and it becomes an integrated decision. A piece is born through your dreams, remembrances, and your unique design vision. It is really not complicated if you trust your instincts. Repair what needs to be fixed. (I love this part.) Choose the color that speaks to you (and you must trust that it will and does). Then choose the color and vision that gives you that sense of certainty. Florence is one that is beginning to haunt my dreams.....I trust it will find its place.

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