The New York Times ran this article recently about the homes of the Republican presidential candidates. The review, informed by “interior designers and design psychologists” (no architects) is generally unfavorable. They make fun of Newt Gingrich’s extensive use of mirrors and Huntsman’s pink love seat with yellow bows. Bachmann’s complex roofline is rather atrocious (no mention of the maintenance issues with such a roof,) and Santorum’s more simple house is called boxy with small punched windows. The houses are all quite big… mostly around 5500 square feet. One designer who commented in the article said that he’d call them McMansions, but that would give McDonalds a bad name. Wow. That is saying a lot. None of them appear to be designed by architects that were given much latitude, but most of the candidates appear to have dropped some cash on interior designers. The houses all scream “I am a traditionalist,” according to design psychologists that were consulted. Manicured green lawns and brick or stone are present in all.
Uh Oh. What would they say about my parent’s house, (the house were I grew up)? My dad took off the fake shutters at least….and it does have industrial chic concrete window sills. The windows are true divided lites, by the way, and my folks hired a local artist to make some stained glass windows for either side of and above the front door…Its not so big, but it is brick veneer with a green lawn and small punched windows.
There is no discussion in the Times article about solar orientation or energy efficiency. There is no mention of simplicity, elegance, or economy. Creativity does not make an appearance, (except in Newt’s whimsical topiary.)
Perhaps the candidates can learn a bit from Ice Cube.