[ First of all, Tina, you are an interior design genius. The colors, the textures, the lines... oh the yummy symmetry. Every single room design makes me happy, extremely happy, and I'm sure many people are affected this way. But what is it about these single room designs that affect me so positively? Each one has a different color scheme, theme and an individual taste to it. I think what hits me so deeply as a builder is the nostalgia of it. Yes, it gives me warm fuzzies because these rooms... they are the complete centerpiece to what builders have totally factored out in their mass building era (it's been an awfully long era).
I take a look at every room on this blog, what do I see? An entertaining area. No, not an entertainment area, an entertaining area. What happened to the splendid idea of having a space specifically for entertaining?
Gone are the days of a formal entry, sharing a night cap in the library after a long day and a cozy fire warming the living room. That's right I said living room. It's obsolete, gone.
Usable space, that's what happened, builders decided that it's better to build in bulk (more money in their pockets, less value in yours). We lost our formal entries, our libraries and the foyer. Don't even think about formal dining, our dining rooms are part of one big room that consists of: kitchen, dining, family... but no more living. We're entertaining our guests where the kids lounge about, where the TV is located.
Sometimes when going over a design with a client, I take them through their home or parts of it for visualization. As a designer/builder/renovator I can see easily what could be there, but lots of times we really have to draw it out for the client to begin to visualize.
“So you wake up and first thing you do is head to the kitchen to brew your coffee. Your kitchen has an island and a breakfast nook, cozy right? Yes, just like Better Homes and Gardens. You're having some friends over later from your book club, Bible study, whichever you prefer. You inventory your pantry, of course there is a pantry not just a cubby hole in the wall... you're building new, you should have an actual pantry. Perfect, you have everything you need for fresh baked treats and some specialty coffee fixings. You decide you'll want to set up the coffee station in the living room, since that's where you'll be entertaining anyway. You needn't worry about shoving your husband and children out the door for the evening because, well, you ladies have a whole room to yourselves and who cares if your family is hanging about.. they are your family.”
I think this might be where the “man cave” came to be, I mean what guy doesn't want his own space in the house for his stuff? I think that used to be the “library” or the “cognac room”, but then again when libraries and cognac rooms were used guys weren't playing video games, playing beer pong etc., let's not get me started on all that. You can see where I'm going with rooms meant for a specific purpose.
Of course, we need to be thankful for what we have, absolutely and without question, but as a builder I see these rooms and it gives me so much inspiration for further building, designs of the future and renovations to the past.
I think it's time... let's bring back the living room. ]
~Gina at JP&G Designs http://about.me/procaccino