Thursday, February 18, 2010

Field Trippin'

We took off in a big car to visit the American Red Cross Designer Show House in West Palm Beach yesterday.  I was interested to see what was going to be done with three different apartments in a high rise building, since I was only involved with those re-done mansions in New England years ago.  Entry fee:  $30.  I nearly dropped but figured it was going to be super with three different places and we ganged up with the car load of women behind us to form a 'group' so the rate went down to $25 a head.

I don't think I have felt so ripped off in a long time.  The apartments, and I am talking about the bare bones shapes and sizes here- not the tarted-up versions, were very small, all 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  I do have to say I loved the high ceilings (10') and the wide and tall windows everywhere so there was generally lots of light.  All the outside areas were wrap around balconies but they were very narrow in most places and I truly could not have gotten myself out on one, especially on a windy day!  I noticed that they have hurricane protection along the bottoms of the big sliders too-  and that pretty much amounts to a thin baseboard molding continuing across the doorway to seal it when closed-  imagine a 4 or 5" board across the bottom of the door and calculate how long it would be before your tipsy brother in law trips and falls on his face-  forward-  onto the skinny balcony!  Talk about heart attack inducing!

But enough of the safety issues, the finishes were not exactly luxury quality either-  sure there were granite countertops and marble bathrooms but the kitchens were mean and small and the cabinets very shallow.  Granted this wouldn't be a place where you had grand entertaining going on, but still, you couldn't put a plate in these cabinets.  Maybe they was just for the liquor bottles for that brother in law you want to launch over the Palm Beach skyline!  It was the kind of place that will look very dated by next year.  Now, for the designs!  I hated most everything.  The first apartment was a weird narrow shape with the second bedroom/den a pie shape.  The room itself was tiny which made it even harder to deal with so it basically contained a couple of floor cushions.  I did question the wall treatment-  looked like maybe a formica barn board.  The living room was bright yellow, narrow, with way too much big furniture, then you move on to the screaming red and black bedroom.  The bed was maybe 8' high and there was a 18" aisle around it, not even enough room for the pet stairway you would need to get into it!  The walls were dripping with Asian stuff ("hmmm, red!  Let's make it Asian!"), statues and boxes and themes and mirrors.  Ick ick ick.  The bathroom attached had black wallpaper with red poppies, and believe me, you would need some poppies to smoke if you lived there.  And bring some light bulbs.

I beat feet to the next apartment which was the one I really did like and could probably move into happily.  It was a big open living/dining room painted charcoal black with animal skins on the floor, saris fashioned into drapery and cushions, lots of white and mirrored furniture, and all sorts of ethnic artifacts and art.  I could have sat right down and called it home.  The black walls were wonderful-  they receded rather than dominated, and all the reflective surfaces bounced light around sufficiently to make it seem like a bright room.  BUT:  the second bedroom walk-in closet was transformed into a dressing room with art on the two side walls and a nice desk or dressing table along the back-  no closets, no chests, no place for stuff at all.  The master bedroom closet was a very small one rod affair that even TY with his golf shirts would have found too small.  But at least it was interesting and had a great view out across the area to the ocean.

The third apartment was so icky, although the largest, that I couldn't wait to get out. The living room boasted a hand painted mural of white flower shapes. each about 6' across and highlighted with gold blotches.  A highlight was the master bathtub filled to brimming with plastic plants and fake moss.  And, oh yes, the bedroom was orange.  So restful, so peaceful, so zen.  It had a view to the pool-  waaaaaay down, with the largest fat guy you could imagine out sunning himself- he was a white guy but had cooked himself to the darkest I have ever seen ANYbody achieve.  I though it was an Orca but he didn't have any markings.

I know this is too wordy, and thanks for plowing through if you bothered.  Today I am off to the studio to cleanse the mind and soul from all the ick and be happy happy that I am located in a house on the ground and don't have any orange rooms!

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