Sippican goes off on stupid house trends. He wouldn't approve of some things about our house, but I'm right there with him on other trends:
1. Snout Houses. As he says, don't nail your house to the ass-end of your garage. It's an egregious failure of American design that we can't figure out what to do with the cars. Here, we put the house on stilts with a wraparound porch on the second level and the garage underneath. We never put the cars in the garage, though. They just get parked wherever.
2. Flat-Screen TVs over Mantels. Guilty. Works for us.
3. Microwaves over Stoves. I prefer not to put any electronics (other than the vent hood) over the hot stove, but our microwave is built into the upper cabinet, which he disapproves of. He thinks a microwave belongs in the island, but ours is an island-free galley kitchen, not an 800-square-foot extravaganza.
4. Cook-Tops on Islands. See above. We did put in a nice, powerful hood that's properly vented to the outside. My mother-in-law's vent hood doesn't vent anywhere. I fail to see the point.
5. Open Plan in a Big House. For the airport-lobby look. I'll go him one better: our not-very-big house has the quaint kind of kitchen that's not integrated with the living room. My husband feels more strongly about this one than I do. I enjoy houses with the integrated kitchens that seem almost obligatory now, but he's the cook and he doesn't feel like being on stage (or subjected to conversations) when he's getting dinner masterpieces ready to bring out. The idea usually is to avoid making the kitchen drudge feel isolated, but that's not an issue with him, to put it mildly. (See "Introverts," below.) But I chuckle now when I see plans in fancy housing magazines that include an "away room," which used to be what we called any ordinary room with an old-fashioned door.
6. Very High Ceilings in a Family Room. Guilty again, and loving it. We suffered for too many years in a suburban house with 8-foot ceilings. The common room here goes right up to the peak of the roof and suits us just fine in addition to accommodating my Christmas tree. All other ceilings are 9 feet or higher. I'd have been happy with 11 feet everywhere, but it does complicate construction.
7. Plastic Everything. Unlike Sippican, we live in a hurricane-threatened swamp and therefore made some concessions to humidity, including vinyl-clad window exteriors and lots of Hardie-plank and a PVC-related extruded material that I can't tell from wood trim once it's painted. It's dimensionally stable and fire resistant. I agree with him about anything that's supposed to mimic stained wood, though, including plastic decking material and vinyl fences or rails. That technology is still in the double-knit polyester design stage.
8. Ceiling Fans Everywhere. Guilty again. This is just more Yankee talk, frankly. I feel less strongly about it, but my husband wants a breeze from above in every room, all the time, especially when he's trying to sleep. The ceilings are high enough to accommodate the fans.
9. Enormous Jacuzzi Tubs. No, but we have two claw-foot tubs and no showers. Sippican claims no one will bathe in front of a window, but it sure doesn't bother us -- though of course we're isolated behind trees and up on stilts. If we can't manage to die here, I'm sure the lack of showers will give us fits in a resale. For that matter, buyers probably will wonder why we didn't hide the toilet in a little closet (not me; too claustrophobic) and why we're perfectly able to share a single sink in the master bath. Neither of us places time-consuming or complicated demands on a sink.
10. Powder Blue and Cocoa Brown Color Scheme. Not our thing. I've seen worse color schemes, though.