At the end of the recession, there were a new wave of new modern office buildings and homes being built. I thought this was great!! I was thinking the recession is over, we’re hiring again, and we needed something new here in Seattle. I was excited…..at first.
I don’t mind some modern. I’m not saying it should never be built. All I’m saying is there is a such thing is too much modern. If every building in Seattle were modern, the city wouldn’t have any charm and character. I’m sure there are quite a few people who love the contemporary look. They love the clean lines, mutual paint colors, and full of gadgets. I’ve toured modern homes that were beautiful and felt like I was right at home.
The cost of living has gotten ridiculous. Someone like me doesn’t mind it so much, but not for the average person. It’s driving people out of their homes and further away into the suburbs. At a time when a house in the Central District used to be priced in the $100,000’s now cost in the $800,000’s in a matter of eight years. People who grew up in the neighborhood are now forced to leave due to the high rising costs.
I get it, times change. But that’s a lot of change in eight years. And even though there were some neighborhoods that needed a facelift. I felt like that was a full on botox treatment.
I noticed a lot of modern houses look like a hospital. You walk in and all you see is…..white. White cabinets, white floors, white walls, white countertops…..the only thing not white are the appliances. I get not everything is for everyone, but I can’t help but wonder how long is white this and white that going to last? If we’re going to go modern, can there at least be some character?
I really like mid-century modern homes. I like the character, different colors, and designs. With mid-century, I feel like I can play around with the designs and bring it back to when they were first built. There’s no room for that with an all white room. And the one thing we all know is that things always come back into style. You never know, they might bring back the jheri curl right (I hope not)?
Okay I admit, I LOVE rustic modern. If I were to do new construction, it would only be rustic modern if not a craftsman or traditional house. I love the wood details that tend to surround the fireplace or other rustic designs mixed in with the modern design.
I feel like every home has a story. If we tear down every single house that needs a little work, everything becomes cookie cutter. I loved it when every house or neighborhood had it’s own story. Like a house that was built in 1911, I find myself imagining the children running around in the backyard while the dad works on the car. Or the family that sat in the living room and listened to the radio. I love history and when a house is torn down, I feel like history is being torn down with it.
Not every house can be saved and some change is good. But there is a such thing, in my opinion, as too much change, too fast. So when I approach these homes, I go in with the game plan of bringing it back to life. Depending on the design and approach, the challenge is to not make an older house too modern.
Nothing is going to stop the new construction from happening. It is what it is. Like I said, change is awesome! But as I drive down the streets I grew up playing in, went to the store, or visiting a friend/relative, it’s almost unrecognizable. New houses being built, restaurants have disappeared, barbershops moving on, streets being repaved, etc. And some of that is cool….but I feel like some of the old school flavor should be kept because it represents a story.