Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to give your house a bad haircut.

One of my favorite courses in college was "Home as Work of Art".  I learned a lot about different styles of houses and how they have developed over time from mud huts to mid century American homes.  This class not only expanded my vocabulary (it was like learning a new language!) but also gave me an appreciation for how the facade of a home looks.  

You have seen this type of roof, right?  It started off as a little pang.  Something irked me. Something feels wrong.  It shouldn't, though.  This is how we grow up drawing homes, right?  Well, the pang wouldn't go away.  It grew.  So I decided I better figure out why my pang was turning to detest.  

screen shot from google maps street view
The difference between the two roofs is subtle but the bottom of the first roof cuts in.  Why does it bug me so much? It feels so much better in the above picture.

What does that cut in remind me of?

I have literally been trying to figure that out for months.  Here is what bugs me.  This house had its bangs trimmed too short.  Right?  Or her bob was cut too short?  It's a bad haircut. Too short.  The eaves cut in and cut off the flow awkwardly.

I have seen these 50s bangs work on maybe a handful of people.  They often cut the forehead off strangely.  Do you see what I am saying about the house yet?  No?  Try this image.

Now?  This 20s bob is actually cute on her, in my opinion, but I SERIOUSLY doubt it would work on me or....most people.  And I would bet money that every time you get it trimmed..it feels too short and wrong....like the roof.  

So that this post isn't just a big complaint...I do have a favorite roof.  I have two.  I love the Mansard roof and the Hipped roof.  I think Mansard's are elegant.  
from Scientific American Supplement via chestofbooks.com
I like to look at a Mansard roof.  I dream, however, of owning a one story house with a low pitched hipped roof.  I think my favorite thing about a house with this roof is that it does as little as possible to interrupt the horizon.  They are low and flat and feel like they occur almost naturally.  It's so peaceful to me.  

via chapmandesignassociates.com

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