On my weekend visit to builders’ open houses to
torture myself with things I don’t have any money left for get ideas, I toured a spec home from a female builder for the first time. All the other building companies I have experience with have been headed by males.
It was a very girly home. I wish they hadn’t told me the builder was female so I could have separated out how much of that was my unbiased perception. Although with a swirlified name like Carey Homes on the sign out front, I should have guessed. Not my favorite builder name ever. My least favorite is Cloud IX which will forever be “Cloud icks” to me instead of “Cloud nine”.
What made this home seem girly? Well, the other women I went with had the same impression, and we explained it thusly: There was a lot of white, a lot of sparkle, and a lot of thoughtful care put into things like the mudroom and laundry room which the manly man builders often do half-heartedly or not at all. This was a Pinterest-y house. And yeah, this is going to be a sexist post.
This XX chromosomal pendant light was hung at the Home Command Center Desk conveniently tucked off the kitchen. I think we are all happy to welcome the tucked-away Command Center as a replacement to the old Look At My Clutter Desk in the middle of the kitchen.
I could not help but notice that many of Carey’s selections were like mine.
- White Shaker-profile cabinetry in the kitchen
- Contrasting espresso island
- Polished nickel pulls (in fact, I saw exactly the ones I am using for my kitchen in her master bath. See below.)
- White marble fireplace surround
- Delicatus style granite in the kitchen. (Delicatus is any number of granites with a mottled pattern including sparkles of quartzite over a white background.) I believe hers was Ice Brown.
- High board and batten wainscoting in the dining room with a greyish blue paint above. I’m considering using this for my living room.
The master bathroom was that incredibly popular marble-white-grey-and-shiny style that I really love–though mine will be stunning in a different way, right?
One of the rooms not pictured on the listing is the laundry room with the built in, laundry basket-sized shelves. They were something like this except lengthwise and large enough that you didn’t have to take the basket out to put something into it.
These laundry basket shelves are so far up my alley it’s illegal. Forget hampers that you have to dig things out of. Just give me centralized shelving running up the wall for an efficient use of space, and I will make everyone sort their clothes into it. New House Rule ranking right up there with prompt loading and unloading of dishes: Everyone will sort their laundry into the appropriate baskets upon divestiture. If the laundry basket is full when you try to sort yours, you must immediately run the batch. First one to open a dryer with dried clothes must promptly fold! Visions of sugar plums are dancing through my head.
The only thumbs-sideways moment in Carey’s laundry room was the folding table. Really? I’m expected to stand at a table–facing into a wall–to fold clothes? Is there anyone left who doesn’t multitask while folding laundry? There are entire channels devoted to providing laundry background. If I’m not going to fold at that table, then what will become of it? Oh, I know! Clutter collage.
I’m looking forward to my first paid consultancy with Classic Homes when I tell them to stage their laundry room with a poster of Bradley Cooper above the folding table. That house is selling so fast.
But back to Carey Homes. I definitely felt vindicated in many of my selections. Maybe too vindicated. I had to wonder, “Are my choices too inside the box? Too on-trend instead of trend-setter? Should I scrap the polished nickel and become a first adopter of the ‘new’ brass?” Afterall, I did the delicatus granite thing already in 2010, didn’t I? Should I quartz up the kitchen against all my principles?
No. Because I’m still right about that. And calm down, Heather. The floors are acacia, not handscraped maple, remember? You’re still edgy.
I did not love the floorplan. The front door opens right onto the family room staring straight at the gorgeously trimmed out fireplace. That’s stunning in a model, but disaster when you add three kids and a giant TV to the mix. The thought of my front door opening onto my family room make me feel like I’m in constant danger of being caught at the grocery store in my pajamas and glasses with no makeup on.
However, if I had seen the finishes of the girly house last spring when I was in the market, I certainly would have sat down with Carey Homes to get her bid on my custom build. (And she really should have done double knobs on each of those wide pot and pan drawers in the kitchen. Maybe she should hire me as a design consultant, too.)