Tuesday, August 01, 2006

House Hunters Gone Wild

Lately I've been glancing at the various house hunting programs on TV. Not because I'm looking for a house, but because they're usually hosted by some hot girl in a tight knit shirt. The best ones are the vacation house hunting shows. The gist of these shows is that they show some disgusting yuppie couple or rich retirees three houses in whatever area they want to live in and the materialistic duo has to pick one to buy. I like these because of the locales they are shot in. My favorite was one in Tuscany. One of the houses they showed them was a duplex condo in a restored castle. Now that's a manly abode!

But the one on now is particularly vile. In it some schmuck from Vegas and his wife are looking at McMansions out in the Hamptons. The one they just showed was a 7000 square foot monstrosity with a price tag of $4.2M. All this for a couple who's kids are out of the house to VACATION IN. Now, back in the day when I worked for Richard we decorated houses for the nouveau riche. It was good work, and I wouldn't really knock it. But does anybody other than William Randolph Hearst need a vacation home with a restaurant kitchen (two sub-zero freezers and an eight foot prep table island), and enough room to house the 10th Mountain Division? I think not.

Another show I saw recently profiled another vacation home in the Hamptons. It was a bit touchy-feely-tree-hugger for my tastes, but it made sense. It was just over 1,000 square feet, and the budget had been almost zero. It was a single open room with the sleeping area at one end separated by a column. All the furniture was made by a local carpenter using found materials and natural shapes. There was no art other than the furniture--just huge windows to show off the view of the dunes and Long Island Sound. It was the type of house that men build. Once upon a time all the houses in the far reaches of the Hamptons were either old bungalows or these Mies van der Rohe (google him) inspired modernist boxes. Sure, it's manly to want a testosterone infused postmodern palace to show off your money and success, but there's something even more manly than that:

Cabela's sells pre-fabricated log hunting cabins. Now that's a manly vacation home!



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