Potemkin Estates, Parvenu Palaces (September 10, 2007)

The drive to impress in America is driving us to buy more expensive rides and bigger homes.  Architecture is about scale and proportion, among other considerations.  Bigger is not better; bigger is usually garish and gaudy and not better.  Pumping steroids into a house plan is counterproductive.  Some Americans commission monstrous McMansions and only finish enough rooms to obtain a certificate of occupancy.  Potemkin Estates.  Parvenu Palaces.  “Staging a home” before a sale is undertaken to make the house look like a movie set and presumably more appealing to prospective buyers.  However, the staging is now done at an earlier stage.  Talk to a furniture deliver person.  Some individuals finish a room, furnish it with tony furniture and cordon it off from use.  The thinking is that the house will look more comely when it is put on the market for sale at a later stage.  The house today has lost its essential purpose.  The bigger houses in particular have no heart and no soul; they are somber museums, monuments, mausoleums.Bumper sticker of the week:

Only you can prevent narcissism

Consume Inconspicuously

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