I’m never quite sure why the New York Times writes about real estate and the lives of the rich in the way it does. Is it about sucking up to the 1 percent? Or are these writers actually secret Marxists seeking to spur class warfare against the rich by writing these articles? I know it’s the former but it sure seems like the latter sometimes.
I first read this article because it’s summary described how the wealthy buying houses in the Hamptons was a sign of an improving economy. Well OK then. But it is really so, so much worse than that. An excerpt:
It was that word “special” that doubled the project’s time for one room in his 8,000-square-foot home, taking more time to finish than the spa with the Turkish marble floors or the wine cellar.
“What most people call screening rooms are glorified dens, with a big television and leather chairs, maybe some stadium seating,” he said. “I wanted mine to have a vision. I feel it’s one of the most impressive screening rooms in the country.”
The screening room, which is oval, has a hand-painted ceiling that mixes silver and gold leaf with Swarovski crystals.
“It’s very hard for someone who is not trained to get all the subtle nuances of the houses right,” said Campion Platt, an architect and interior designer, who worked with Mr. Seltzer on his home. “It’s about scale and proportion. Until they see it all assembled, they can be surprised.”
The toughest spaces are not screening rooms, he said, but great rooms, those vast open spaces meant to be the convening spot of a home. “It has to do with the scale and placement of the furniture,” he said.
But people make seemingly smaller mistakes that have larger ramifications. They skimp on lighting and tile, said Shane Inman, an interior designer who specializes in kitchens and baths.
And just as bad as having too much furniture in the great room, people don’t allow enough space for a kitchen to be functional. “They don’t know how many inches they need to walk past something,” Mr. Inman said.
To minimize those gaffes that detract from a dream home, many people with means hire a team to help them, such as architects, contractors, craftsmen and landscapers. Finding them is not easy. One option is the famous architect route, picking a Richard Meier or Robert A.M. Stern, the dean of the Yale University School of Architecture. But that is out of reach of all but the wealthiest people, and even those who can afford them need to want a house that matches the architect’s style. Another option is to seek referrals from friends.
It’s so declasse not have Rem Koolhaas or Richard Rogers design your home. Really, if you don’t hire a Pritzker Prize winner, you end up with Swarovski crystals in your ceiling. And who wants that? Nouveau money, that’s who.
Seriously, Upton Sinclair or Leon Trotsky could not write a more effective tract to convert people to socialism.