Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When Is It Too Much?

Once again I find myself doing a little soul searching. Two things brought it up this time. First, the "little shack" I showed pictures of yesterday will make just about anyone think things at one point had gotten out of hand. The question is, though, is it too much? I suppose if you don’t care for the style then the answer is, yes, they went too far. Even if you do like Victorian architecture you might think that is over doing it.

That house really is just down the street from me. When I first moved in I would walk down a few times a month to look at it. The house sits on a bluff overlooking the bay. It’s a nice spot to sit and look at the house, bay, birds, and boats. The house across the street from it is no eye-sore either. An argument could be made that the house is “too much”. If that’s not over-doing it, then I don’t know what is. I really like it though, so I guess for me it isn’t too much. It’s all so subjective.

The other thing that brought this up for me is the amount of time I’m taking stripping off the paint and then repainting the corbels and window trim. I could have sanded them down and then just done one color and it would have taken all of 20 minutes to finish them. Instead, I stripped to bare wood and then primed and finished with three colors. I would say there is about 7 hours of labor in the one window I did on the front porch. Is that too much? I guess it depends on who you ask.

Normally, I don’t question these sorts of things. When I’m sitting on the floor of the dining room stripping paint off wainscoting the hours just fly by and I don’t give it a second thought. I think it’s the fact that I’m out in the front yard doing all this meticulous work that I think about it. Gasp! What will the neighbors think? Maybe I shouldn’t care what the neighbors think, and for the most part I don’t. At the same time, though, I don’t want to appear to be too much of a kook. I could end up on some list like some other people I know.


Laurie said...

Yes, my husband was outside recently and the neighbor came by and said, "you're really inspiring". I guess he thought the neighbor was being ironic, and my husband said, "Sorry." And the neighbor said, "No, I really mean it." But, somewhow, in some weird way, I hope I'm not making the neighbors feel bad...isn't that silly?

ps. I don't think that house is overdoing it. I love crazy victorian homes on the coast. They're so romantic and charming.

Jocelyn said...

That is so funny you should write about this subject because lately I am facing this very same thing. Usually I work in the privacy of my yard or inside the house. With this big trim project now, I am in the garage, which is open to the alley. Neighbors walk by and comment- usually they mock cracking a whip or something like that or make a comment like "That Steve sure is a slave driver." It's especially funny when Steve walks up smoking a cigarette or something- very funny haha.

Now we all know that Steve does more than his share, but I seem to be doing mine more publicly and so everyone thinks I'm the big heavy around here- not that I'm a lightweight!

Anyway, I really relate to the time flying by while working on the wood. Total serenity.

The one problem I have with seeing people while I work is that they want to talk to me and then even worse ask me to do things- things I don't have time for right now- but it is nice to show people what we are made of here at the 2-flat. We're hard workers here- just like at Petch House!

Poppy said...

I don't think there's anything over the top or too much about the home down the street. I have to agree with like that to me are so charming and romantic looking and can never get enough of them.

I truly admire the time and effort you're putting into your own home, Greg. Your dedication to the restoration of Petch House is very awe inspiring and admirable. You're doing a superb job and for me it's a true joy to follow along through your blog.

Keep up the great work~