House Envy / by Leslie

Life can always get better, right? Aren't the most successful people always slightly dissatisfied with the way things currently are? As a kid I was constantly rearranging the furniture in my room, craving change and looking for that new perspective. As an adult, it seems I've made a habit out of some pretty drastic moves, each time one step up the ladder. From small town Canada, to Vancouver, then Calgary, then to a new country, eventually to New York, and now that I have reached the goal of living in the coolest city in the world, I am now on a domestic quest to live in the coolest house. And by cool, I mean "put it in a magazine and take lots of glossy photos" cool.

The place we live in now is the new beginning. It's the first house that my name is on, and the first house that I had a hand in choosing. The way we live in this house is so different from a typical home. The open floor plan, the cathedral ceilings, all the natural light, the huge screened porch that blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor, having 2 acres and being surrounded by trees. It's really wet my appetite for modern design. And yet, it's not perfect.

We've learned that the house was not built for the winter, it's expensive to heat with the current system and it's poorly insulated so that the heat doesn't stay in. We had to upgrade the electrical to 200 amps because the heat pump is such a pig and the wood burning stove that we had installed just doesn't seem to be big enough.  So for all it's perks and how fabulous it is in the summer, I feel a bit like we are forcing this house to be something that it's not. Once we replace the pig with a new propane system and add insulation where ever it can go, it will be much, much better, but I still dream about the day when we can build a brand new house with everything we want and need. It will be energy efficient and inexpensive to maintain, it will be beautiful and balanced, it will have sweeping views and be perfectly situated on a nice 10 acre lot, it will have everything that makes life easy to live and let's put it in California while we are dreaming, so we can really live the indoor/outdoor lifestyle all year around.



So that's why when I saw this article in the NY Times, about Ron Radziner's new house, I totally got house envy. Radziner is a partner at Marmol Radziner and Associates and I have also lusted after the company's super fab, pre-fab. Pre-fab is totally the way to go when building a new modern house. It will cut costs drastically and save time, though it is still building new, with all the headaches and delays that go along with that. The other house that Chris and I fell in love with when we were thinking about building, was the Rapson Greenbelt pre-fabs by Weiler, specifically the Greenbelt 2. We got so far as to speaking to them and looking at land, but alas, it was not the right time for us to be building a house.


Someday in the future though, I will have my dream house. And for now, the one we have is leaps and bounds ahead of anything I have ever seen or even dreamed about, but it truly is just the beginning.