Little boxes

Oh, isn't it a dreadful thing to be sick? I've spent the last three days suffering from a cold – possibly the worst cold I've ever had, I think, although H1 suggests that I always feel this way when unwell. Regardless, it's awful, if probably not fatal. I hate hate hate feeling weak, slow and stupid…and when I have a cold, I feel weak, slow and stupid. All I can do is push through it. This isn't a good strategy for the impatient.

I slept pretty much all day Sunday and Monday, so they were taken care of in a great way, and readied myself to go to work yesterday morning, only to realise that that wasn't going to be a thing. After giving in and letting my boss know I went back to sleep (I know. Shocker) and woke feeling on the road to improvement, ready to spend an afternoon doing...

It occurred to me very quickly that I don't actually know what to do when a cold is rendering me useless. I tried to read and gave up on that quite quickly, watched some Parks and Recreation and tired of that quite quickly*, and ended up disgruntedly messing around on the internet – a highly enjoyable activity when it's a stolen 15 minutes, but boring and wasteful when you've got a whole afternoon and nothing better to get on with.

I ended up on Pinterest, that place where people design their ideal life, and ended up searching for, and pinning, numerous Eichler homes. If anything's going to cheer me up, it's looking at good design. I was back at work today and I suspect that's no coincidence.

Interior courtyard. Photo: Eichler for Sale 

Interior courtyard. Photo: Eichler for Sale 

My interest in Eichler homes was stirred up again on my most recent visit to California; our friends in Silicon Valley live in one and I am absolutely head over heels in love with their house. They're not fancy, they're not ridiculously sized and they were designed to be built in bulk – all not necessarily bad things. More often than not good things, in fact.

As someone who's fairly outspoken about bulk suburban housing, it may be a surprise that I love Eichler homes as much as I do. However, I'm only opposed to poorly designed bulk suburban housing thrown up in poorly considered areas, miles from anything existing. To me, that's the quickest way to a ghetto** there is.

I feel safe in saying that very little in the way of bulk suburban housing has been as well designed as Eichler homes in the 65 years (give or take) since they started going up in California. Of course, that's a matter of personal taste; possibly there's a whole cohort of people out there passionate about the faux Tuscan monstrosities*** of the late '90s that Auckland was briefly so fond of.

A matter of taste (good taste). Image: BuildDirect 

A matter of taste (good taste). Image: BuildDirect 

(But probably not.)

I don't know if I'll ever live in a house again. Time will tell. One thing's for sure, though, and that's if H1 and I ever get the chance to build our own place, the inspiration will be clear to see.

Image: Sabrina Huang

Image: Sabrina Huang

*Even though it's an absolutely excellent show.

**Ghetto meaning, in this instance, a dead neighbourhood, with no neighbourly life, amenities or walkability. Ghettos don't have to be poor areas.

***Possibly these are the same people who wouldn't refer to them as faux Tuscan monstrosities.