5/14/14

An Exciting Time: My Own Little Slice Of Seafoam Green



The American Dream inches ever closer as my ambitions for home ownership see forward momentum through the fog of legalese and mortgage-speak. Having an offer on a home verbally accepted by its sellers is a nice start, especially since they accepted my very first low-ball! It's an estate settlement, and I guess the family just wants the property off their hands. I'm excited because the house is a beautiful little ranch from 1953. It has (in near-perfect condition) the original kitchen and bathroom, including those intricate little ceramic bathroom floor tiles that were popular during its time. My favorite feature however is the bomb shelter - that's right, bomb shelter - located in the basement, right next to the half-bath. Nice that it's down there, it doesn't get factored into the square footage!

To honor the process of acquiring a sixty year-old house, one missing only its white picket fence for period-specific perfection, I've been wearing my "fifties" fragrances this week. Well, not all of them are necessarily from the fifties per say, but they were around before or during that decade. Things like Pinaud's Lime Sec and Clubman Aftershave-Lotion, Arden's Sandalwood, Creed's Orange Spice, Caron's Pour un Homme, and Max Factor's Signature for Men (broke that oldie out for a rare wear) were duly enjoyed this past week. I view the aesthetics of the house as being strikingly similar to the olfactory aesthetics of perfumes from its era. It is neat, modest, modern, full of clean lines, sophisticated colors, and homespun-American textures. Many of the older scents I've encountered have blunt top notes that literally sock your nose on their way to drydown. The house still has its original front door, a massive, squealing chunk of compressed steel to greet visitors. A little WD-40, like a touch of perfumer's alcohol, can set that opening straight, and make it smooth and inviting again.

The initial process of buying the house brought back memories of my family's former home in Cumeen. I remember my father and I kneeling in the concrete floor of the entrance foyer, laying down beautiful blue and white tiles by hand, and cutting them around teak steps. One look at the kitchen in my future Connecticut home had me envisioning the project through a new lens, this time fitting the floor to the original antique cabinets with beautiful black and white country-kitchen tiles. A Smeg fridge in Seafoam, some matching paint on the opened upper and closed lower cabinet tiers, and perhaps some sandy pink tiling on the backsplash will make it a stunning little room. The red brick fireplace in the living room will overlook quite a pleasant "back to the future" update. And the mauve tiling in the bathroom needs absolutely nothing. It's perfect the way it is.

Fingers crossed that the rest of the buying process goes smoothly. One thing I won't be doing is creating a showcase for my fragrances. They're fine right where they are, in a drawer of my massive dresser. From 1953.





8 comments:

  1. A bomb shelter! Those were the days (I'm told...): the 1950s... If only it were a joke! To celebrate, I recommend that you make yourself some microwave popcorn and watch Dr. Strangelove--again!

    Seriously, congrats, Bry. I am very happy for you. Next up will be the wife, two kids, and a dog, I presume? You already have the station wagon, right? ;-)

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    1. Thanks Sher, it does bring the idea of wartime paranoia to mind, although when ensconced in prettiness the nightmare of the era is overtaken by awe and wonder (not to be confused with "Shock and Awe").

      Dunno about the wife - really, really dunno about the two kids (I'm thinking one is a stretch) - I'm not a pet person, and I don't currently drive a station wagon. And I dislike Dr. Strangelove, oddly enough. I do love Barry Lyndon, though. Nevertheless, thank you for your congrats and you know you'll always be welcome at Casa Ross!

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    2. Good Luck! Hope it comes to fruition. Regarding Barry Lyndon, does this home have some woodland nearby where you might run into Captain Feeney and his son, Seamus? Since a past post delved into the possibility that Jack Torrance of The Shining wore Caron pour un Homme, what would a highwayman such as Captain Feeney wear?

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    3. I imagine the most we could hope for is cologne by Farina, although I like to think the smell of raw lime would follow old road dogs like them around!

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  2. All the best with the house purchase! As someone currently in the throes of planning a refurb of my tiny bathroom (bottle green ceiling, hello??) I am intrigued to see what yours looks like. Those mauve tiles do sound rather charming - I have always wanted a room somewhere in the house with mauve/purple theme, but am going to wimp out with boring monochrome and grey in my bathroom. ;)

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! A bottle green ceiling? My god that sounds perfectly incredible. The sellers signed the contract, my building inspector has an appointment to walk through the structure, and the mortgage broker continues to suck the fun right out of the whole buying process, but I'm still enjoying every minute of it! I'd probably wimp out and go for "boring" monochrome also, but the bathroom is already mauve and merlot tiled (and inexplicably untarnished by six decades of use) so I'll happily roll with it.

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  3. Hi Bryan

    Congratulations!! Great to read about your new home and its bomb shelter! I am sure you will have a wonderful time there, Curious to know what you plan to do with bomb shelter.

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