Thursday, September 23, 2010

Superfluous Details: Home

I suppose I should define what I mean by a "superfluous detail."

I think of it as a detail on a building's exterior for which there is no structural necessity; it exists simply for the sake of beauty. Generally it's an architectural detail, but in today's example the homeowner added it--just because it's pretty.

It's not unusual to do that. We all love to decorate our homes. This added detail is very much to my taste.

Even if it were artificial flowers and plastic flamingos, which are not to my taste, it's better to at least try than to let the yard fill up with garbage, broken toys and dying bushes, right? (Before you say anything, just know I've been weeding the back yard.)

25 comments:

Dina said...

So unusual, in a nice way, everything in this picture.

pasadenapio said...

The tattoo on that guy's nose is very artful but he needs to trim his moustache.

Mister Earl said...

That's fun. There's a house on the Arroyo that once belonged to Ernest Batchelder, the tile maker. There's a decoration on the chimney made up of four tiles and a little ledge. The tiles form a "B".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batchelder_House

andrea said...

love the paintings at the wall

Jean Spitzer said...

Looks like a bindi.

Bellis said...

It's a beautiful superfluidity, like a bindi for a building, as Jean says. Is that the Buddhist wheel in the center?

Mr Earl, I walk past the Batchelder house every day and have never noticed the chimney tiles. Thanks for the info.

Virginia said...

I love the SD but also the cute blue trim around the windows.
V

Petrea said...

I agree, Dina. The homeowner has made this place so individual and charming.

Funny PIO! But I like the mustache.

Thanks for the link, Mister Earl. I've never noticed that detail, either.

Is that what it is, do you think, Andrea? Must be. I wondered.

A complicated bindi, Jean, as long as we're going along with the face idea.

Bellis, I don't know if that's the Buddhist wheel, but I don't believe this homeowner chose this piece for any particular significance other than its beauty.

Yeah, Virginia, this house has a lot of small, well-chosen details.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

They call them dingbats. Back in the 80's, Los Angeles artist Judy Fisken did a b/w photographic series on them. Mostly apartment buildings. I always liked that body of work

Greg Sweet said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees a face. I see an elephant with its trunk raised.

When I install a garden (which isn't very often) I do it under the name Controlled Chaos Garden Design. The name refers to my preference for gardens that appear to have evolved into their current state, but it actually takes a lot of work to make it happen. I usually incorporate some piece of junk, or "found object", as the hipsters say. My own garden has a rusty antique wheelbarrow planted with flowers - like someone left it there and Mother Nature is taking over.

When I worked in nurseries in the '90's, gazing balls were all the rage. I'm glad to see those go.

altadenahiker said...

I really like this house in general, and its privacy. (Add old livingroom furniture to the stuff a front yard is better without.)

Petrea said...

http://judyfiskin.com/photographs/dingbat.html

PA, I like the word dingbat for this sort of thing. It's much better this way than as an insult.

Greg, gazing balls were a retro fad that didn't need to recur.

Hiker, I know people want to sit out on the porch and not everyone can afford gorgeous patio furniture. But yeah. I so agree.

Margaret said...

I like this house. It looks like it is nice and cool, which will be good for the owner this weekend when it's supposed to be hot.

Mister Earl said...

Actually, now that I see a closeup of the Batchelder House chimney tiles, I see that they don't form a "B". Sorry for any inconvenience or economic damage this error may have caused.

J+P said...

Gazing balls is the official disease of the 2011 Opthamologic Convention & Jubilee. This year it's in Cleveland, I think.

Greg Sweet said...

@J: There were so many directions to go with that. You took one of the higher roads.

Ms M said...

I like the look and feel of this home -- and the "superfluous details" :)

J+P said...

Thanks—but I screwed up ophthalmologic. (I left my strabismus in my other pants.)

Speedway said...

I was watching "Julie and Julia" tonight and, during the scene in which Julia Child and her sister were discussing their father's goals for them, that they remain in Pasadena, become good little housewives and join the Republican party, I was wondering -- "Where is the house they grew up in and what did it look like?"

Did their house have a face with a mustache and a tattoo on its nose? Probably not, but if there's a shrine to Julia's childhood home in Pasadena would it be fodder for the PDP lens?

Petrea said...

I can't leave you boys alone for one minute.

Speedway, no mustache, no tattoo.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I just saw Bastet in the corner of your blog. Thank you. There is so much good will towards her that she's got to land on her feet

Petrea said...

Keep us up to date, PA. I keep thinking about her. I know there are thousands like her. I give Boz a cuddle and thank my lucky stars we rescued this one, and I wish we could save them all.

J.J. in L.A. said...

My mom has one of these (but it's western themed) on the back of the garage.

It's not like this beautiful piece of work. It's downright fugly.

Pascal Jim said...

A day late due to busted computer.

Displayed in our garden is a Blue Bowling Ball, thrift store acquisition, and a sub for a gazing ball. Rub a little oil on same and it sparkles.

Petrea said...

Always good to make a thrifty choice. Although the oil is a maintenance cost.