Poster Child

An amazing kitchen with a back wall of windows, white subway tile walls and green cabinets on the bottom and upper open shelves surrounding a stainless steel hood.

Don’t try and lie to me. I know. You stopped at the picture, didn’t you? And you were wondering. Weren’t you?

You were wondering if I found this image on Houzz or Pinterest. Maybe that I posted it to share elements that I’d like in my own kitchen. Could be that you were wondering if you Rip Van Winkled, maybe that you fell asleep for a few months and the project was complete.

But I bet that you weren’t wondering if this was an image from a new rendering tool that was used experimentally on our project. I bet that you weren’t thinking that there is some whack technology that morphs design and products all the better to view with some fancy 3D phone goggles.

It’s like the best CGI–so that it looks real. It’s proportional. It has the fixtures and cabinets and colors that we selected. I’ll get the entire 3D experience when I go to the office and use the goggles. This newfangled technology brings sketches to life.

Right now though, I sit on the subway and open up the image on my phone. I zoom in and pan across. I imagine opening drawers, and I stretch my mind to stack my plates on the open shelves. I think about where I will pour my coffee, on the right counter next to the appliance garage and below the shelves where the coffee and tea will sit.

I fancy the positioning of the dog bowl on the slate floors, underneath the dog food cabinet, of which they’ll be one. I dream about looking out those big back windows at my new trees and watching the morning birds flit between them and the evening fireflies sparking up the grass.

In my reverie I may miss my stop. But I’m in my happy place. That place that gets concocted in my head–where the physical drawings and the computer generated imagery gets animated into a dream sequence that generates warmth like it’s coming to life.

And it’s just a made up picture.  I don’t have apples in a bowl or a pitcher full of milk. It’s pretend. At least for now.

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Green Screen

A wall lined with bookshelves, filled with many books and more whatnot.

I’m looking at the bookshelves lining the wall in the den. They are tall. They span from door jam to radiator, filling in all the usable space. They were an attempt to provide a library feel. I’m not sure we got there, but it definitely evokes that storage room feel. 

Where I’m looking right now will be a set of French doors, opening to the hallway. The doorway will be twin to the archway leading to the living room. So where this wall, stacked with a book buffer, currently stands will be a set of doors. I bet they end up with eight or fifteen little glass panels. We will be able to easily see from room to room. 

I really can’t quite see it now, though. I’m trying. Hard. I guess we’re in the imagination stage of the remodel. Where we make decisions based on ideas that seem good translated into line drawings. I feel like I’m acting with a green screen–I can’t actually see what it looks like, but I have to react. 

I’m spending time in the bathroom washing my hands where the appliance garage will be and leaning up against the wall oven. I have to move the back door over three or four feet and squint to see the new windows. My mind wanders to spatial relations. Will the dog food bin fit in the island cabinet? Do I want it there? Do dishes go in one of the roll out drawers? And what about the paper towels? They need to be accessible, but where?

I walk back and forth where the new bathrooms will be, thinking about lighting and the staging of towels and bandaids. I stand just outside where the new doors will be and mime opening and closing them. 

To get some perspective, my eyes dart between the drawings of the windows and the actual windows. I align my body with the frame and turn myself to the left to see how much wall space we’ll have. I think I sometimes open doors here, too. 

Once or twice, at night, I’ve had dream tours. These tours are always fantastical and absolutely wrong. My brain adds extra floors and maybe a slide. The rooms are not like the rooms in the drawings. Once there was a pool outside the kitchen door. I don’t want a pool. The colors are wrong, too. My sleeping house is viewed through hazy filters, like the old fashioned ones in Instagram.  There’s too much yellow, or it’s way too rosy. 

The next morning I wake up and pull the plans up on my phone, and walk through the rooms as they’ll be–hanging towels, pulling deodorant from the medicine cabinet, stepping into the imaginary walk-in closet. I hope that they don’t put any toothy CGI monsters in when we get to post-production.