Wow — a piece in the Good Weekend last week that wasn’t about Barry Humphries.
It was about houses being built modelled on Martha Stewart’s homes, apparently being bought by people who have no original ideas for themselves, but trust Martha to design something good.
“We’re delighted because we have no vision ourselves and Martha has thought of everything for us.” — Patty Coicione, quoted in Marthaville USA, by Helena de Bertodano, The Age Good Weekend, 25/1/2007.
Leaving aside the question of whether the interiors would be modelled on Martha’s prison cell, I find it amazing that so many people would go for this idea — buying a mass-produced home, leaving all the decorating decisions to the interior decoration Godess of Martha. They even have to follow guidelines set down by the company for what they can and can’t do with the exterior. It’s like a heritage overlay with no heritage.
But then, a lot of homes are mass-produced. Even my house, which dates from about 1930 (in these amazing 1945 aerial photos of Melbourne, only about half the street is settled). At first glance it appears to be unique, but in fact follows a set formula.
Looking closely around Melbourne suburbs that were settled at about that time, I’ve found dozens of houses that are the same, with the only difference being the choice of colour, weatherboard or brick, dining/livingrooms on the left or on the right, and the style of front verandah. Indeed, last week I found a house for sale in a nearby street with virtually the same floorplan as my house.
I wonder how Martha Stewart’s houses will look in 75 years.
PS. To clarify (and answer Michael’s question), the pictures shown here are of ≈75-year-old houses similar to my own. If you look closely you’ll see they’re all the same basic design. You can see Martha’s efforts here.