Make A House A Home

I want my house to be a home.

I found one of the most instructive stories in this respect in a tale about Edward Ford. You may know him better by his nickname, Whitey. Whitey Ford was one of the truly great Yankee pitchers. For several years he was the best they had, starting the first game of the World Series four successive years twice in his career. He was able to martial his resources more often than not to overcome his challenge (the batter) and reach his goal (getting the ball through the strike zone and into the catcher’s mitt).

Like most of the rest of us his resources weren’t limitless. He was not overpowering, therefore, his game depended upon deception. This meant his mechanics had to be perfect, the more so as he got older (he also cheated a bit at this end of his career). A pitcher’s mechanics are the movements he or she makes in order to exert control over the movement of the ball while hiding his or her intent from the other team.

The story is told that one year Whitey had won most of his games, and the Yankees were headed to the World Series. All of a sudden the other teams were hitting Whitey’s pitches as though he were providing batting practice. After much analysis, the Yankees discovered that Whitey had fallen into a bad habit of slightly pointing the big toe on the leg he raised up before throwing when he was pitching a curve. Now, when your whole game depends upon deception this can be a disaster, and was.

In remodeling our living space our game depends upon our mechanics. What is the specific space upon which we are focusing? Specifically, what is our need/goal/aspiration/aesthetic for that space, and how will it impact other spaces in our home? What are the supporting members (studs, joists, rafters), and how will we use them? What colors and textures will we use? Do we have a good grip on the technical aspects of the design and building of our piece (joinery, perspective, etc.)? There is no silver bullet to solving the problems of realizing a new living space.

It is a trial and error process in which we want to make most of our mistakes on paper where it is cheaper. It takes more discipline and patience to learn and use the proper mechanics. We all want our home to be a haven and support in this world. Do we have the proper mechanics to make this happen? In the coming blogs I’m going to give you a real example of this — both right and wrong — by confronting a project in our house. See you then.