Jun 18, 2015

Terribly Planned Circulation

I'll tell you something about renting. You get to live in many different neighbourhoods and eras of dwellings - a pseudo try before you buy. As you know, we were renovicted from the place we moved into just seven months into our lease (a long-term rental, my ass). We were turned down for about six or seven places we applied to rent - who knows why? Besides, I don't really care. We finally got accepted into one - we moved all our stuff over on the 31st, and within 30 minutes of stepping foot in the place - in the daylight - I gave our notice to get out. Our total stay was thirteen hellish nights. What a pen of filth. Viewings only after 6pm! After 6pm because it's dark and you can't see the filth. Anyway, this dump of a building was built in 2009; I hadn't lived in anything newer than 1965 since I was nineteen and living at home with my parents. I'll never live in anything 'new' again. Speaking of such, how can people line up to buy condos that still need to be built? They've never even sniffed out the place. By sniffing out, I mean precisely that - smelling it. An educated nose knows the smell of particleboard and cheap flooring. An educated nose knows the scent of cheap. How do people put their trust in some developers they don't even know? Developers are business people. What do businesses care about in the 21st Century? The bottom line. What's the number one rule in business? Buy low, sell high. So, to all those people I saw lined up on 41st and Cambie today to buy an unbuilt condo on a major traffic artery - all the best to you and yours.

So, where is home now? Well, I had a Quebecois/Portuguese friend who used to like to call me a WASP; I adamantly disagreed - and even more so now that I looked it up. I don't have an Anglican or Protestant bone in my body and horses. Besides, horses and I have a mutual understanding - they don't like me, and I don't like them - but we're cool. Let's say I'm back at the beach (the other place was on 8th and Cambie). I haven't lived more than two blocks from the beach in eighteen years. What's that saying, once you leave, you can never go/get back?


Here I sit with all my furniture from our place in West Van. Stuff bought for our place in West Van. How do you make things fit in a space you didn't intend to put it? I thought I'd check out some of my interiors books to see what they had to say. That's what got me writing this post to begin with. After reading a chapter entitled Planning for Space*, it got me thinking about how all these new condos lack precisely that - a plan for a comfortable human space. Take these eight points on well-plotted circulation, for example:

  1. Can you get to the bedrooms without passing through the major group area?
  2. Can guests get to the bathroom without passing through a bedroom?
  3. Can you move through the kitchen without interfering with the cooking operations?
  4. Are hallways wide enough for two people to pass each other comfortably?
  5. Are entrance areas large enough to welcome guests to the home without dumping guests straight into the middle of a party?
  6. Are staircases wide enough to permit the passage of furniture?
  7. Are doors well situated to allow for traffic flow and comfortable furniture arrangement?
  8. Does the home have a "heart" - where people automatically congregate? Are paths to that area unobstructed?


Now, please memorize these points. Only rent/buy something after you ask yourself these questions. Landlords and developers - the same goes for you. It's in your best interest to keep happy, long-term tenants. That being said, although the layout sucks, I think the new place is going to be entirely satisfactory. You know I'll keep you posted.

On another yet similar note, I went to park in front of one of my favourite little Vancouver houses today and noticed it looked neglected. Well, it's been listed for sale - $899,900.00. It's probably 100% original - and it's listed for its property only. I've posted photos of its amazing dark purple hydrangea bush on Instagram.

* Faulkner, Sarah. Planning a Home. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

Ask Around