Friday, 16 November 2012

Of House Layouts and My Beautiful, Amazing, yet Measurement-Inept Wife

Welcome back to my weekly platform from which I share stories with 100% more Y-chromosome and dispense testosterone-enriched wisdom.

Today I am proud to unveil our house layout drawing, which has been a long time in the making. Of course, telling the story of its creation is not complete without highlighting one of my dear wife’s shortcomings.

Cass is a wonderful lady, my best friend, and has many amazing talents and gifts. She concocts great meals without the aid of a recipe book. She makes me laugh with her oft-absurd antics. She is bright and wise and has a strong sense of character.

But she can’t measure.

Can’t is a strong word, but she herself acknowledges it, and it is the correct word in this case. Give her a lemon, she’ll make lemonade. Give her a crying child, she’ll pacify it. Give her a measuring tape, and she’ll alter the fundamental structure of the space-time continuum by making 18 inches into 7 centimetres and getting three drastically different readings in four different units of measure (including “seconds”) for the width of the same window. I exaggerate only slightly.

Of course, a house is a difficult thing to measure. In theory, the width of one wall in a rectangular room should be the width of the opposite wall. In theory, the corners of a square room meet at 90° angles (no, honey, we don’t have to convert that to Celsius). But in practice, walls vary in thickness, floors and walls curve and bow (usually imperceptibly), and if you’re looking for a right angle you’d be better off turning on FOX News.

So when it came to putting together a layout for our house, for both you our readers and for us to draw and dream with, Cass let me take this project on (although she was a big help in holding the other end of the tape measure in a lot of cases). I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Our main floor layout at the time we moved in. (Spoiler alert: It hasn't changed much since then.)
As always, you can click the image to enlarge it.

The final product is off by, at most an inch and a half either way. In the picture you see here, I haven’t inserted where the cabinets are in the kitchen or where the built-in entryway shelving unit stands living on borrowed time, but this gives you an idea of what our main floor looked like when we moved in.

I designed it in Adobe Illustrator, which is more popular among graphic designers than interior decorators, but it’s the best option I had and it worked beautifully. Since then, I’ve found out there are a few free home design programs that probably could do a pretty good job too, if you don’t have a career that requires you to know industry standard design products (and perhaps I’ll test one of them sometime to see how well they work).

We’ve also posted this as part of our new Take the Tour page, a companion piece to the To-Do List. As we cross off items from the list, we’ll start to update the layout so you can see where we make our changes, moving walls, wiring lights, placing furniture and the like. Hours spent in fruitless meetings as part of my corporate existence has caused me to hate the term “living document,” but if that’s something that makes sense to you, that’s what we’re going for here.

Finally, you may have noticed the banner at the top has changed a little from the version you may have seen when our post went up yesterday (if you missed it, here is that one again). 

Our old banner. Nov. 1, 2012 - Nov. 15, 2012. Good night, sweet prince.

Yes, those two heads in the new banner are supposed to represent my lovely wife and I, and the house has a layer of snow on it. We love the Doodles that take over the Google homepage on special occasions, and so you might see these change seasonally to reflect both those occasions and also a bit of how our house changes (sharp-eyed readers may notice the awnings are now gone on account of our new windows, although pardon us if you can’t see the cracks we filled or the lampshade that fell from the living room ceiling--we’re working with broad strokes here people, broad strokes).

What do you think? Any of you have tips for my measuring-challenged wife? Used any home layout design programs you like? Idea for a special banner? Let’s hear it all in the comments!
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  1. My tip for any measuring challenged wife is to marry a measuring-skilled husband who can do all the measuring for you.

    1. hahahaha genius. I feel like that is the best tip ever. Also, love your new banner. Super cool!

    2. Thanks! I love it too! We already have our changes planned for December :) yay for a Christmas house!