My IKEA kitchen units, it seems, will not survive Year Zero. “You and your wife could put your bed here,” she says, gesturing towards the two-foot-deep bay window in the kitchen, “and you’d get all that lovely sun in the morning.” We proceed to the living room, where I fail to misdirect her gaze from the dirty great slash the kids made in the sofa. Her thoughts are all of sledgehammers. “Knock down these walls,” she declares. “Open up the space and divide it with wooden screens.” I ask what kind of wood. She peers at me over her shades. “What a ridiculous question!”
What about my books? “Pile them sideways up from the floor. You don’t need your bookcases. Who needs bookcases?” It’s a wonderful vision, but I can’t help feeling it might be more practical for a hotel than a family home. “If you don’t want to hear your little girls giggling,” she advises, “then just put them behind one of the higher screens. Don’t be ruled by fear.”
Intelligent Life magazine says that hotels used to mimic wealthy homes, and ideal homes now look like hotels (the nice ones, of course). Now, I like a nice hotel—they’re lovely places to stay in, with their high count thread sheets and maid service, and other amenities—but my ideal home would have more character. It would look comfortable and live-in, and, yes, it would have bookcases (and it would probably be somewhere more secluded—I picture myself as a crazy old man who lives in a house in the woods). I’m sure it’d be nice to be Eloise living on the tippy-top floor of the Plaza, though!