It’s been nearly a decade since I started writing about home design, but it wasn’t until last month that I found myself, pencil in ear, tape measure in hand in the moldings and trims aisle of Home Depot with a very important decision to make.
We bought a home. An elfin walk-up on the scrappiest street in the toniest ‘hood in Brooklyn. And now, after years of waxing on about hand-tied passementerie and high-tech Italian cabinetry and floors made of wood reclaimed from dilapidated French convents, I am faced with the reality that my ability to define a Mission Style door knob back plate from an Arts and Crafts one doesn’t mean jack when the goal is to find a decent one 50 bucks or less.
And yet, the renovation continues. We’ve refinished the floors (coffee), knocked down some walls, swept the chimney (chim chim cheroo!), picked paint colors and drawn more graph-paper illustrations than the average 7th grade geometry class.
And what became of that game-time decision at Home Depot? I walked swiftly out the door and sketched a custom baseboard myself. An architect friend whom I plied with cocktails to join me on that big-box store errand gently mocked my incredulity at not finding contemporary moldings at Home Depot by asking, “Well, do you buy your clothing at Wal-Mart?”