The approaching World Series makes me think about connections between baseball and contemporary home design. Themed decor is an obvious overlap and a brief web search produces a wide array of examples. This novel wall clock by Pachi Paradice from Squidoo
uses baseballs for numbers, suggesting new ways of telling time, like “quarter-after first base” (4:15) or “half-past home” (6:30). I think the hands should be centered on the pitcher’s mound, however, not second base, because time and the game really begin with every pitch. Baseball wall murals
like this 9- by 15-foot example from Classic Wallcoverings, Inc., might suit a media or family room. (Bring out the garlic fries!) Or what about a baseball bat lamp
made out of a recycled metal slugger from Rerun Productions. It’s an odd idea but the tapered shape seems to work rather well. And naturally every front doormat
is really home base. The one shown above is from Uncommon Goods.
Interestingly, the baseball diamond makes a useful house plan diagram. For example, if I rotate Plan 48-415 slightly,
home base becomes the front entry; first base: bedroom 2; second: the master suite; and third: the kitchen. The dining area makes a good shortstop — for a short stack? — and the great room is a natural infield. Of course the back yard becomes the outfield and maybe the garage is the dugout. (You can’t do this with football.) The point is that a simple way of organizing a home is to think of it as a malleable baseball diamond. The tricky part is adjusting the space between the major rooms, er bases. You can borrow space but there’s no stealing.
Baseball has other connections to home design. My wife and I were in Buenos Aires earlier this year, visiting our daughter on her semester abroad. She had a room in the elegant early 20th century house of a remarkable woman named Diana who had raised three children there after her husband suddenly died. A plant-filled front hall, high ceilings — some a little crumbly and patched but full of character and style — welcoming dining and living rooms, and a roof deck were key features. Diana spoke very movingly of the house as “my partner in raising the children.” The roof deck was especially important as a protected place for them to play in that particularly dense section of the city. In other words, like a dependable catcher, a good house is a team player, working with you as life throws new challenges, allowing you to live not just more comfortably, but more fully.
Outfields of Dreams
The roof deck-as-team-player is worth considering for houses on tight lots with little yard space. The deck can be at the top of the house
as in Gregory La Vardera’s Cube House, Plan 431-8, or to one side
shown here over the carport in Plan 472-7, or
above a detached garage as Plan 64-195 shows. In all of these cases you just have to be sure your decking is over a gently sloped, well drained, and permanently sealed (often with an elastomeric membrane) roof.
Another way to to make sure your chosen plan is a team player is to customize it by building in a little flexibility; for example, by making sure there’s a ground floor bedroom and bath for when stairs become a problem. A good house plan can accommodate the seventh inning stretch.