James’ Living Room

 Posted by on November 20, 2011  Add comments
Nov 202011
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His mother would probably be appalled at seeing bikes inside, food packages on the floor and a home brew ready for kegging off to the side.

Meet James. He has a Masters degree in digital signal processing with an emphasis in audio acoustics. He also has a very “do it yourself” attitude towards life. I suspect that is 3 parts his mindset and two parts his bank account balance. When he got quotes for hiring sound gear and a DJ for his wedding, he decided he could build his own full size (think local band on stage) speakers for cheaper. And he did. He is one of those fortunate people who has probably not been told what he can't do. Earlier this year he and a group of friends ran the Milford Track one day and rode their bikes over the Remarkables the next. You wouldn't know it for his beer gut (thanks to quality home-brew skills and the 20L keg) but he is much more fit than the average Joe.

The great thing here is not just that James is a DIY guy or closet endurance athlete because there are thousands of people like that. I invited myself over to make this image when James proclaimed at work one day that his new bike stand arrived and he had it set up in his living room so he could rebuild his wheel hubs while he watched a movie with his wife that night. Kudos to the wife for being cool about it (she is cool by the way), but huge props to both of them for USING their space for what they want to do.

I would guess 98% of the population buys a house and adjusts their life to work in the socially defined norms of the labeled spaces. Why do we have to adapt to 3 bedroom, open plan kitchen with indoor/outdoor flow. Well, yeah, resale is important, but what about LIVING in your living room? How many of you have a couch, coffee table, TV and some dusty books in a big room that costs a lot to heat and gets used for nothing much more than muscle atrophy while the magic box entices you with pretty moving colors? My ideal home is probably a commercial/residential structure with a 120 sqm wide open warehouse downstairs and a simple bedroom, gourmet kitchen and comfortable office upstairs. Oh yeah, toilets too. I could throw a huge party, set up a semi-permanent photography studio, store my tramping gear and some kayaks with plenty of room to move. I could even have James over to fix my bikes inside while I drank his beer.

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  5 Responses to “James’ Living Room”

  1. Dave, you raised more than a smile on my face when I read this post. I am married to a good keen man – who also wants to do everything himself! And he does – and very well too. Our house has grown in bits and pieces and we did the extensions ourselves – we were both the builder’s gofers – but our house is comfortable, doesn’t have an open plan kitchen, we do close off the front room in winter to save on heating costs – and we LIVE in our dining cum living cum everything room which adjoins our kitchen. I would love to show you sometime – including the man shed as well! And our paraphernalia and other gear display our collections gathered over many years – and also our inability to throw anything away! It not only might, but always does sometime, come in handy! Thank you so much for this post. It makes me feel great.

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing your ideal home when you have finished building it ……. I’m in complete agreement it does sound, well, ideal!

  3. Haha – starting to see a series arising here and made all the more interesting by the stories that go with them. I love the way you write (as well as photograph, but that goes without saying!). Looking forward to a development of the theme.

  4. Thanks for the positive comments all. Ian- you are more than welcome to drop in when the ideal residence is done. Barbara- I shall look forward to visiting sooner than later. Jenny- it is indeed a loose start to a series that I hope to develop further as well.

  5. And how happy does James look – using “his space” as he chooses. Nice shot Dave, I look forward to more of the same – and the huge party in your own ideal home. A great read too.

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