Friday, March 11, 2011


Sometimes you find art in the damndest of places. I was out looking at a town home with a realtor. Right from the initial step through the front door, I knew this place was going to be elegant and fresh. At first glance the home had the feeling of being staged, but as we went from room to room it became apparent that it belonged to a very neat owner who had impeccable taste. Every room we entered had an interesting, lived in feeling that warmed the place up. The paint colors were serene, the furniture was placed just-so, and there were vacuum marks in the rug. But you can always tell the difference between a staged home and home that is truly loved by its owner: a staged home looks excellent and will help sell to potential buyers, but it has a very general feel to it that will appeal to almost anyone. An owner with great taste, on the other hand, will take excellent care of their home as a stager would, but there are small details that give way to the fact that you have entered into someone’s private sanctuary, and you are reminded that you are a guest. A welcome guest, at that, but no doubt, you are a guest. And while there were some hints along the way, the ultimate sign was hanging right over the kitchen table – the focal point of the most common room of the home. It was a painting of Donald Trump.

I don’t know what drew me in first. Maybe it was the red eyes, or the funny spelling of the word “toupee,” or the sarcasm in the “nice comb-over” comment, but this painting suddenly became my favorite detail of the place. I was wondering if a potential buyer would offer more just to keep it. “Yes, we’re interested in your apartment. We will agree to pay our own closing costs if you will agree to leave all fixtures, as well as the painting of the Donald. And that’s my final offer.” A closer look at the work of art revealed hidden messages, which made it even more intriguing. While everyone else had already moved onto the master bedroom, I was still stuck in the kitchen questioning the motives of the artist. Was this a child who painted this, given the misspellings? What do those hidden messages read? Where did the owner even find this painting, and how much did he or she pay? And, most importantly, does it come with the unit? Because as we all know, a great piece of art is what truly makes a house a home.

-Ali Macaluso

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