Here they are! The official nominees for the very first category of the 2011 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. That would be Favorite Houston Design Cliché. Thanks to everyone who submitted suggestions!
You can cast your vote for this award category simply by adding a comment below indicating your choice. But why not make it more fun? Don’t just tell us who you’re voting for, tell us why!
The nominees are . . .
1. The New Charlestorleans Style. “Take a 2,400-3,200-sq.-ft. box, stick on a Federal roof with some Italianate brackets on the cornice, Greek columns, a bit of French Quarter wrought-iron railing, and maybe a few Gothic Revival or Craftsman odds and ends and you have a New Charlestorlean home ready to sell to the couple that loves the look of historic homes but doesn’t want the burden of authenticity — or of keeping up repairs. Always 2 stories, porches on the first and second floors, and an odd mashup of historic references. Going up like wildfire on the peripheries of the new historic districts. Basically, the architectural version of Mr. Potato Head.”
2. Art Niches. “At last, suburban homebuilders have caught on to the vast numbers of avid and sophisticated art collectors among their target market — who before now had no suitable place to display their Precious Moments figurines or Thomas Kinkade prints.”
3. Parking-Lot-Facing Restaurant Patios. “Who’d have thought watching arriving diners try to find a parking place in front of a strip mall could become such a compelling urban attraction? The view, the fully paved outdoor experience, and the automobile-scented air together bring an upscale-authentic feel to what would otherwise certainly be drab dining experiences.”
4. Outsized Strip-Center Foreheads. “What took strip-center developers so long to recognize the traffic-attracting properties of the gigantic tack-on parapet wall? No need to go through all the trouble to get a sign permit when you can just prop one of these up over the front and tack on the store logos. These days, when they say they want to give an older strip mall a face lift, they really mean it.”
5. Giant metal chickens. “As home-decor whiz and former Pearland resident Jenny Lawson (aka the Bloggess) can attest, these sharp sculptures fashioned from rusted oil drums make the perfect 15th anniversary gift, either in your front yard or perched in front of your front door. And they’re apparently [link slightly NSFW] taking the lawn-ornament market by storm. ‘Knock, knock, Houston!'”
6. “Lick ’n’ stick” fake-rock siding. “It started on small commercial structures several years ago (see bank branches) and has now spread into the residential marketplace. In a city built atop clay and sand it always just seems a bit odd, like it’s trying to evoke ‘Denver on the Gulf’ or something. . . . Sure, the phrase ‘lick ’n’ stick’ sounds a bit exaggerated, but if you’ve ever seen it put on a house, you’ll attest to its appropriateness.”
7. Icicle Christmas Lights. “The ‘white Christmas’ theme is weird but quaint enough in Houston. Now our wish-we-weren’t-here neighbors want us to up the ante of our collective climate fantasy by imagining a snowy holiday shopping season followed by several weeks of sunny but below-freezing weather.”
Which of these fine nominees truly deserves recognition as Favorite Houston Design Cliché for 2011? You tell us. Let the voting begin!
- How To Vote in the 2011 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate [Swamplot]
- Swamplot Awards Ballots 2011 [Swamplot]