Yes, less is more, and then some…

Trendsetters in American home design are crossing new frontiers, thinking outside the box and boldly going where no architect has gone before.

According to a recent Associated Press report, the latest look is less – the “unexpected, unfinished, uncommon” look one achieves by going back to basics and eliminating such unnecessary amenities as, er, ceilings…

By getting rid of that dull, old-fashioned ceiling, innovative builders are giving new homes an unexpectedly open look, revealing previously unexposed beams, pipes and wiring right to the roof top.

De rigueur, design dudes – sort of like living in a fashionably drafty, $500,000 South-of-Market warehouse loft without all the discarded wine bottles and dismantled drug lab debris.

Not only is today’s no-ceiling look stylish, but it says you’re wildlife friendly.

No longer will you have to put up with the muffled scuffling of unidentified rodents overhead. Lose the ceiling and you gain and number of pointy-tailed, beady-eyed buddies who’ll be glad to entertain you with their amusing antics right in your living room.

Roof rats – they’re not just for the attic anymore…

The only problem with this trendy concept is that it simply doesn’t go far enough. Within a year or two, just about everyone will be ceilingless and the newest look in home design will be as ho-hum as avocado-colored appliance accents in the kitchen.

Now is the time for boldness, American homeowners.

If eliminating your ceiling is hot today, removing an exterior wall will be cutting edge tomorrow.

Unexpected, unfinished, uncommon? You betcha!

Not only does this provide great flow-through ventilation all year round, but it gives you an unprecedented sense of freedom and openness not to be found in more conventional homes, or even federal prisons.

Suddenly, you are at one with your environment and the great outdoors is practically indoors.

Plus, it’s neighborly. You can see out and your neighbors can see in. It’s a bold statement that tells everyone “I’ve got nothing to hide!”

Losing that restrictive wall gives real meaning to the greeting, “Hi, neighbor!” as you trundle through the living room in your Barney the Dinosaur boxer shorts.

Opening up a wall or two will also eliminate the need for elaborate security systems. No burglar with a lick of sense is going to rip off someplace where the entire block can witness him practicing his felonious art.

And there’s the added protection of the cross-eyed neighborhood pit bull, who’ll be able to provide you with an added sense of security as he wanders through your non-wall on his daily rounds – just be sure to keep plenty of fresh pork chops on hand.

The next logical step is, of course, getting rid of that old-fashioned roof over your non-existent ceiling – greet the morning sun with a smile and frolic in the evening moonbeams!

It won’t be long before your neighbors recognize you for the uncommon, uncompromising innovator that you really are – particularly when you’re enjoying your morning shower in the breakfast nook..

Originally published September 10, 2000

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