One of my favourite hobbies is to rent out holiday houses and apartments, on the cheap, in summer resort towns. Here you discover ‘home job’ renovations and self-built holiday houses. These places, often, feature creative household design gone seriously astray into the realms of something out of the house of mirrors at the local fair. Witness staircases that spiral dangerously from floor to floor, just asking for an accident and an insurance suit. Experience bathrooms with plumbing not quite of this world. I once waited hours for a home-built bath to fill and, then, drain. Someone didn’t quite get the basics right on that one.

When Creative Household Design Goes Wrong

More common are the leaning walls and sloping floors in houses that, just, don’t measure up to find a flat surface to share. These gradually become ever larger problems over time, as gravity does its thing, and these structures begin to compete with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Building, more generally, used to be open to far more disastrous forays by unqualified builders in the bad old days. Any mug could try his hand, before we had proper training and university degrees for builders in this country.

When creative household design goes wrong, you can end up with a litany of doors not quite closing, taps on the wrong sides, shower recesses which do not drain, kitchen benches which are too high for the average human, and light switches in the most inconspicuous spots imaginable. Floors that create vertigo with patterns seemingly designed to spin out the occupants before they can reach an exit. Ceilings that are too low, even, for a family of jockeys or midgets. Doorways that are too narrow or too wide and waste valuable space.

Although, becoming rarer, these funny to look at, but not so funny to live with architectural travesties are signs of times when real estate was not so, uber, expensive. In those days, homeowners could afford to take a punt on dad’s carpentry and building skills. Many of these places are being rapidly knocked down and rebuilt to take advantage of the value of the property itself. There really should be some sort of a museum to capture the pitfalls of poor household design and building attempts. If you should find yourself living in one of these relics from a more innocent age, click here for a kitchen upgrade. Life is too short to put up with bad design in the home.