ArchiTalks meets #ThisOldHouse

Note: This is the eighth post in a group series called #ArchiTalks in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect gives a group of us architects a theme or a set of questions and we all have to post our response… this month’s theme: favorite place.

I thought about naming some really cool place I’ve been fortunate enough to visit.

Sevilla, Spain. Architecture + jamon + red wine cheaper than water = heaven




The Netherlands. Architecture + bicycling as an integral part of the culture + Gluhwein = yes please



Perth, WA. Architecture + cute Aussie boys + Bundy = Lora likey


But then I realized that when I completely boil down the pieces that make my favorite place, it’s #ThisOldHouse. Once you stop rolling your eyes at what you think is the obvious or dull choice, please keep reading. It provides me a place to lay my head and put food in my belly, keeps me safe, let’s me be “me”, and – most importantly – provides an outlet for my creativity.

Now I lay me down to sleep…


This is the most important part, right? While almost every room of #ThisOldHouse is under construction, it still is home and gives me shelter and a place to eat. Granted, most of those things all happen in one room (which I call the “war room”), but as the rooms reach different levels of finish I’m able to start using them and living in the space.

Where everybody knows your name

Safety is an important key to most people enjoying a space, and from both a singular building and neighborhood perspective #ThisOldHouse delivers. The house may be 125 years old, but those 125 year old parts sometimes seem more sturdy than the <20 year old renovations made to the home. It has strength and character. And so does the neighborhood.


Woodruff Place is just a mile from downtown and was the first “suburban” neighborhood of Indianapolis in 1872. The 3 block neighborhood was its own town (with a mayor) until the early 1960’s and a civic league has continued to look after the well-being of the neighborhood since then. As Indianapolis grew out and encompassed Woodruff, both the neighborhood and the city saw ebbs of decay but also flows of growth and progress. The positive of being a 3 block neighborhood is that you literally know your neighbor, even if that “neighbor” is a block and a half away.


We pitch in for quarterly neighborhood gatherings, bi-annual neighborhood cleanings, and special events – some that have continued since their inception in the 40’s. Part of knowing each other, though, means we also pitch in if someone blows a fuse (a regular occurrence in old homes) or needs a hand moving furniture. We look out for each other, a sentiment that seems rare in the current day of suburbia.

Time to unwind

Another important piece of a favorite place is being able to relax and just be yourself. If you can’t do that at home, something’s not right.

I may not pay for cable, but I love a good glass of wine or bourbon and lounging to watch a movie. The living room, which is in its last stages of renovation, will be the epicenter for this. A full width couch + 2 connecting chaises will not only let *me* lounge, but allow me to host friends for movies and game nights.

While I’m currently lacking a significant other and tiny humans, I bought #ThisOldHouse thinking towards the future in hopes that they would some day walk (and scamper) through the rooms. I renovate planning for it to not just be *my* favorite place, but their future favorite place, too. And while there may be some pieces of furniture that get defined as “mommy’s chair where mommy drinks her mommy juice”…the rest of #ThisOldHouse will be theirs to experiment, learn, and grow in. Which brings us to the last point…

Pure Imagination


As most creatives know, it’s important to have an outlet for your passion. Whether it’s a place to write or draw, a piano to play on, or a workshop to build in…being able to do the thing you love is important. #ThisOldHouse embodies all of those things. I feel so fortunate to have a literal test lab in the form of a house, where I can create designs and then go to work enacting them and bringing them to life. Want to learn to tile? There’s a bathroom (or three) that will need renovating. Want to try your hand at creating a modern backyard fence? Have at it. Want to throw some paint on a canvas and see what happens? #ThisOldHouse needs art anyway.

The projects span big (demo to studs of multiple rooms) to small (making invitations for upcoming parties). #ThisOldHouse encompasses it all. I’m of the mindset that you should always be learning something, and my favorite place never disappoints with giving me space to do just that.

What about you? What is your favorite place? What requirements or parameters cause it? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,


To see the take on “favorite place” from other Architects, follow the links to the others in the #ArchiTalks group who are posting today on the theme:
Bob Borson – Life of an Architect (@bobborson) 
Jeff Echols – Architect of the Internet (@jeff_echols) 
Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect) “My Favorite Place”
Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM) Do You Have a Favorite Place?
Lee Calisti – Lee CALISTI architecture+design (@leecalisti) “favorite place”
Matthew Stanfield – FIELD 9 Architecture (@FIELD9arch) “Ruby Slippers”
Evan Troxel – Archispeak (@etroxel) “My Favorite Place”
Cormac Phalen – Archispeak (@archy_type) “Baltimore”
Andrew Hawkins – Hawkins Architecture, Inc (@hawkinsarch) “My Favorite Placein the Wild”
Jeremiah Russell – Rogue Architecture (@hawkinsarch) “My Favorite Place”
Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect) “Making Space and the Favorite Place”
Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch) “Where Do You Like To Go When You Aren’t Working?”
Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX) “MIT Chapel – My Favorite Place”
Michele Grace Hottel – Architect (@mghottel) “favorite place”
Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA) “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@Missing32Percent)
Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC“Cinque Terre”
Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz) “Favorite Place(s)”
Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture (@mondo_tiki_man) “Favorite Place”
Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w) “my [first] favorite place
Tara Imani – Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1) “Favorite Place – Architalks 8

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