In Style

Call me a makeover junkie. I can't seem to walk past anything without creating a split screen before/after in my mind's eye.

As a child, I amused myself through long church services by mentally restyling the entire congregation's hair. Beginning with the row in front of me, I would cut split ends, get rid of poodle perms (you remember, poodle-like curls on top, slick spikes down the back of the neck, usually found on slightly overweight teachers of about 42 years), snip a comb-over (which always indicated that a personality make-over was also in order) and manage to get to just about everybody before the doxology.

I'm not proud of this little fixation of mine that has spread to every aspect of life as the years have passed. It's like any obsessive compulsion: I don't want to re-make every hideously upholstered chintz sofa I see; I have to.

Fashion faux pas forced me to whip out my "Don't" stamp at the pool this summer. As in, "Don't wear a bathing suit that is two sizes too big/small." As in, "Don't think you are covering anything with that little tutu thing." As in, "Don't wear a string bikini if you are not under 25 or Bo Derek." (Which, incidentally, reminds me to ask, "DOESN'T ANYBODY EVER READ A MAGAZINE IN THIS CITY?" In Style devotes an entire issue to makeovers, and I'm certain most publications on my grocery store shelf have a before and after section of some sort that should offer adequate guides to appropriate attire and grooming.) As Bret Easton Ellis says, "The better you look the more you see."

Lest you think me completely vapid, not to mention shallow, let me defend myself by saying that most of the time I see the good elements, no matter how small or hidden, in every man, woman, and child, and the makeover is my way of highlighting those elements. That's what I tell myself anyway when suffering from the residual guilt that comes from being just a little too catty. Most of the time some small detail can improve a thing's looks and my personal mission is to find that detail.

I met my match in the house at 107 Eastin Road.

As one winds through the trees down the long driveway that culminates at a circle accessing what looks like the back of a French-ish house, she imagines a fabulous small farmhouse in Burgundy and can hardly wait to see the front of the house which inexplicably faces the backyard. Unfortunately, this is the front. And the back of the house looks just like... the back of a house.

The stone pillars that mark the entrance to the property intimate a grand home but having seen the house, it becomes clear that the entrance directs visitors to the grounds rather than the home. Remaining evidence indicates that at one time the yard was quite a showplace. A large rectangular fishpond and winding paths survive from a garden plan that incorporates the entire 3.8 acre tract. The original owner must have requisitioned the house simply to have a place to eat his meals and to rest his head between stints in the garden. It was clearly built to be just a utilitarian structure meant to house people as they went about the business of life.

I can't for the life of me think of a way to make this house any better save adding a whole new facade and gutting the interior, which is the domain of architects or builders whose sanctioned makeover skills are far more professional than mine. Or for the ultimate makeover Realtor Mike DeBoor suggested that the house could be torn down and the land subdivided into building lots for new houses. I would hate to see this unique plot of land divided, but I like his style.


107 Eastin Road


3-4 bedrooms; 2 baths

One-car basement garage

3.8 acres

Contact: Mike Deboor 321-0820

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.