Ever click on a house tour article that opens with a photo like this, hoping to see a few more photos of the landscape?
If the article is about a house for sale on the island of Barbados, I’m betting on getting lucky.
Hoping, at a minimum, that maybe the photographer got careless and inadvertently included a bit of the garden.
Very nice. Now, let’s go outside, shall we?
“Four decks and patios in the backyard are shrouded by lush tropical gardens. The beach is just beyond a hedge.”
C’mon, show some of it, will you? Let’s see some of what puts the tropical in “tropical gardens.”
Okay. The house will do. Now what about the garden?
Now we’re talking. That’s a pretty good start. More, please.
(Nice definition with the massed sansevieria at the patio’s edge, and that’s an impressive stand of ginger.)
“What you do automatically, everybody does, is walk straight into the garden, and straight to the sea,” said Peter Lewis, an owner.”
Of course we do.
But that’s it. All the rest of the photos are of immaculately clean, spare rooms in a house for sale in Barbados. I mean, the photographer is there already. Why not grab a few photos of the landscape? I admit I’m biased and don’t speak for the typical newspaper design reader, and I know this is a piece on real estate for sale, but at least get photos of all four patios. That’s what I’d need to see before thinking about spending $3.95 million, because that’s where I’d spend all my time. Hasn’t the concept of “outdoor rooms” reached the NYT yet? It’s Barbados, for chrissakes, an island I’ve had a crush on since reading an article about it in my teen-age brother’s Surfer magazine. I forget what I had for breakfast today, but I can easily recall the name of the surfer in the article, Claude Codgen, salt-and-sun bleached blond hair pouring out from underneath a cowboy hat, head tipped back against a wall, eyes squinting into the island sun…but I digress. Help me out here, New York Times. Magazines like Garden Design are calling it quits. A little more landscape with your house tours, please? Especially when the landscape figures so prominently in the appeal of the house. Sure, what the kitchen countertops are made of is important to know, I suppose, but in the owner’s words, with my emphasis:
“Here, to be honest,’ he said, “we don’t live inside, we live outside.”
What he said.