Monthly Archives: January 2014

Storey’s Gate does chunky (what the heck is that?)

 

Storey’s Gate is a chunky builder, and I realized this after watching a TedTalks episode, featuring Malcolm Gladwell, over the Holidays.

For those of you who love this kind of thing, here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiAAhUeR6Y

He was talking about the history of pasta sauce and made a comment that stuck with me.  Research showed that people would buy chunky pasta sauce if one small challenge could be overcome, the only pasta sauce available was pureed.  Nobody made chunky pasta sauce.  I started thinking about the Canadian construction industry, and how we offer the same type of house (one type of pasta sauce) and wondered whether people would buy/contract/renovate for another, for chunky, if it was available.

Chunky is the feeling that you have when you sit in an old building in Brussels, in a 200 year old chair in a 400 year old building that has been well maintained.  The floors may be huge planks, or oak strips like they have in Paris.  The walls could be plaster or cement.  The doors are nine or ten feet high and have clunky old locks with skeleton keys that work.  The bath has a huge clawfoot or copper tub, often in the middle of the room and the floors are wood.  Furniture is not built in, rather they used antique cabinets.  Light and colours interact with textures, making the “look” difficult, but not impossible, to reproduce. The whole thing is a mish mash of new and old, vintage and antique, residential and industrial.  You are comfortable the minute you enter the space.  The most amazing thing is that the same can be found anywhere in Europe, from London to Berlin.

My love is for chunky, and I am here to tell you that I can build it, I know who can design it, and you can have it.

What does the industry offer here?  Drywall boxes, laminate floors, cabinets made of sawdust or wood chips, imitation leather, gas fireplaces, and reproduction stone countertops.  All of this is marvelous if that happens to be what you really want, but are you sure that you would choose it if something like the above was available?  If we made chunky, not everybody would want it, but how many would?  Most importantly, would you?