Battlepanda: Rise of the Megamansions


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rise of the Megamansions

In the two years since they moved into their voluminous 8,000-square-footer on the edge of Virginia's suburbs, the Bennett family has not once used their formal dining room, where the table is eternally set for eight with crystal, an empty tea set and two unlighted candles.

Not even guests use the palmy, bamboo morning room beyond it; and the museum-like space Bonnie Bennett calls the Oriental Room -- all black lacquer and inlaid pearl, fur, satin and swirling mahogany -- is also gloriously superfluous.

"It's kind of stupid, because we never sit in here," said Bennett, 32, who bought the largest house she could for the investment.

8,000 square feet? Holy moly.
She bought it for an investment, eh? I wonder how that's going to turn out for her in the next few years.

I used to work as a canvasser (raised money for the DNC back in the '04 election cycle). We knocked on an awful lot of doors. Maybe 50 a day. Sometimes people are nice enough to invite me into their homes, so I saw the insides lot of different houses. What always struck me was how people liked to huddle in smaller spaces -- the kitchens, the nooks, the cozy sitting rooms. When I visit huge houses with outsized living rooms, they always seem kind of uninviting, no matter how deftly decorated it is. A house should be designed for living in, not as a shrine to consumerism.

And in case you were wondering, the size of the house is a poor indicator of whether the owner would give generously. And the big, shiny car is actually a negative indicator.