Jan 18, 2015


The small one isn't a gable.
The one at the left is.
Ever since I went to Salem, Massachusetts (the clarifying is needed, since there's a Salem in Oregon and another in New Hampshire, and I went to the one in Massachusetts, which is the one where the witch trials were held in 1692-1693), I have become somewhat obsessed with gables. For those of you who don't know what a gable is (I didn't until I went to visit the House of Seven Gables), it's an architectural structure, where a roof seems to come out of  the side of another, but have the same high. Like their upper beam is on the same level. Pretty much all I know of gables comes from my visit to the House of Seven Gables in Salem, which used to belong to the Ingersol family, related to some degree to writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, who has also become a writer I've gone obsessed with, also after my visit to Salem.

The look of the gables is quite charming from the outside, as it gives a roof a lovely something, a thing to give it interest, not to mention the source of light and space it can add to a space that usually doesn't get used enough, or properly. Of course, this is mostly used on buildings with roofs that have a steep angle, so the idea of a gable doesn't seem likely for buildings with flatter roofs.

After several considerations about my future and where will it be spent, I decided that I'll end up living here, in Costa Rica, thus I'm finally on the road of buying my own house (yes, after so many years, but then again, up until a few years ago I planned on living in Hungary, so there was no point in looking for a house in Costa Rica). The choices are either buy a house or buy a small piece of land (I don't actually know how you call this in English, but it's an area with no building upon it, good to build a house on it), and build a house to my liking. Both options are so popular in here, that often housing development companies buy a large piece of land, segment it in several parcels and then sell them to clients with the option of building for them one of the houses they have previously designed, or just the parcel for the client to build on it whatever type of house they please.

Last year I went to check out a Home Expo, and have been paying more attention to houses available for buying, apartments and so. Though I keep checking, it pretty much looks to me like that's not a choice that would satisfy my needs. It's like you can't find a single house with just one bathroom. Nobody thinks about the inconvenience of having to clean two bathrooms? All options I've checked have tiny kitchens, tiny bedrooms, walk-in closets and two or more bathrooms, and that doesn't meet my requirements. I want a good sized kitchen where cooking and baking is actually possible, not one where the only "cooking" that can be done is reduced to microwaving and coffee making. I also need a room that can house my books, and that means a proper sized library. I don't need two bathrooms, and I definitively don't need a master bathroom or a master bedroom. If the house is all mine, why would I need extra privacy?

Anyway, in the light of all this - and the exorbitant prices of houses here (really, often much more expensive than larger houses in the U.S,) - I decided it would be better to buy a parcel and build on it a house. And this is when the idea of the gables got inside me even more. At first I was worried that it would be hard to get builders here that would understand the concept of a gable as I want it, but then I found buildings in the city that have gables (ever since I knew of gables, I can't help it but check the roofs of buildings, hoping to find one), so I took pictures so I can tell the builders (when the time comes) what kind of roof I want.

The following thing was to decide how to use these gables in my house plan. Evidently, I'll need a two story house, which I wasn't originally considering, but if I want gables - and I want gables - then I'll need a two story house. (No, I'm not going for a three story house, that's just too much.) I've already planned what I'll have in the lower level, and how I want it pretty much arranged, and have an idea what I want for the upper level, but the shape of the gables might be complicated. Basically, I can put a bedroom in one gable and in another put a bathroom and a storage room (divide a gable in two, so half of it is the bathroom and half of it is a storage room for towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies, bed linen and such). Of course, the idea like that is nice, but how would it look?

This is where I started checking out images of interior design using spaces in gables and angled roof attics. Some of the images I've found are these:

For a Bedroom occupying a whole Gable
An interesting idea for a bedroom in a gable. It's cozy and perfect, though it puts two windows when I'd like only one.

Again a cozy solution and only one window.
For a Bathroom occupying half a Gable
The window is  in the wrong side of the gable, and the distribution isn't of my liking, but I like how it fits.

The window is in the right side of the gable, and I love the colors and style, but not the separated shower and tub.
I see a toilet and a basin with a counter in place of the tub, or even on the side of the shower, take the shower away,
and put a corner shower or shower and simpler styled tub. After all, in my own house, I shall indulge in bubble baths.
Well, this is what occupies my thoughts currently. I'll be scouting for images on the net and in my tumblr (no, I don't have an instagram and though I've considered getting one over and over, I end up not doing it because of the data-sucking they do), but if any of you have ideas, or links to point me to more sources of inspiration regarding gables and interior decoration in gables, I'd love to get them!

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