Published at Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 - 00:08:34 AM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
While Victorian-style homes (generally any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria, between 1837 and 1901) are equated more with romance than practicality, Spindler says they confer several structural advantages. Their old-growth redwood is less vulnerable to pests and earthquakes than newer homes framing. But there are also drawbacks. Victorians were almost always built without electrical service, so sometimes original gas pipes havent been turned off or may have residual gas in their lines after theyve been capped. This can be an issue for workers who might be cutting into old lines. And while many love the feeling of 11-foot ceilings, itll take more steps to get to the next floor, and painting and changing lightbulbs can be more involved. But (especially since many of the architectural plans for these homes were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906) being aware and offering insights to clients about such positives and negatives are just part of the job of a style specialist, and Spindler embraces her role as adviser. “None of them come with manuals,” Spindler says. “Its an exploratory process.”
Light and fire. Low-voltage, energy-efficient illumination for the outdoors is now easy to install, even without an electrician. It can be placed along paths, in grass, water features, and trees to extend garden use past dusk. Lighting also helps homeowners enjoy their gardens from afar by spotlighting different garden focal points so they can be enjoyed during inclement weather or when residents are otherwise unable to venture out. Real flames and light can flicker safely in gas-fired tiki-style torches or a fire pit to expand a gardens use into evening. Fire offers a mental health benefit since it tends to call people together to sit and linger, which is especially helpful for for those feeling isolated. “Theres something almost tribal about being around a fire together,” says Sachs.
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