When we first launched this blog back in October of 2013, we were still in the process of buying our dream house. Knowing that we wanted to create a blog devoted to our adventures in making the house our own, we started brainstorming titles. After bandying about ideas for a few days, we settled on Mr. and Mr. Blandings – a title inspired by our love of the old Cary Grant/Myrna Loy film. It also seemed like a fitting title for a blog about the new lives we hope to create in our “country home.”
Now that we’ve actually been in the house for a few months, and as we’ve continued researching it and all the other American System-Built homes, we’ve started thinking about the blog differently. We always knew we wanted to write about our house projects, but we had no idea how much the house would be the star of the blog. When we thought the blog would be as much about us as about the house, Mr. and Mr. Blandings seemed like an appropriate title. Now that we’re merely the supporting players in the story of the house, it’s time to change the name of the blog completely. And so, Mr. and Mr. Blandings is now …
THIS AMERICAN HOUSE. In addition to better representing the subject of the blog, our American System-Built home, the new title also describes our passion for American design and architecture. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to furnish the house with almost exclusively American made pieces. Then, as we started researching American System-Built homes, we began to understand that Frank Lloyd Wright and Arthur Richards were trying to create a truly American design with these houses. It’s not by coincidence that they were called the American System homes. The original marketing copy for the housing project says,
Today, there is an American Architecture. An architecture as brave and direct as the country. It is pioneer work. Frank Lloyd Wright has cut fresh trails as did the early American. He has forgotten the time-trodden roads of the older orders.
America deserves an architecture. The English, German or French home is a part of the actual country; it belongs where it is built; it fits their respective styles of living. The Italian home built on the hill side becomes part of that hill. It grows out of it. The buildings express the life of their occupants, and are national in character …
No longer do Americans have to satisfy themselves with homes that ape old world forms, that were never intended for the new America. The American System house voices American feeling. It is the expression of a national spirit. It is fresh, buoyant, vital.
American Architecture has come naturally. It has sprung up from among us. It is big with power. There is nothing artificial about it. There is no straining for effect. An American House speaks to you. It says: I am the beauty of perfect utility. The inner rightness of design and materials finds utterance in my outward lines.
Only a man who has a world-character in his knowledge and an American in feeling could have done this.
In Frank Lloyd Wright the nation has found its interpreter. Through him America is no longer the copier. America is the originator. The American House is the creation.
It’s a bit grandiose perhaps (it is marketing copy after all) but we really appreciate what Wright and Richards were trying to do. They wanted to create an American design. They wanted to build the American house. And now we own one of those American houses.
And so This American House seems like a far more fitting name for our blog. For it is the story of this house, this American house, sprinkled with tales of our trials and triumphs in restoring it.
So what does this mean for you, dear reader? Not much, really. We’ll still be writing the same posts – before and afters, product roundups and the like. You can still access the blog from mrandmrblandings.com – although you might want to change any of your bookmarks to our new URL – www.thisamericanhouse.com. While you’re at it, you might want to Subscribe to This American House by Email to get our blog posts directly in your inbox.
Thanks for reading!