By Dave Twombly

(And we’re back from our Holiday Hiatus.  I hope you all had a delicious time, regardless of what your flavor of holiday is.)

Do a quick Google (or search engine of your choosing) search on “Crooked House”  and you’ll find “whimsical playhouses for children” , a book by Agatha Christie,  a TV show and a restaurant (among many other things). Sort of has a romantic ring to it, doesn’t it? But could you live in a crooked house?

Recently, I was out showing a house to some clients. Not only are they like me, living in a Cambridge condo, expecting their first child (well, my expectations have come to fruition as you know) but they have similar tastes in style and architecture.  It’s fun to go view houses with them. They are searching for their first home in which to raise a young family. The house was in a neighborhood they recently discovered and seemed perfect for them. They were pretty excited to check it out.

This house had many of the details that they (we) like.  Tall ceilings, nice wood floors, built-ins and details you’d expect from a house built around the turn of the century (that would be the LAST century).  We made our way through the house, liking what we saw, until we got to the master suite.  A big open space that was converted into it’s present form. It had some nice details, good light but a fatal flaw to my clients:  A leaning tower of chimney that would make that little thing in Pisa jealous.

Aesthetically, it was actually pleasing.  Exposed brick over hardwood floors, some nice trim.  It reminded me of some apartments I’ve lived in. I’ve always liked the combination of brick and wood.  Quirks are often what make a house.  One woman’s house oddity could be another’s selling point.  With a love of older house styles comes the inevitable quirk here and there.  In an older area of the country, like Boston, we are used to such things.

However this lean was so drastic it threw the whole room off.   Almost vertigo inducing, my clients worried they would wake up every morning a little off kilter. The rest of the house had features to like and a setting they enjoyed.  Alas this seemed to be the deal breaker.

So, that leads to a question?  What is your quirk tolerance?  Could you live in a crooked house?