There have been countless decisions involved in this latest project: renovating another apartment here at Parkside Plaza, and leaving the home that Janet and I have shared for the past seven years. But no decisions have been so gut wrenching as what to do with some of the built-in features by our friend Marcus Sims, visionary founder of Treincarnation.
No corner of the new space could harbor the floating desk, made of urban harvest walnut, and there is no transition where the mulberry arch could meaningfully fit, or a narrow cherry bookcase specially made for a void behind the surface of the kitchen wall.
By the same token, removing these remarkable features piecemeal from this space diminishes what had evolved as an organic whole. In many ways, I wanted to leave everything, including the wine tree and the chandelier–pieces that were collaborations with metal artist Patrick Sells.
Further, it raises the question of whether some new occupant will appreciate the artistry, or will rip the stuff out and sell it or discard it. Outside of their context, these pieces lose a great deal of their meaning.
The bigger issue behind all this is our attachment to our possessions. In most respects, I am content to have had a hand in creating these pieces. On the other hand, these works are imbued with their own spirit, the spirit of their maker; more than just tokens of friendship and fellowship–they are like his living, breathing manifestations.
See more of Marcus’s work at http://www.treincarnation.com/, and more of his story at http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/abandoned-tree-trunks-branches-turned-into-countertops-mantels/2013/08/07/b97b3e5a-f3c3-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html