I’m relieved to report that my recent appearance at Left Bank Books in St. Louis was a big success. The event to promote my new book, The Forever Home, not only exceeded the bookstore’s expectations, but many attendees later told me that they greatly enjoyed it.
The book signing/presentation took place one day before my 50th High School Reunion. Many of my fellow Clayton High School graduates came in a day early to attend I will be eternally grateful. A few times during my presentation, it felt like I was back in high school, forced to present to my classmates. Left Bank live-streamed the presentation. It is available on YouTube. You’ll have to forgive my less-than-polished delivery; this was my first post-pandemic live presentation. I wish I hadn’t used my hands as much.
Drawing on my experience presenting at local home shows, I tried to make the presentation relevant to anyone, even people who might not be building a new home or remodeling an existing one. In reality, much of the book’s information could be used to tweak your home and produce a more satisfying living environment. That’s the end game anyway, right?
Turns out I was preaching to a tough audience, though. I asked the 45 people in the audience to think about the time they spent at home during the pandemic. When I asked how many of them enjoyed the way their home worked for them during this time, nearly everyone raised their hand. This was obviously a pretty well-housed cohort.
Many people, I found in reporting the book, weren’t entirely satisfied with how their homes “lived” during the pandemic. They yearned for bigger porches, improved outdoor views, and even germ-resistant surfaces. To prepare for the presentation, I polled the architects featured in the book to find out whether new clients still requested the things that rose in importance during the pandemic.
For the most part, this generation of must-haves — features like quiet spaces and private bathrooms — have become permanent desires. Some architects noted that clients didn’t seem as concerned about integrated outdoor spaces, especially since interest rates are higher now — sacrifices must be made somewhere. The one item that seems to have taken off is the “Zoom Room,” a dedicated home office space that functions as a home studio of sorts. I guess I should have seen that coming. More later….