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April 15, 2020

I Want Miguel Almaguer’s House

by Anne Paddock

One of the strangest things about the coronavirus is how the pandemic has allowed the public into the private homes of people whose voices we may have recognized but whose names we were not as familiar with, until their faces were broadcast into everyone’s family room from their very own personal residence.

Allow me to clarify something:  I am not interested in celebrities. I don’t follow any of them on social media and probably don’t know who most of them are anyway since I rarely watch television. Instead, I tend to follow friends and family, plant-based restaurants (Vedge, Nix), and restaurants that excel at making nutritious but delicious food (Le Botaniste, Christopher’s Kitchen).  I also appreciate organizations that make beautiful things, like Italian dinnerware (Match Pewter) English roses (David Austin), and posh hotels (Firmdale).  But, when I started watching the nightly news over the past month, I noticed  the backgrounds were different and much more interesting because the newscasters were broadcasting from their homes.

Before the coronavirus, the nightly news was shown live from major studios with field excerpts broadcast from natural disasters, political arenas, courthouses, hospitals, or from a geographic location that supported the news headlines.  Now we have Chris Cuomo live from his vivid white basement (I can’t believe he has kids and pets and has white everywhere), Lester Holt interviewing someone from his kitchen table, Kate Snow talking about living with coronavirus while walking around a suburban home that looks like a stage set from  “Something’s Gotta Give,” and Miguel Almaguer, an NBC correspondent reporting from his perfectly spectacular living room (that shows no signs of kids, dogs, cats, or disarray).

No one’s personal space struck me as much as Migel Almaguer’s living and dining rooms: wide wood plank floor boards that support a slate blue couch with one perfectly placed beige pillow, facing a coffee table with books that look like they were made to be stacked upon each other. Behind the couch are wood stained shelves filled with more perfectly aligned books and artifacts that frame a doorway into what looks like a dining room with a dark wooden table and matching benches with a beautiful cashmere throw (Miguel seems like a cashmere kind of guy but the fabric could be cotton) hanging over the side of one of the benches. The smooth wooden magazine holder on the floor (that my dogs would have knocked over and gnawed on) displays two colorful notebooks:  one red and one blue. And, how could anyone not notice the clean lines and simplicity of the light fixture over the dining room table?

It looks like a featured set of rooms in Architectural Digest. Something that I aspire to but will never achieve because I have dogs, a cat, a husband, and a daughter (who actually only visits now that she is in college). Even with my Dyson pet vacuum that I use practically every day, there is always dried dirt and pet hair in my house that shows itself on my rugs (note to pet owners:  don’t buy a dark colored rug if you have light haired animals or a light colored rug if you have dark haired animals. If you have both, you’re screwed) and tends to be just about everywhere since they are constant shedders. And, yet I can still appreciate the aesthetics of that beautifully appointed space that will always be just outside my grasp.  Maybe in my next life……

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