The lovely but elusive blue-eyed Barbara has finally agreed to be interviewed for this blog. We caught up to her in her exquisite flower garden where both Barb and the roses appear to be thriving If there are any misquotes, exaggerations or down-right falsehoods in the transcription of our exchange, please blame this reporter.
Reporter: Ms. Raff, you have lived in your home for 25 years. What inspired you to begin your new project?
Barb: My husband and I would occasionally look at open houses and online realty websites. He was particularly persistent, but we agreed that we loved our house and neighborhood, and it didn’t make much sense to move at this time.
The third weekend in May he came home with the book “Hypnotize Your Mate for Fun and Profit”. I found him reading well into the wee hours of the night.The next morning I was enjoying my breakfast smoothie. My husband snapped his fingers, I went into a trance, and just like that I was signing all sorts of documents and we owned a new parcel of land.
Reporter: There are many lovely areas in the north suburbs. How did you choose the location for the new home?
Barb: We wanted a spot exactly 1.6 miles from a tollway entrance, with nice walking paths, good neighbors and a pond. We fed our requirements to Siri, and she did all the work. Best of all, she charged no commission for her efforts, though she did insist we upgrade to IOS 8.4 and pre-order a solid gold Apple Watch.
Reporter: The preliminary plans for the home look stunning. Our readers want to know how you decided what the size of the house would be.
Barb: I have become a huge fan of “Tiny House Hunters” on HGTV. I decided that if families of 12 could live in a 300 sq ft home, I could downsize a bit too. My original plans were for a 15 ft x 15 ft single room hacienda, but my husband objected, pointing out there might not be enough room for the 80 inch curved screen HDTV he wanted and the extended designer sink I had chosen. So we compromised. The sink will stay, the TV will go and the house will grow.
Reporter: You have hired an interior designer, but what other influences will you use when decorating the home?
Barb: I love the Internet for eyeing things. You can go from site to site, picture to picture and then swipe left or swipe right…no wait, that is for something else.
Houzz is a great website to wander through for design ideas. And I love the Merchandise Mart, also a great place to wander through. Lots of items on display, knowledgeable help and all the latest styles. On the other hand, I will not be wandering through IKEA, Value City, or (shudder) The Dump.
Reporter: Many of our readers are approaching the empty nester stage. Your children grew up in your current home. How do they feel about your moving out?
Barb: Oops, we forgot to ask them. But they are welcome to any memorabilia they want to pack up and cart off. We take no responsibility for autographed baseballs or valuable baseball cards, First Place or Participation trophies, R.L. Stine books with missing pages or American Girl dolls with missing limbs. We can share custody of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers.”
Reporter: The new house looks like it is designed to entertain in. Have you planned your first dinner party?
Barb: Mr. N. Diamond, Mr. K. Costner and Mr. B. Cooper have all accepted invitations. None of them were asked to bring a “Plus One”. I believe my husband will be out-of-town that evening.
Reporter: Swipe right.