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INSIDE MY GEAR ROOM. PHOTO: SCOTT MACGREGOR


HOME IMPROVEMENT


“Design your home for the way you live your life.” And with those 10 simple words from my architect friend Jeff, I


dug out some graph paper and began sketching my first home. If you are an early riser, Jeff would suggest sketching the kitchen


facing east to capture the warm morning light; if you live to barbecue, he’d tell you to draw the deck facing west to enjoy the setting sun; if your parties always make their way into the kitchen, he’d suggest opening the kitchen up to the rest of the living space. But Jeff was not just an architect friend, he was a paddling buddy and I knew what he really meant.


activity. What wasn’t in these bins was either in the back of my truck or drying on the front porch railing. On my graph paper I wrote: Need a gear room. My wife Tanya had made it absolutely clear that I would not be


outfitting boats in our new living room. Te inebriating stench of contact cement and epoxy was not a good new-house smell. And so I added to my list: Room at least 20 feet long with direct outside access. I needed a double-doored, walkout basement boat workshop. Not a


“INSIDE THESE BINS WAS MY LIFE, LABELED CLEARLY WITH MASKING TAPE AND A SHARPIE, STACKED ROUGHLY BY SEASON, THEN BY ACTIVITY.”


Jeff was suggesting that we incorporate our outdoor lifestyle and


our gear for the way we live into the design of our home. Too often, he said, the things people love play second fiddle to the hustle of their daily lives. Tey get hidden in the furnace room, attic or garage. Out of sight maybe, but never out of mind. I fondly remember my univer- sity dorm room where every piece of gear I owned was within two steps of my bed, desk and beer fridge. Te seven years following school I’d rented a 750-square-foot bun-


galow with no basement and zero storage except a rickety, mouse- infested, three-sided shelter in the backyard. To keep out the wind, rain and snow we constructed a fourth wall entirely of Rubbermaid Roughneck storage bins. Inside these bins was my life, labeled clearly with masking tape and a Sharpie, stacked roughly by season, then by


154 FLUSHED || Annual 2012


man cave or dude den but a functional room for a growing, outdoor- loving family. A place where I could tinker with outfitting or wax skis and listen to the Steve Miller Band while the kids played air hockey. In the 20 years since university, and


even since we broke ground on the house, many things have changed. Te most striking is just how much


more gear we’ve accumulated (not to mention two children). I still have most of what I did then, plus a little bit more every year since. Back then I had only one boat, now I have 11. Ten I had only


one paddle, now we have so many that when gathered together like a bouquet of flowers, I can’t reach around all their stems. Add stuff for mountain biking, camping, skiing, snowboarding and fishing for me, Tanya and our kids, and the 108 square feet I allocated for our gear is not enough. And so, when I’m asked about designing a home, I now give two


pieces of advice to my paddling friends: Design your home for the way you live your life; and build those parts far bigger than the rest. —Scott MacGregor


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