My heart keeps getting pulled back to the beautiful window house, and finally one morning, I was able to articulate why. We didn’t put this into our wish list, but seeing that beautiful window awakened in me a deep yearning for beauty itself, for something unique and creative in a home.
Perhaps it keeps calling back to me because our search for greener housing is moving at less than a snail’s pace. We looked at two more houses, but were unimpressed. There is nothing out there right now that is anywhere near adequate.
Or perhaps watching “renovation” shows on television are making it seem simpler than it actually would be to make changes in a house to fix its problems. But I notice I am not attracted to all the high-end fashionable features that the contractors put into these houses on television. Rather, I like the quirky and unique, like a wall made of cedar planks, or a screen door with a metal bird design. I think there was a time when beauty was an important part of the craft of creating houses. We see it in old geometric designs in wood floors, and stained glass windows tucked into the turn of a stairway.
So I ask myself, can we add that to our wish list? Might it be possible to find a house that has an art to it, as well as the practical features that would make it work for us and for the environment? Might it be possible, even in a small and inexpensive house, to find something that makes our hearts light up?
At first this yearning feels almost painful, like grief or a hopeless obsession. But at some point I realize how ancient is this human desire for beauty, how utterly vital to our spirit and survival. I am able to embrace it, and let it reach out into the morning light.
Myke, I resonate with your yearning for beauty! Have you seen “The Not So Big House” book and website? (she may have tv but I don’t know it). Author is Sarah Susanka(sp?). Her ideas are around design principles (“pattern language”) that makes smaller spaces actually work and feel especially right. The design principles are simple, such as “seeing through to an end point”; making openings so you can see from one room through to a garden. Another is “light on two sides” of a room will make it feel better to be in. Also, removing floor space to create nooks creates more zones in a room. She says our homes don’t work because we don’t have mudrooms, or places to park our keys and mail, so it ends up on the dining room table–which we never use either. Her spaces flow and make complete sense. She says you can live with less space if you have “away” spaces–a reading chair in a corner of a bedroom instead of a home library; a place in a den to listen to music without disturbing a conversation in the living room. She’s common sense, and doesn’t encourage waste or trendiness. The rooms she depicts are soulful. I haven’t seen her particularly focus on solar, but I’ll bet there are links from her site for these things. Keep searching–you’ll get there!
Thanks Deb, I found the website at http://www.notsobighouse.com and will check it out!
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