I’ve been reading again . . . Sometimes it takes someone else explaining something before the light comes on and you say, “yes, that’s exactly right!” This time it’s an interesting post which addresses the question, “what does a house really need to function and how much does a person need to live well.” It explains why I have been resisting square houses and inflexible design.

Quite a number of years ago I purchased a magazine of house plans. In this particular issue most of the houses have rooflines of multiple angle changes and bits that stick out here and there. Since I purchased this magazine my tastes have obviously changed. The elevations are really unappealing to me. It took me a while to figure out why. It’s the waste of material, manpower and money, the aesthetic clutter. In the entire magazine there’s one floor plan I find appealing, though the house is very small and the outside of the house has an overly steep roof and way too much gingerbread. (Hansel and Gretel revisited.) The floor plan is appealing because the inside isn’t divided up into unimaginative single-use boxes. A two story two bath on this footprint would be very nice.

I know it’s possible to have an elegant and functional house without the waste.

I like seeing what the straw bale folks do. They seem to be able to come up with functional homes that are attractive and functional while still being low cost. While I don’t want a straw bale home, I do appreciate them and admire those who build and live in them. I also like earth sheltered passive solar homes. I love plants and the thought of having all my lovely plants growing across the front of my home is a delightful vision.

My next project is a scale model of my plan. It should be fun!

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