Nooks and Crannies

I hate to break it to you, but we live in a standardized world. Our homes are built of industrialized materials. Our walls clad in 4'x8' sheets of cold naked gypsum boards. Yet I think, our lives want to be personalized. Meet our own particular story.

As Christopher Alexander puts it in his tomb of a design how-to A Pattern Language: "The identity of a building lies in or near its surfaces - in the 3 or 4 feet near the walls. This is where people  keep most of their belongings. [...] This is where the special cozy nooks and corners are that individual family members make their own." And further, "The house will become personal only if the walls are so constructed that each new family can leave its mark on them."

 Plenty of shoe space and a place to sit and tie your shoes is given at the entry of the Witte Home.

Plenty of shoe space and a place to sit and tie your shoes is given at the entry of the Witte Home.

 As well as a nook for jackets lit with a small LED puck light.

As well as a nook for jackets lit with a small LED puck light.

I think it is important to give these walls some thickness. Made in most cases out of 3.5 inch wide wood studs and covered with drywall, they are in truth hollow, light, and weak. By their nature they do not provide definition of form, a sense of strength or cozy protectiveness. They are smooth and cold.

So wherever I can I try to  shape volumes with them. And spaces between those volumes. So that they can be filled with the colorful mess that defines us and our families. With that life that you bring with you and is distinctly yours.

 For the Schoenberg Home we created this climbing library that culminated into a tree house type spot sticking out from the building into the tree tops.

For the Schoenberg Home we created this climbing library that culminated into a tree house type spot sticking out from the building into the tree tops.

Your home should have the ability to provide a stage to your life. So as to give it a chance to feel free and protective at the same time. Cozy but open. That it becomes more about you than the architecture enveloping it. A place to live and not an impersonal prison.

Instead of heaving to clean up and hide the excesses of your activities, wouldn't it be nice to let those vestiges of a vibrant life tell a story? Be able to find naturally placed built-ins, niches, and hooks. All placed within easy reach.

 This counter we created for a family with 3 girls, each getting a sink and a see-through drawer in a counter out of frosted acrylic.

This counter we created for a family with 3 girls, each getting a sink and a see-through drawer in a counter out of frosted acrylic.

 In this niche along a staircase I provided for shelving to hold board games, books, and toys. Easily reached as you climb the steps, enriching the staircase and giving thinkness to a feture wall in the home.

In this niche along a staircase I provided for shelving to hold board games, books, and toys. Easily reached as you climb the steps, enriching the staircase and giving thinkness to a feture wall in the home.