Home Design and Responsibility

10 Jun

Here at RenaissanceRonin, we’ve talked a lot about how you design your home, using alternative materials. After all, it’s what we’re doing, as we build our home out of shipping containers (ISBU‘s), and recycled aircraft hangar components. We’re not doing this to be fashionable, or “particularly GREEN,” or even to make a name for ourselves. We just need a durable, sustainable home, that will provide for our needs, within our budget.

(Hey, if you’d been paying attention to the words in the posts, instead of all those pretty pictures, you’d know that! Right?) ;)

Speaking of “pretty pictures.” No progress on the “My use of images makes WordPress puke” situation. I’m still working on a fix. The pictures will return, I promise. Hey, if for no other reason than they fill up the page, and I don’t have to write as much! :)

After all, it’s not just about saving money, it’s about creating a space to live in, that will provide for your needs.

And, that implies a lot of responsibility. Moral Responsibility.

No, I’m not talking about trying to make sure that you please the Baptists down the street! I’m talking about looking at every side of home design, while you busily fill those wishbook pages that will lead you to your design.

Again… I have nothing against Baptists. I’m just surrounded by them, and we like to “brother-lovingly” poke each other in the eye… Call it “theological differences…”  I don’t know WHY they keep telling me that “I’m going to HELL.” :)

Your responsibility for protecting and sheltering your family has to be weighed against more than fire, or a building horror like a collapse, or a catastrophic natural event. There is a huge body of research that defines the intimate relationship between homes and human behavior.  After all, you’re creating an environment that your tribe will live within, right?

But how do you do this? It’s hard enough trying to figure out which stick goes into what slot, without having somebody suggest that you have to go find a “house psychiatrist” to help you plan out your space. I mean, I’ve heard of “horse whisperers,” and “dog whisperers,” and even “gossip-mongers…” But, I’ve never heard of a “house whisperer.” Hey! That might make a cool reality show on cable, huh?

“Well sir, your home says that traipsing around the house in your tighty-whiteys with your “crack” hangin out like some overweight plumber, makes it’s windows shiver… So, just stop it, huh?” :)

Think about things like “sanitary surfaces, and safety.” Where you actually live has a lot to do with which materials you use. If you live in a place where there is a lot of humidity and mold, you probably don’t want porous surfaces all over the place that you’ll have to maintain. If you live in a hot environment, you probably don’t want cinder-block construction, or low ceiling heights that will trap the heat down into your “living zones.” Think about railings on staircases, and stair tread height/depth, and access to important rooms like the bathroom!

I was watching a cable show today about “beautiful houses.” And, although some of them were just fabulous, I was reminded that some of us tend to think of our homes as “beautiful objects” and not really places for human interaction and participation. It’s really not surprising that we see so many photographs in the media of beautiful spaces that don’t have people in them. The spaces that are created just don’t compliment humans.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to live in a museum, or an aquarium. I want to live in a calm, soothing environment that takes care of me, with as little input as possible. After all, I have TV to watch and frosty cold beverages to consume!

(Preferably in a soundproof room that my wife doesn’t know about, okay? She can conjure up a “honey-do list” that would make Bob Vila or those “This Old House” guys commit suicide in about three seconds flat!) :)

Here’s the deal. Good home design begins with great discussions. Talk to your family about their wants and their goals for your new house. Think about ways to streamline the maintenance, using good design as a fulcrum. Think about ways to eliminate obstacles and hazards. You can still have a great looking home, that looks like people actually live in it! You just have to think it through!

You’ve got to figure out what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t. And that will add a whole page of questions to your design list. If you don’t heed them, there isn’t any way you’re going to improve your design.

And, those unanswered questions will be a failure to your family (and their comfort and safety), later.

Enough for now, I just heard my wife, and I haven’t finished cleaning up the huge mess that “the kid” made! How does he DO that? Oy Vey!  :)

If I only had a soundproof room… :p

Stay tuned!

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2 Responses to “Home Design and Responsibility”

  1. Bathroom Tile Designs June 25, 2009 at 4:39 am #

    I really liked your blog!

  2. Bathroom Tile Designs June 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    Can you provide more information on this?

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