the front porch as a place to unwind

Our daily activities and emotions are destined, to a large part, by the setting in which the day begins - by the character of the house we live in, both in our personal engagement with it and in it’s physical details.

For example, when the sun streams into the bedroom from a tall French door leading to a garden terrace, we awaken to a warm and promising day. The shower, with one wall fully glazed and open to a small private garden, lush with tropical flowers and vines, cleanses and invigorates us with a kaleidoscope of color and light. And even if the bedroom is tiny, with only a comfortable bed and a small bureau, and the bathroom- consumed by the shower- leaves barely a corner for a sink and toilet- our morning ritual experience is grand!

Focusing on the experience of the senses, and the activities that excite and motivate us on a daily basis, allows us to live in the moment. There is a significant movement of people leaning toward living a simpler life, enjoying what they have rather than working for an endless accumulation of more… 

Interior designer Alexandra Stoddard writes about looking for the opportunities to live fully through the small activities of each day. She suggests we try sipping our morning orange juice from the fine crystal goblet typically reserved for holidays and formal dining. Or, convert a small table to a writing desk, outfitted with beautiful stationary and an exquisite pen, which might encourage us to find a quiet moment to write an old college friend a letter.

Danish architect, Juhani Pallasmaa expresses it best, "We need an architecture that does not aspire after the dramatic, but rather aims at lyricising the real things of everyday life. We yearn for radical
ordinariness and mundanity, a natural architecture of the type that fills our minds with good feelings when we enter an old peasant cottage or sit upon a Shaker chair…"