Re: Decor for the Common house
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 11:46:42 -0500
Good question, and one we will be dealing with very soon. Our programming 
was that the feel should be "home-like" but our homes are wildly 
different: a Danish modern geodesic dome with paintbox colors, a chrome 
industrial, traditional with antiques, etc etc. Plus "home like" needs to 
contend with stucco walls, metal doors, panic hardware, handicap grab 
bars and other such un-cozy starters. 

Preliminary thoughts--
I'd consider three categories:

Permanent: stuff that comes from the basic construction: exterior 
detailing, doors and windows, porches, building materials; ceiling 
heights and styles, lighting, fireplace or heat stove, if any. This might 
create a style like Ski Lodge, or Adobe, or Church Parish Hall, or ?? The 
tricky business of making a large place which is low-maintenance and 
functional, and yet doesn't seem cold and institutional. 

Long term: Interior finish like paneling, wall colors, flooring, rugs, 
curtains or blinds, purchased furniture,  which could be changed some 
day, but probably won't be for a long time. 

Change-able: Bulletin boards, plants, low-budget or donated furniture, 
hangings, pictures, display cases. One approach to this would be to have 
some specifically rotating display areas ( I always dreamed of glass 
display cases in a foyer, but that is unlikely) that people could sign up 
to "do" for a certain period. Whatever it was, if some didn't care for 
it, it wouldn't be a big deal, because it would change. I am a fan of the 
high-mounted moulding strips called "picture rail". With hardware store 
S-shaped things you can hang pictures and such from the rail and make no 
holes in the wall, and easily move things. 
A special niche in a wall could be a place for a flower arrangement, or 
sculpture, or such, like the Japanese entry spot. Again, maybe there 
could be a sign-up for turns. 
    I saw photos of one common house where there was another sort of 
moulding, a "plate rail" , or narrow high shelf, where art objects were 
placed. 

As I think of it, there seem to be a great many things to keep track of 
once a common house is built, beyond the obvious cooking and cleaning and 
maintenance. Keeping track of  and gate-keeping donated items,. Kid 
stuff. Periodicals and-or library type items. Bulletin boards. Landscape. 
Lost and found. Supplies. I wonder if it will be wonderful enough to 
inspire people to add that energy-output to their already-busy lives?

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