Commonhouse Design
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 06:37:03 -0600 (MDT)
There is a long discussion in the archives on dining room chairs and tables
that also discusses some issues about commonhouse design. Part of that
discussion concerned yoga in the dining room.

We got folding tables because people wanted to do yoga. In a year or more,
no one has. But we have done parties with dancing.

The dining room is probably too public for yoga and other exercise classes.
People walk through ours all the time so it would be like exercising with an
audience which few of us are likely to enjoy. (If we did we would be doing
it in bars for a lot more money.)

One thing we have found missing is personal storage space like cubbies. We
put in a typical mail sorter unit but cubbies large enough to hold a bread
box would have been more convenient for returning or loaning books and other
items or for leaving personal stuff in the commonhouse and not having to
take it back and forth (like exercise stuff, a favorite cup, a personal tea
supply, etc.)

We also did not have adequate storage shelves built in for things like the
library, games, puzzles, etc. Even cookbooks we need a bigger shelf for.

An office is important. You need a place for the central location of
documents, archives, emergency info, keys, at the minimum. We also have a
copier, fax, and computer -- all of which get heavy use. We also have a high
quality, duplex printer connected to the computer and the network so
everyone has access from their units.

Storage closets can never be overdone. Having a place to put things away
makes the central part of the room more easily usable for more kinds of
things -- particularly crafts, workshops, children's rooms, kitchen.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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