Re: Question on Design of your Common House
From: Douglas G. Larson (
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 08:41:51 -0800 (PST)
> 1. How many homes are in your community and how many people live there?
> give us a baseline on size.)
> 2. How many guest rooms are in your Common House? Do they get used
> frequently or do they stay empty?
> 3. What is the best part of your Common House?
> 4. What do you wish you had done differently in your Common House? (Space
> that is under-utilized, features that were not needed or that you wish you
> had, etc.)

  1.  We have 13 homes in our community. Two of the 13 homes rent out a
portion of the home to renters. We have 37 people with 26 adults and 11
children of varying ages. 

  2.  We have 2 guest rooms in our common house and they get used
frequently, though there are periods of a given year where they sit empty.
Holidays, of course, are when the heaviest use happens but they do get used
throughout the year. 

  3.  Our common house was a remodel of an existing building (formerly a
private home) and while I find it functional overall, there are some things
that could be improved. I would say the kitchen and perhaps dining room are
the best parts. One of our 2 guest rooms was just remodeled last year and
its beautiful. 

  4.  I would like more stove space, i.e. burners, in the kitchen and a
better dishwashing system. We currently have a 36" commercial gas range and
what I find myself wanting the most is space for another pot when cooking
for a common house meal. Our counter space, while good, is at times short of
space. Also our serving line, which is simply two tables we set up, would be
better if it was larger and provided better and more efficient use. Also,
the room which we call our living room, is barely able to hold our entire
community. Expanding it would be nice. 
Our dining room (26' x 26') doubles as a meeting room, party room, dance
floor. While it is perfectly adequate most of the time, at special
functions, i.e. parties, dances and some special meals it is bursting at the

Also some storage in the kitchen, i.e. dishes in particular, is not the best
design. The shelves are low and open (i.e. without doors) and sometimes
dirtied by passing kids and people. 

Douglas Larson,
Songaia Cohousing,
Bothell, Washington

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