Re: Common House Design Workshop
From: Holly McNutt (
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 09:54:56 -0700 (PDT)
After 20 years of awful tables that were supposed to be "temporary" Nyland 
Cohousing now has AWESOME tables!  I started researching tables a few years ago 
when I served on our Common House team.   I came up with a design that would 
allow the table tops to flip into a vertical position so the tables could be 
pushed off to one side of the room and nestle together to take up very little 
space.  I found legs on locking casters so that the tables could be rolled and 
then locked into position.  Then I left that group and went on to our Board of 
Directors.  Two years later, that team took up the idea and had the tables 
custom built.  They are gorgeous and incredibly functional and I am so glad to 
see this vision become a reality!  Can send photos to anyone who wants. - Holly

On Jun 10, 2012, at 8:18 AM, Sharon Villines wrote:

> On 10 Jun 2012, at 3:17 AM, Grace Kim wrote:
>> Ikea chair looks great but will need to be replaced in a year or two.
> I'm in support of Grace's wonderful email, but would like to add a few 
> points. Another strategy is to set the big bucks aside to buy good long 
> lasting furniture later, and test a few quickly disposable chair styles to 
> see what you really want. We were fortunate to be able to test a whole range 
> of chairs before we bought them, and found an excellent one that cost $100+ 
> and after 12 years looks good as new, stacks easily, and is incredibly 
> comfortable. But we were able to test it, unlike our tables.
> But we bought expensive tables that we thought were perfect only to find that 
> 12 years later they are a yoke around our necks. They weigh 100+ pounds and 
> require two people to move and fold them. They are absolutely sturdy and 
> attractive and unfortunately will be with us forever. Our fear of flimsy set 
> us up with too solid.
> The key to testing first, however, is to set aside the money. Don't think you 
> will come up with it later. It's very important to budget for the CH 
> furnishings so your members can include those funds in their mortgages.
>> Provide pendants over each table to provide flexible lighting - install 
>> dimmer switch to increase light levels for table setting and cleanup as well 
>> as a softer light level for dining. 
> I'm not sure about pendants since we rearrange our tables often for many 
> different kinds of events — but we are in the process of refurbishing our CH 
> and the thing we most want to change is the lighting. And it is very 
> expensive to do, so pay attention to this up front.
> I'm not sure why but at the time we built, the most energy efficient fixture 
> and bulb combinations were not dimmable. With dimmers, you can bake your 
> cake, eat it, and clean up afterwards using the same fixtures.
> We also want to install more wall sconces to highlight areas. Lamps don't 
> work in our dining room because there are too many children, everywhere. On 
> and behind furniture and crawling on the floor. One child sets off the other. 
> And the adults are all talking to each other, praying not to be interrupted. 
> Sconces are subtle, attractive, and stable.
> I won't be at the conference this year but if I were, I would attend this 
> conference.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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