Re: Designing our Common House
From: R.N. Johnson (
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:44:15 -0800 (PST)
We get a lot of use from our guest room, laundry room, kid room, dining 
room/large meeting room and bike storage space.  We have a deck outside which 
is where we have common dinner during the warm months, and that has been great. 
Make sure to design your dining area to dampen sound: many people eating and 
talking is quite noisy and can be very hard on people who are hard of hearing 
and/or sensitive to noise.  We took the wall to wall carpet out of the dining 
area, and now dinners are quite noisy.  
We use our guest room as a small meeting space at times.  I wish we had a 
larger kid room, so that during the winter months, the kids could rough house.  
Our kid room is right off the kitchen, which is good for supervision of small 
children, but not great for noise.  Setting up flexible space is a good idea, 
as people's needs may change over time.  Design  spaces that can be used for 
several purposes.   Some cohousings get a lot of use out of an exercise room or 
workshop, and in some they gather dust.   Make sure to design your kitchen so 
that several people can work comfortably in it.  If you can afford it, get good 
quality tables that have wheels, and fold up easily so that you don't wreck 
your back moving furniture every time you use the room for yoga/ concerts 
etc...There is a ton of advice in the archives under common house design on 
just about any issue you can think of.  Good luck!
Randa Johnson
New Brighton Cohousing
Aptos, California

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