modular units and common house furnishings
From: Rowena Conkling (
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 08:46:13 -0600
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&nbsp;At CambridgeCohousing we used a modular system for the housing units
and the common house.&nbsp; It has been a less than stellar success.&nbsp;
There have been a number of problems, at least some of which are due to
quality control (the thing that sold us on the idea!!), and some of which
have to do with confusion over the roles of the modular people, the general
contractor and the architects/engineers.&nbsp; If you want to go this way
I suggest you go with a team all of whom are experienced in working together
on this kind of construction.
<P>Our experience in furnishing the common house, on the other hand, has
been terrific, largely due to a small team known as ADA (I forget what
it stands for) who have led the search for furniture, and overseen the
decoration.&nbsp;&nbsp; We splurged on matching tables and chairs for the
dining room - they are cherry and look wonderful - which ADA found at a
very reasonable cost.&nbsp; Otherwise, everything was donated by residents,
a number of whom were sizing down from larger homes.&nbsp; In the dining
room, we also have a large "library" table in the center, covered with
plexiglas which serves as a buffet, a couple of other smaller tables and
a variety of high chairs and so on all of which which were donated.&nbsp;
Each table has candles with glass shades and a small vase in which we usually
have either dried or fresh flowers.&nbsp; In the living room we have a
selection of couches and chairs (mostly wicker), all donations, which were
covered as necessary with coordianted fabrics,&nbsp; a large square coffee
table with shelves underneath to hold magazines, a glass fronted bookcase,
a variety of small tables and lamps and - Star of the show - a wonderful
grand piano.&nbsp;&nbsp; It's really a very comfortable room, especially
when the fire is lighted.&nbsp; We don't have a TV, but one of our members
brings in a large screen job when there is something special such as the
Super Bowl, or a movie to be shown.&nbsp;&nbsp; The entry is similarly
graced with a lovely table and antique chairs, as well as benches, also
covered in coordinated cushions.&nbsp; We also have a large number of 
plants around the place.&nbsp; But the best thing is probably our art 
ADA asked anyone who had some "homegrown" original art to bring it along
- they chose and hung items all over the common house, ranging from soft
art such as quilts to electronically manipulated photos - Wow what a lot
of talent we turned up.&nbsp;&nbsp; So our walls are covered with great
art, all by members of every age.

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