Happy 4th! It’s a summer holiday. You’re probably somewhere away from home, or you have been. Maybe you’re in a beach house, maybe a hotel, maybe in someone else’s house. It’s an opportunity to live somewhere else for a bit, even if it’s just for barbeque. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your family and friends. Be thankful!
Houses can become routine, but on vacation a house gets pushed. I’ll give a few examples, but you know what I mean. The beach house is a desperate refuge from the sun. The family house is a resting point from the museums and parks. Meals get big, TV’s get used, you run out of chairs, and you have a lot of people in your kitchen.
Friday, we went to a beautiful small house for a neighborhood party. The neighbors packed in and spilled out to the garden outside. The small kids used the sidewalk for art, coming through the house only for food, and the bigger kids took the whole street for running. Adults edged past each other inside, taking turns on the sofa or the dining room chairs or standing in line for seconds in the kitchen. Conversations happened within the eddies of traffic in personal space.
Saturday, we went to a smaller party in a much larger house. Conversations happened in groups. We moved from the living room, we moved to the table to eat, we moved downstairs after dessert. The kids still ran outside. That house was pushed to care for our families despite its large size. We worried about fragile things on shelves. It was built for the big parties and the long staying relatives, but we enjoyed it for the evening.
In other people’s houses, I think a lot about right and wrong, about what a house should be. It’s not a great habit, but it comes with the territory. It’s not envy, I like our house too. It’s not professional research either, but I do take a lot of notes on experience. I’m a wall flower by nature, so I’m always looking for safe corners. A great house has places that bring me out of those corners.
The papers bemoan the housing market, twenty-somethings talk about the advantages of renting, developers think the future might be in apartments, pastors talk about living as pilgrims and strangers. But on vacation, you need a house.
Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
GREEN | URBAN | SMART ARCHITECTURE
19 W Hargett Street, Suite 700-A | Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 889 6823 | www.aoarchitect.com | TWITTER: aoarch