Friday, November 19, 2010

Intentional Community via Club Chairs...

Home design and renovation is - and always will be - an ongoing adventure at Maul Hall. Sometimes I think we're like the proverbial Brooklyn Bridge painting project: just about the time you finish the whole thing it's past time to start over on the other end.

It's been an intense couple of years, what with the kitchen, the roof, both porches, the bathrooms, the laundry room, the soffits and a series of other smaller details. But yesterday we just about put the wrap on our interior work when we finally picked out the new chairs necessary to make the old dining area the new "tea and conversation" room we've been imagining.

Three simple, black leather, club armchairs in an intimate conversational arrangement. Our modus operandi for design is very much "Lifestyle", and we've noticed how important - for us - it is to have the opportunity for people to sit down together and talk.

That's why we have the comfy chair in the kitchen - so Rebekah can un-lax when she gets home and we can talk while I cook. It's why I have an inviting leather chair in my office. Our home is built around the idea of intentional community.

I love technology (and I see a new television in our immediate future), but our experience of life is compromised to the extent that we allow media of any kind (even "social" media) to dictate the way that we interact with one another - especially at home.

Somtimes I'm tempted to don a super-hero suit (I'm thinking "Obvious-Man") so that I can burst into homes at the dinner hour to make sure families are not watching TV while they're eating! I'd put a sledgehammer through the television screen (or at least turn it off...), confiscate the remote control, and march them all to the dining room table, where I'd bring out my book of "500 Great Small-group Questions" and then make them interact.

Making tea or coffee, serving one another, and sitting down to talk about whatever is on our hearts and minds, is one of the most profound joys Rebekah and I experience together.

I could go into the home-design business - "Family Harmony Through Better Seating Arrangements"! and advocate for spaces that are intentionally intimate and interactive...

Food for thought. Maybe y'all can talk about this together... Tonight over dinner!


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