Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Calming Architecture

Last night I attended a gallery meeting at the house of one of the members, an accomplished potter. The food was good, the people terrific, the meeting productive, but all took a back seat to the house, one of my all-time favorites.

Unassuming from the outside, the house is painted a sort of mushroomy tawny gray. The orangey front door, though, promises something good to come inside. Enter and visible are three rooms, two quite large and one cozily small. To the right, a generous, square kitchen with an enormous center work station. Look up and around and you'll see Merissa's pots, all practical, everywhere.

Ahead from the kitchen, at the end of the entry hall, is the dining room with a wood-burning stove, a comfy chair, an entire wall of books, and a seriously long table. The outside glass wall offers a view of the screen porch and woods beyond. Turn to the left as soon as you enter the dining room and walk into the cozy living room/study with a wood-burning fireplace and utilitarian furniture.

There's no spectacular furniture or furnishings to impress the eye. That isn't the point. It's the balance and calm of the warm white walls and brick and wood and Merissa's black/brown/olive/deep red pots and the photographs and prints balanced on art display shelves.

The sense of order and simplicity charms me in the same way I am charmed by Amish homes or by Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Everything has its place.

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