We moved to a newly built ‘green’ house in our area and we are delighted with it. Old houses look more romantic but often inside they are full disastrous surprises. New houses are like; ‘What you see is what you get’, which often is an increase in comfort.
Of course newly built houses are often standardized and therefore the Austrian-born New Zealand artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser comes to mind. During our time in Vienna, I admired his architectural philosophy which I like to summarize as a passionate objection against standardized and predictable buildings that offer very little room for personal decisions regarding your lifestyle and interior design (those two are interrelated). You certainly too can remember looking at a flat or apartment building and noticing all the bluish lights from televisions radiates from the same corner. Houses generally have sleeping rooms on the second floor; the kitchen en living on the ground floor. Attics are often after-thoughts; they can’t be used to their full extend. In other words; an anonymous architect decides for you where you cook, sleep and store your suitcases and in such way, forces a lifestyle upon you.
A modern way to escape this dictatorial way of living is living in a multi-purpose loft in which you can sleep in your kitchen, have your work-station where-ever you want it to be, and walk in a beeline from your dressing-room to your front-door without hitting a wall. Nobody is deciding for you how you live. With one big open space you are free to arrange and rearrange your interior, your lifestyle, according to new demands, new insights and new ambitions.
That is impossible in our newly rented house, but its design is okay and comfortable. My family is happy with this house that lies in a well designed park. The park has a duck pond which led to my creative impulse to make a lino block print with two preening tufted ducks. I hadn’t done block printing for ages and it was a fun thing to do trying to remember how the positive and negative imaging works.
I am still unpacking the last boxes and trying to find extra time to ‘Marie Kondo’ our home. Reading Marie Kondo’s book, I thought she stretched her message unnecessary over too many pages. Her well formulated ideas could have be penned down on a few powerful pages only. Where Marie Kondo states ‘Keep only what you love’, Dominique Loreau’s ‘L’art De La Simplicité‘ deals differently with simplifying your life. Loreau promotes to keep an eye on quality; upgrading in order to simplify your life. We often feel guilty consumers when we buy something expensive. We think it is smart to save money despite our knowledge that today’s products have inbuilt flaws that drive us to consume more and more.