April 15, 2018

i want to live in a house like a shell...one with rooms that make much of light, spaciously giving it play across pale expanses of wall, themselves shell-coloured, glimmering. i want furniture in soft, driftwood tones, and unvarnished wooden floors, and textiles woven of un-tinted fibres, and smooth stone-like tiles. i want closets that have space in them around each simple garment, and a row of shoes that do not hurt. i want pearls and opals and other stones that hold all colours and none at once in their hearts. i want banks of white and ivory and all soft-hued flowers, and a slate path to the door, which is washed in many shades of grey and palest violet and soft pale gold.

that's the house i want today. but i also want many other houses, sometimes all in the same day...

i want to live in a house like a witch ball...one with rooms that soften the light, straining it through prism-edged leaded glass diamond windows, with dark purple shutters. walls are painted in a dozen deep colours, hellebore and amber, smoke and twilight, crimson and bottle green. the old wood furniture is simple and dark, or glazed in ebony and nightshade, painted with twining vines and magical patterns. the closet is filled with black and grey and rust-coloured dresses, dried blood-coloured woollen shawls, black boots, and bowls of amulets and deep-hued stone beads to wear. the garden is tangled with herbs and dangerous things, night-blooming pale flowers, mottled mushrooms and hex plants, with a toad croaking near the door painted plummy-black.

i want to live in a fairy tale house...something betwixt the beast's castle, camelot, and rivendell. one with great, arched windows that break the light into filigree shapes and jewel-like stained glass colour-puddles, playing across high stone walls, wide stone floors, and heavy velvet-covered furnishings that glint here and there with old gilding. there are tapestries, and wrought-iron and crystal lights, and thick, plush, intricate rugs. there is a hearth big enough to walk into, and a large library, and wonderful music plays in the evenings. in the bedchamber are armoires filled with glorious silks and brocades. there are jewel boxes holding bright rich gems and tiaras; and peacock feathers, roses and lilies in every room. peacocks stroll in expansive gardens with clipped green hedges, acres of rosebushes, trellised wisteria, wide paths to ride or stroll, a veritable forest of ancient trees; a swan-tenanted river winds through it, and a courtly circle of green lies inside the drive that curves before the massive carved stone lintel and high wooden doors of the entrance.

i want to live in a house like a desert palace...one with beautifully pierced screens and heavy shutters to make a dim refuge inside, walls glazed in colours both murky and bright, mottled with age. reed mats and rugs and tiles make the floors a patchwork of texture and hue, and long rug-covered couches line the walls. cedar wood tables hold tea trays. hanging lanterns give a flickery light, sheepskins soften beds and chairs, incense fills the rooms with balsam scents. clothes are an array of long, voluminous robes in linen or silk or wool, un-dyed or vividly coloured, laid in painted cupboards and carved chests; and shoes are a pile of embroidered leather slippers, soft as petals. the garden is hidden in a courtyard, jasmine and rose scented, with a central fountain softly plashing. the door is large, mihrab-shaped, with a smaller door within it, and ornamented with shining brass nails and an ancient hamsa over its myriad flaking layers of paint.

i want to live in a house like a daimyo lord's...one with glass-walled polished wood corridors surrounding rooms with fragrant tatami floors and paper wall-doors that slide aside to let the garden merge with the interior. furniture is minimal; elegant wood chests or lacquered tables and cushions, fine pottery, painted screens, provide utility and ornament without clutter, and allow the natural beauty of the house materials to shine. there are tansu chests with carefully folded and wrapped kimono, more precious than jewels, exquisitely dyed, embroidered, couched, and created to be worn for a few weeks each year in perfect harmony with the turning seasons with carefully chosen accessories. a small box holds a few antique obi ornaments, and another larger box contains hair ornaments in shell-inlaid lacquer, jade, coral, and pearl. the gardens are green, finely maintained, with old trees and stepping stone paths to the iris-edged stream or to the small, mossy-tiled tea-house.

i want to live in a child-welcoming hobbit house...a spacious but human-scaled place with softly colour-washed walls and clear large windows gently arched, perhaps constructed of wavy-walled cob, centred on a fine hearth and great room. low seating runs along the window walls, scattered with comforting colourful cushions, and rainbow silk scarves drape a play area with baskets of simple, gentle toys and shelves of beautiful books. beeswax candles twinkle on the old wood table, and copper pans, wooden utensils, and robust pottery welcome little helpers in the kitchen. our clothing is hand-made, finely stitched or knitted, and worn in colours chosen to match the days of the week; it hangs in orderly closets that keep also a large array of dress-up clothes for little knights and fair folk. painting supplies, clay for modelling and potting, yarn and fabric for textile work, and musical instruments are handy in tidy baskets and boxes. the partly-walled gardens are bright with every sort of flower, fragrant with savoury herbs, and contain beehives, vegetables, fruit trees, and a safe little poultry house and yard towards the back end. willow-withe fencing lines the sandy or brick paths back to the kitchen door, and the soft green lawn and flowers in front march up to a cheery folkloric floral painted door.

how can i choose?


  1. Replies
    1. thank you! this sort of thing is fun to write.

  2. Beautiful visions, you have inspired me.

    1. if only we could change up our homes as easily as we can imagine them!


midwifing the future

lately there has been much discussion about eco-despair, and the unavoidable degradation of everything, and the urgency of action to fight-...