Characteristics of a Natural (Soulful) House
natural house with soul

Design and build a house with the following characteristics and it will be lived in and
loved by people you will never meet — people who will be born after you are gone.

Feel Size Design
  • It comes to feel a part of the site yet doesn't dominate it.
  • It focuses attention on life (both inside and outside its walls) and not on itself.
  • It is scaled to human proportions yet has some unexpected surprises.
  • It is forgiving of clutter and ages gracefully.
  • It has sufficient space but is not excessively large.
  • It looks smaller on the outside than it feels on the inside.
  • It has both expansive social spaces and cozy private ones.
  • It is connected to the outdoors through transition spaces such as porches, decks, patios and sunrooms.
  • Living flows in and out of doors and the two are linked together through the landscaping.
  • It uses materials that are honest about where they come from.
  • It is designed to adapt to changing needs. Expansion is planned for.
    The house described above can exist outside of fashion and live a long life if people continue to want to live in it. Houses die when people stop wanting to live there.
     Even poor construction (click the photo below) can't stop us from loving places that are built with soul.

A leaning house with natural soul

Parco dei Mostri. Bomarzo, Italy.
(The Garden of Monsters) Click to enlarge.

photo courtesy of Philip Greenspun

[Got to the NEXT article] [Go to the BEGINNING of the series] [HOME of]