I was introduce to the Innermost House through a friend…yes, on Facebook. For me the creation of this small and thoughtful house begs the question, what or where is home? It’s a question I have contemplated much of my life as I’ve moved 34 times myself, and I am in the business of helping people create their home.
Why did the story of this particular house resonate with me? I think it’s best said in this quote:
“The story of the Innermost House is a story with which all of us from all walks of life are familiar. It is the story of the search for a “home”, not so much in its physical manifestation but the idea of a “home”.. The search for belonging through a home is intrinsic to human nature…Jake Schnieder, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Diana and Michael Lorence have resided in small dwellings most of their 30 years together in order to pursue a simple life lived in reflection and meaningful conversation. In 2005 they created the Innermost House. Here is a physical description of this jewel in Diana’s own words.
“Innermost House is about 12 ft. square. It faces directly south beneath an open porch that shelters our front door. A hill rises to the north behind us and the forest lies all around. The house encloses five distinct rooms: to the east is a living room 11 ft. deep by 7 feet wide by twelve feet hight; to the west the house is divided into kitchen, study, and bathroom, each approximately 5 ft. deep by 3 ft. wide, with a sleeping loft above the three of them, accessible by a wooden ladder we store against the wall.
They lived there for 7 years without electricity; cooking, warming and reading by fire. They are surround only by a few precious books, and fewer pieces of furniture and “things”, in the midst of the natural beauty found in Northern California. You can read more about the creation of this mindful home in Diana’s words on their website.
However, as stated in the first quote, it’s not the physical manifestation so much as their intention to live a life of simplicity and contemplation in an environment, tho while small, is truly elegant and exquisite in every detail. I think they succeeded beautifully in creating a space in which to live a rich and full “Innermost Life”.
Personally I love this concept of the Innermost house as I think it contains all three elements needed to manifest the beauty of a true home that uplifts you and all who enter. Firstly I think that a simple life is an aide in developing the innermost life that helps you create the outer life you want. The second element in this creation is silence. It’s only in the silence that you can truly nurture that inner space. Silence can be found anywhere of course, as it is first and foremost an inner attribute, but living in the midst of nature certainly helps. I’ve written about simplicity, wabi sabi, and slow home, all of which emphasize creating a smaller and simpler home that fosters a connection between the inner and outer world in a unique and beautiful way. And yes beauty, the third key element in this small home, does uplift both the soul and the spirit, don’t you think?
To see more of the Innermost Home click the video below.
What do you think? Yes or no? Do you agree? Could you, or would you like to live a simpler life?
“We ascribe beauty to that which is simple;
which has no superfluous parts;
which exactly answer its end;
which stands related to all things;