Our future home is important because it will house our stuff. It is important because it will shelter us from blustery winds, the chill of Winter, and the oppressive heat of Southern Julys. But, we feel, our home is important for reasons beyond ourselves and this belief hangs out at the heart of this crazy project.
In the short time that we have been collecting materials, we have been gifted wood, sinks, toilets, windows, gorgeous tile, and thousands of pennies for our penny floor. The reality is that new construction and the tons of waste it produces is just plain unsustainable. The world of re-use, recycle and re-purpose is available, affordable, and honestly more exciting than the world of mass and overly-produced.
Check out a few fun pics of recycled homes on this Flavorwire site.
Being artists, Ryan and I both feel like this home is one of our loudest speaking pieces of work yet. It is a social statement: all people deserve beautiful, affordable housing. It is a spiritual statement: let us tread lightly on this earth and be mindful of our materials. Our home speaks out against the excesses of our American culture-the clutter, chaos and over-consumption that we are constantly told “we need” to be “happy.”
Driving around the affluent parts of downtown St. Louis–the opulence, the mansions–it all just seems so wild; so far from what we would ever want for our family. So much of the typical American family’s time is spent outside of the home–work, school, etc.. What is the allure of building a home that is so large it separates us during the relatively few hours we get to share?
We currently live in 700 square feet and had company comfortably stay with us. Our new space will be twice this size. We are super excited to become experts at space efficiency and create a more minimalist lifestyle (and that’s just a sophisticated way of saying, “I’m lazy. How can I make cleaning as small a part of my life as possible?”)
All this preaching just to say…we feel good about where we’re at. We chose this housing option because we ourselves have faced serious financial stress, yet we always believed we deserve (like everyone else) an amazing home. Now that our process has begun, we are even more convinced that using what is available, environmentally friendly, and within our budget, is actually optimal and lends itself to a unique, one-of-a-kind home that will be built with all kinds of love.
Thanks for your support as we continue on!