Tenet 3 - Beauty in everyday things.

Color Scheme

Earthen hues, but mainly browns.

Lighting was another serendipitous win. I put 4 five watt bulbs in the bath sconces because I wanted low energy use. They provided a gas lamp type light in the bath that I find sublime. In the evening I often leave the sconces on and the door open. Being at the end of the hall the light makes the bath always look like a photo layout in Interior Design.

The lighting serendipity continued when the only lamps I would consider moving from our previous home have manila shades. I installed CFL bulbs for low energy and reduced heat. The combination turned out warm and cozy. I'd rather be lucky than good.

Exposed Systems

Every piece of wood trim is attached with screws and exposed heads. I don't think I've ever seen this done before. In the wood working world this is a huge no-no. Carpenters take great pride in hiding how trim is attached. Countersinking brads and filling. Plugs.

Jake von Slatt

Jake von Slatt's keyboard.

Everyday Things

In 2008 Jake von Slatt's keyboard made me consider that for 30 years, 60 hours a week, I pounded ugly $11 keyboards on formaldehyde seeping Formica clad chip board workstations designed with a single consideration...how cheap can it be made.

Like most everyone else I've always wanted to be surrounded by beauty. But I had overlooked the common objects. A painting on a wall may be beautiful but once hung is rarely noticed and therefore not inspirational. A perfectly crafted workstation made of great natural materials which I'm in contact with everyday is constantly inspirational. And it's a surface I'm inspired to keep clear.

Photo by User:Sven on Wikipedia.

Manufactured goods suck.

John Ruskin...spoke out against the shoddy quality of machine-made goods, and attacked the esthetics of products designed for show instead of function...

Much as been written over the years on the true cost of crap. Yet each year crap gets crappier.

I think the crap parade is a logical progression. I've dissembled many 100 to 25 year old typewriters. I learn a lot about how things are made and it's like traveling back in time. As I moved forward through time the machines become more efficiently made. Smaller parts, tighter tolerances. At some point they became too flimsy. It's hard to tell when a line was crossed. When do you stop trying to reduce materials? Not an easy choice.

To be sure we have many impressive objects today that make our lives better. Car safety and efficiency are great benefits for example.

This dislike of manufactured goods is not only about objects falling apart. It is also about making objects that improve with age. We're no longer building objects that will be the antiques of tomorrow. Plastic does not age well, does not last and really can't be restored. Manufactured goods for the most part look their absolute best in the package. It is down hill from there.

Building my own objects is pretty much my only choice. It is difficult to find well made objects. I'm sure they exist but so rare it makes finding such objects a real chore. In some cases impossible. In the finest lighting and ceiling fan store in Phoenix I could not find a single ceiling fan that didn't have the powder coated fake bronze. Online search is impossible because manufacturers use terms like "Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish". Apparently as long as you add the word "finish" the rest can be as misleading as you like. "Oil Rubbed Bronze" is oil rubbed bronze. "Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish" is brown paint made to look like oil rubbed bronze, at least in the opinion of the seller. And of course people who have actually seen oil rubbed bronze are almost extinct.

I'll look for materials in antique and second hand stores. I'll use materials and finishes that enhance beauty with age and use.