Designing Your Well-Lived Future

Ready for Something Other Than Suburbia? 

“I’m tired of living alone.”

“We just would like to live together and share a house. We’re not lovers; we need two master suites.

“I’m fine by myself with breakfast and lunch. At 4:30 though, I need community.”

These are a few of the comments of exasperation from singles we’ve heard over the years. For many, the single-family suburban lifestyle just isn’t working. If you can relate and are ready to help create other options, join in to re-envision your lifestyle!

I keep strategizing and periodically hosting planning/design sessions aimed at discovering floor plans, shared amenities and cluster possibilities where residents get more for less, along with good design. I usually hold the workshop in Santa Fe at the Commons on West Alameda. We start with a tour of the grounds and a bit of conversation about their shared amenities, and then spend the rest of the time developing your ideas of alternatives to current suburban choices.


Design Your Dream

What is the Most Important to you when designing your dream of a Sustainable neighborhood ?

What are the great things you wish were happening within a convenient walk? What floor plan arrangements and shared amenities would fit your needs? Maybe a deeply affordability lifestyle with a place to play music on a Friday night?

This is a totally open ended question looking for your input. This is your design. As the ideas build up,  Architects and Designers will take your ideas and create a “Catalogue of Options”. This Catalogue will become the basis for a  Model Home and Sales Office for Sustainable Living and drive the demand for a choice other than suburbia!

Spears Architects' contributed this vision to the St Michaels Boulevard Envisioning the City of Santa Fe hosted a couple of years ago.

Since we don’t have many living examples of sustainable neighborhoods in America to draw from, you can use the above illustration (click on thumbnail for full view) to give you inspiration.

Maybe you want to talk about your ideal compound arrangement and take some hints from one of Santa Fe’s cohousing compounds?! In the Sept 2011 Green Fire Times, residents of The Commons on the Alameda shared 144 reasons that make their community life so excellent.

Here’s another awesome idea. I  worked with Roy Wroth to put together a flexible, mixed use floor plan that allows for multiple incomes to cover the mortgage.

And yet one more source for inspiration. John Goekler went all out and hopped aboard a time machine and reported back.

Your contribution can be simple and then grow as we go. Go for it!  Design the Change You Want to See!   Share your ideas and visions. Design your Dream!

image courtesy of quote pictures

What do Two Young Professionals, a Wine Bar, a Twelve-step Program, and a Day Care Center Have in Common?

The answer to the above riddle is… a well-designed house with a flexible floor plan that meets the needs of the current and future residents.  Change, flexibility, affordability, and convenience together spell a thriving, resilient, and sustainable future!  The job before us is nothing short of a reinvention of the America Dream. Here’s some ideas to consider as you’re designing  your dream living space and neighborhood. Enjoy!

A Sustainable Floor Plan in a Sustainable Neighborhood

Ed and Bill are two young professionals, old college roommates and best friends who are searching for an affordable home where they can launch their careers and start building equity.  They find the answer in buying a home together to save money and to keep their college rituals alive.  The home that makes it all work has a flexible floor plan, and with a tenants-in-common joint ownership agreement, they move in.

Ed is a self-employed free-lance writer and sets up his office in the downstairs owner’s studio.  Bill is a new attorney who is anxious to jump into the courtroom and he decides to set his office up in the media room and live in the front bedroom (Master Suite 2).  Ed takes the master bedroom and they share the kitchen and living room. To help make their mortgage payments, they decide to rent out the downstairs storefront to a local clothing store.  This way they‘ll have a quiet renter and supplemental  income.  The middle room downstairs (work 2), behind the store, is completely dedicated to the ping-pong table and music, for playing ping-pong and music with friends are Ed and Bills’s stress-relieving ceremonies from their college days and Bill refuses to give them up.

Flex Floor Plans