Envisioning Life In Our Interior Spaces

We have a great big, beautiful Valentine for all of the current and future members of our community: After almost two months of review, discussion, and proposals on the Design Development process, we have agreed on all the refinements to the floor plans and finishes for the Bozeman Cohousing buildings. Studio Co+hab beautifully embodied the program priorities set by the group last year, so the final changes were largely tweaks and polishes based on our collective lived experience.

What began as an exercise in taking stock of how we currently live in our own spaces has crystalized into an exercise in imaging how we will eventually live in our new shared and personal spaces. And that vision of the future is tantalizing indeed.

Our family will be living in a second-floor flat next to the atrium. We’ll be able to bring things from the parking lot to the side door in our recumbent cargo trike. Then it’s up a covered flight of stairs made airy with a high clerestory and into our home. Muddy shoes and boots can stay just outside the door.

Since I’m the breakfast cook on weekdays, I’ll start out in our compact but full-featured all-electric kitchen. The marmoleum floor is soft and easily warms to my feet. The white cabinets and walls contribute to the sense of open light, as well as tease us to consider what more distinctive color we might want to paint them. From the sink in the central island, I can chop kale and onions for our morning scramble on the bamboo counter while I look out at the Bridgers through our living room window. Once she’s up, my wife can drink her tea in the sunny, open dining area, or in good weather, out on the deck, where she’s certain to be joined by our two cats.

On laundry day, we’ll be just a quick indoor walk to the shared washer/dryers in the common house, which will have all the power of high-capacity machines in a laundromat, but none of the bad feng shui. An outdoor drying rack will give our clothes that elusive sunshine freshness. While we wait for our laundry, we can go home, or we can make a cup of coffee in the common kitchen and visit with neighbors in the atrium even when it’s not terribly hospitable outside.

Friday night is our family movie night, and we can either enjoy our personal choice in our own living room, or join the group cinema experience in the common house dining room. Several members are musically inclined, and there will undoubtedly be talent shows and performances as the spirit moves.

Even though none of the private homes are all that far from the common house, other households have chosen to be a bit more away from the hustle and bustle. Some residents will stay warm with an optional wood stove. Options for carpet, marmoleum, and other hard flooring options will suit everyone’s desire for comfort and the realities of kids and pets. Folks living in the smaller homes won’t have to give up too much counter space, thanks to compact appliances just the right size for fewer people.

All told, the efficiently planned indoor spaces of our community will be so inviting, comfortable, and cozy that we may not feel like going anywhere else!