What is “Well Composed”

Something that is Well Composed has a sense of integrity to it, both inside and out.  No matter which way you look at a home that is gracefully composed, it appears balanced and has it’s own unique sense of beauty and harmony.  Architects use this word “composed” to describe the interrelationships amoung forms, whether at the big picture level (such as how roof meets wall) or at a detailed level (such as how window meets surrounding surfaces).

With many new homes today, although the facade has usually been composed somewhat – it has a fairly balanced and appealing “face” to the street – as soon as you move a few feet in either direction along the sidewalk, you discover that the sides could very easily belong to a completely different house.  They haven’t been composed in any way and in fact often look like an accidental assemblage of parts that have been thrown together.  It makes the house seem insubstantial and inauthentic, as though it’s trying to be something that it’s not. 

In our lives, the same can be true.  How many people do you know who have a face that they show to the world, while just below the surface they’re feeling empty and freightened and are not doing any of the things they yearn to be doing.  A life that is Well Composed is one in which there is authenticity all the way through, a life in which the outer appearance and the inner substance match up.  It is one in which you are living your passions and finding ways to express the essence of who you are.  It is through this process of using your life experiences to continually explore your true self that delightful and vibrant composition comes into being.

A satisfying composition takes time, care and introspection, whether you are designing a home, writing a short story or Living a Life…

What it’s all about

So what is the Well Composed Home Site all about? 

For me, the level of design that goes into a new home or a renovation project is the most critical element there is.  This is where it all begins.  It is the foundation.  In fact, it is only when we give the appropriate amount of attention to the design details up front, that the project is able to have an adequate budget assigned to it  and that the construction can be executed in an orderly fashion in the field. 

But, we are not simply talking about features like the spacial layout of the floor plan, the mixture of materials on the front elevation or the architectural theme of the home.  No, a Well Composed Home is more than that.  It is a combination of many different design disciplines coming together in an orchastrated manner for the betterment of the home and it’s owners.  It is a Well thought Out and Organized composition. 

During this economic downturn and the subsequent housing bust, many of my colleagues have focused their attention on becoming a specialist in an area of their preference.  Some have chosen green building.  Others; universal design.  Many;  becoming kitchen and bath providers.  While I do not wish to discredit their pursuits  in any way, I have always felt that we need to be striving for more when designing a home.  We need to take on a more holistic approach.  This endeavor can be daunting.  Almost overwhelming if you really think about.  Because of such, I do not claim to be an expert in this entire area.  In fact, I would always be an advocate of utilizing the appropriate design professional for each chosen discipline. 

With this site, not only do I hope to spotlight some projects that have done a remarkable job in composing beautiful homes, but, I would also like to try to distinguish the subtle nuances that make them special.  You see, I would like to treat this as a learning experience for myself.  Similar to when a photography enthusiast commits to a full year of posting a photo a day or when a poet produces three new pieces a week.  Inevitably their work becomes better because their understanding of their art becomes stronger.   I tend to find it difficult to convey or articulate the distinguishing attributes that make up a Well Composed Home.  I do know it when I see it though, and, I would like to become better at painting the picture on how to get there.  I also believe that we as a design and building community need to embrace this “Big Picture ” approach on creating Homes of magnificent and lasting value.  We can do so much better than we have in the past couple of decades.  And now we literally have a blank slate to work with. 

What a Golden Opportunity!

Re-Composing A Life

Woohoo…2011 is Here!

2010 is Gone. And, for that matter, Good Riddance to ’09,’08 and ’07.

“A New Season is Upon Us”.   I am so excited about what is to be.  In a way, the whole system had to  blow up in order for us to move forward in a positive direction, and, what is emerging in the realm of new housing is going to be incredible. As hard as it’s been, I thank God for having given me this experience. Sure we lost a lot (it’s only money) but I grew through it in ways that I never thought were possible.

Now that we are Lean, It’s time to start making great strides.  On to the Resolutions.

For the whole month of January, I have been building a complex spreadsheet detailing all of the goals, targets and objectives that I want to tackle this year.  All of them with specific deadlines attached.  The list just kept growing.  Catergories and Sub-Catergories for every facet of my life.  Then it dawned on me. 

All of this can be accomplished with one simple Mantra.  Yes I said simple; Awesomely Simple.  And yet, quite possibly the most challenging endeavor I have ever seriously undertaken…

            “In All Things, Give Thanks.”

Simply put, quit complaining.  Talk about a daunting challenge.  I did not fully grasp how many times a day this ugly habit had invaded my conversations.  But, what I love about this simple statement is the power in it’s purpose. Imediately, I get the sense that my perspective has shifted and (as a consequence) my outlook has been lifted.   

You see…I just Love Simple Elegance and this single objective embodies that whole heartedly.  Under the surface, this be can be challenging, complex and very demanding, but, to the world the result is just plain beautiful.

Looking forward to the impact.  Wish me luck.

Top 3…OK 4

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams (Cartoonist)

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
Ray Bradbury (Novelist)

“What’s the most resilient parasite?…An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”
Christopher Nolan (Writer)

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Mingus (Composer)

Epic Union


         I know that only me and 6 other people will find this absolutely and utterly monumental. But I think this is Cooler than Cool.  Carlos Santana (The Legend Of Legends) and Cindy Blackman (touring drummer for Lenny Krevitz…Nuf Said) have just married.

Talk about two kindred spirits uniting.

Even though Carlos is 63, these two have got to have children. They can not deny the world the possiblity of what could be. I would also think that a new home is on the horizon. Wouldn’t you love to work on that one. Quite possibly the funkiest house in America.

A Little Secret

Everything that is good in Life has been Well Designed.

Exploration of Home

     We are all looking for home, but we’re looking with the wrong tool.  We are trying to find home through more square footage, when in fact the quality of home has almost nothing to do with size.  Instead, it’s to be found in the qualities of space rather than the quantities.  And when you build space that’s beautifully tailored to your lifestyle rather than filled with all the latest rooms and gizmos, there’s a kind of moreness, and that’s what really makes you feel at home.

                                                                                                    Sarah Suzanka

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