Friday, September 24, 2010

The Barefoot Manifesto

Are you living barefoot? Is your home a barefoot home? And if you think that by this I mean do you walk around in your home without shoes or slippers on your feet?...then you're not entirely right, but then you're not too wrong either! The "barefoot home" is a home that is all about dressed down design for a casual living....a house where you can kick off your shoes, open up, embrace the sun, live outside as well as in and adopt a barefoot state of mind! Its a home that is not buttoned up and snooty with a foyer, a center hall with a grand staircase!! Oh don't get me wrong, a center hall makes a gracious entry space, but it insinuates itself between the major rooms of the house and casts itself an air of formality about the whole main floor!

Our lives have become informal, we don't have sitting rooms and parlors anymore. When we throw a party everyone crowds in the kitchen, we live more and more outdoors, we garden, we barbecue, we soak in the hot tub, we lounge on the deck, we leave the back door open...the inside and the outside are a continuum, yin and yang, in a constant and dynamic flux. OK, it's true that some of us live in climates not too conducive to outdoor living 365 days of the year....but a barefoot home can also manage to bring in the outdoors with open areas which provide expansive views of the outside!

In a barefoot home space flows uninterrupted between the rooms. Its a home that's easy to move through, easy to live in, easy to maintain. A home where if your friends walk in with muddy shoes you don't go "arrrggghhh"!!! A home that has no unnecessary walls and barriers and is bright, airy and relaxed. A home that is always open in the broadest sense. Daily living takes place in one large space, not the great room concept of suburban homes, but a multipurpose room perfect for cooking, eating and socializing. Rooms are animated by sunlight pouring in through large expanses of windows and glass, which casts a delirious soporific spell forcing us to slow down and relax, to savor the moment.

You experience a barefoot home with all five senses, most of all your sense of touch. Texture is especially important in a barefoot home where the feel of things contributes to the sense of informality. Materials in a barefoot home are rustic, honest and straightforward.......concrete floors, adobe and rammed walls, stone, ceramic, stucco and fieldstone. The lines between the outside and the inside are blurred. It's all about covered patios, courtyards, roof decks, porches, verandas and loggias and is synonymous with outdoor living.

My home is definitely not as barefoot as I would like it to be, as I am sure all our homes are. But by borrowing some of the basic concepts, we can work towards the idea of a barefoot, open, carefree home!

Barefootedness is a simple idea. A simple state of mind.

To inspire you, here are some perfect examples of homes that embody this style of living...

Images via The Barefoot Home by Marc Vassallo


GB said...

Yes, yes, yes. I live and want to live the barefoot life. :)

Because we live in the climate we live in, shoes and mud are a reality we deal shoes are shucked as we enter (luckily we have a coat closet just by the entry), and we live the barefoot life, amidst legos and rugs!!! (most of the year, tho in winter I'll be the one with the bunny slippers--my feet get very very cold!)
another point you might have missed in this excellent post. Are the couches comfy enough for a mid-afternoon nap? (yes).


Kamini said...

Ah good point GB.....! The great Indian afternoon siesta :-) With a husband like mine who has an incredible capacity for sleeping, I will always have a comfy couch!

PreeOccupied said...

Inspiring...though here in Toronto, whether you have a barefoot home or not, we always leave our shoes as you enter someone's home. Something that I also did and learnt in Bangalore. I think its a Japanese practice and in many Indian homes still practiced.

I like the thought of sun in homes - natural light, air and freshness.

Gloria Graham, AKBD said...

Yes, Ms.K! I love the concept. You must write a book, quick! Only thing I must take exception too is that WHITE chair. Ok, so maybe you can remove the cover and throw it in the wash? I'm hoping.

Prutha said...

nice images...

follow if u like what u see?


Kamini said...

Pree - in most homes shoes are left outside, but I know many times when we were in Seattle, rainy Seattle...visitors use to come in with their shoes...till I put a sign on the front door to not do so, and left a basket of booties by the entrance.!!!
Gloria - I love the white chair, I guess the cover remains :-)
Prutha - thanks

Patricia Torres said...

Oh.. Kamini.. this is something I need to reflect on.. I dont know what kind of a home mine is... huuummmm... the pics above are simply awesome.. awesome!!

huummm... I'm guessing its how comfortable people feel in your home... with you for company... as opposed to the decor influencing the barefootedness... Isnt it?? You know what I mean ... dont you??