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