30-Day Blog Love Affair:: Day #27!

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For my entire adult life, I have lived communally (yep, like a true hippie) among diverse and wonderfully inspiring groups of creative folks.  Over the past four years, I’ve lived with a mandolin player, a photographer/videgrapher, a raw pie maker, a bike shop owner, a massage therapist/gardener and a shaman-in-training.  Our house is now famous for it’s house concerts, potlucks, art nights and backyard sauna parties.  We have 15 bikes parked under our hand-built bike storage area right next to our front yard food garden.  We don’t have chickens anymore, but all our neighbors do, so the air is still filled with the sound of clucking.  Basically, we are our own little Portlandia episode around here everyday.  You can picture it, right?

As a big fan of community and collaboration (and as a way to share expenses), I’ve consciously chosen to live this way for, oh, about twenty years now.  (woah.)  Living communally has enhanced my life in so many ways and as you can imagine, I’ve learned some serious lessons about sharing, flexibility and respect. Let’s just say, one of my favorite sayings of all time is…

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

However, my life has shifted in some pretty massive ways over the past few years.  I no longer work by myself all day long in my studio, craving human interaction at the end of the day.  Instead, my life is so full of people, I can barely keep up with all the names in my world.  I love the people aspect of my life as a teacher, but I tell ya what, living with four people, teaching large groups of people AND connecting with thousands of people online is simply too many…people.

So, about one year ago, I sat down with my friend, Ben, designer/builder extraordinaire, to discuss the possibility of building a little house in my backyard—a little house just for me.  For the first time in my life, I had a bit of money saved and my craving for my own space was quickly turning into a *need* for my own space.  It was becoming obvious that in order to do this level of work in the world, my soul actually required a cocoon to reintegrate, regroup and reinvent the next version of what I would eventually teach to others.

When the opportunity to build a cocoon became a reality, I immediately said YES.  Together, Ben and I started sketching out my dream house. This dream house would only occupy 450 square feet of my backyard, so our dreaming was contained but as a result of our size parameters, we got quite creative.  I knew I wanted a “wall of windows,” many skylights and a loft with no separate rooms.  Ben’s solution to my vision was to “go up.”

I’m pretty sure my new house is the tallest building on my block.  I have three 12 foot windows on one side (aka: the wall of windows).  There are also five skylights, a loft, a sleeping loft in the loft (double loft!) and no rooms besides one small room containing a toilet.  The process of co-designing my house was amazing and living inside it’s walls (I moved in two months ago) is actually a little bit surreal.  Like I said, I’ve never lived alone, so it all feels rather luxurious on many levels—450 square feet of luxury!

Truth disclaimer:  I’ve been feeling a little bit hesitant to share my house with you because, once again, I’m still struggling with my own “deserving” stories.  But, alas, this blog experiment is offering me the perfect way to move through that old story to the other side—the side where I totally deserve a super zen, light-filled, personally designed dream cocoon with the best bathtub in the Universe.  Hell yeah.

What I’m realizing more and more everyday is how by creating this nurturing space for myself, I am taking care of ME which, in turn, allows me to inspire and encourage thousands of other people to nurture their own creative spirits.  Self-care ripple effect in action!

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my cocoon…

xo flora

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43 Comments

  1. Just love your coccoon….thanks for sharing your story with me.

  2. Beautiful home – looks very serene and calm and peaceful…

  3. Ok, now this is one seriously kool cocoon!!

  4. Thanks for sharing your happy place…serene, airy, light-filled, and lots of magenta! Beauty everywhere!

  5. Congratulations! It’s beautiful and inspiring and I love getting a peek at it. Good for you! So this is behind the big art house, sharing the same yard?

  6. Love! Your space is simply wonderful.

  7. Wow! What an amazing space! Thanks forfor sharing photos. I love living alone and my place has that new englandy overfilled lived in look :-) Have been enjoying your 30 days blog posts and your recently purchased book. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  8. Perfect use of 450 Sq. feet. Bravo to Ben, and congratulations.
    No more starving artist. You are such an inspiration to all of us.

  9. I get to visit you in your cocoon (*heaven*) and…I swear…I can see the shape of your wings evolving…collecting colors and textures…smoothing themselves into easy stretches…strengthening to carry you EVEN HIGHER. So beautiful to behold…

  10. Hi Flora, Thankyou for sharing…..it is lovely. While I am here can I say that it has been a lift in my spirits to read about your world and inspirations…it has been a distraction from my world that has been filled with heartache and grief for the better part of 2 months. While reading your stories I am able to dream and create in my mind. I explore new possibilities that could come when I feel stronger and ready to tackle living life again. Thankyou again…so much. Take amazing care of yourself…you are an exceptionally beautiful soul.

  11. Wow! Such a beautiful space, you are completely right that it will nurture you and help you, and that helps you help others. It’s hard work sometimes believing it’s okay to have something great, but no-one who knows the work you do or what an exceptional, lovely person you are would think anything else. It’s an inspiring living space, just right.

  12. Oh it is beautiful … so incredibly peaceful and nurturing and simple but gorgeous … kind of my dream spaces. Thank you for sharing these today. Am loving your 30 days of blogging. x

  13. What a beautiful and peaceful cocoon! A week or so ago, I was out for a walk with a friend behind Mississippi and I saw two very tall colorful tiny houses. When you wrote about your layout, it reminded me of them. Each one looked like a great little house to live in. Enjoy!

  14. Really beautiful! And yes, you do deserve it, no-one would argue with that! And yes, it is wonderful to be on one’s own sometimes!

  15. Your home is beautiful! I love the light, the creativity, the space, the quiet. xo

  16. Love everything about this post. You are a true inspiration on so many levels.
    Thanks for looking after you so we get your awesomeness too!

  17. LOVE it Flora! So bright, light & peaceful! And OF COURSE you deserve every inch of it!! :)

  18. That is 450 sq. ft. of awesomeness! It was wonderfully designed and built – makes great use of space. Love it!

  19. What an awesome home! Enjoy and thanks for sharing pictures of it!

  20. Fabulous! You totally, absolutely deserve to live in your very own dream house! You go girl:) xoxo

  21. Wonderful Flora , what a beautiful cocoon you have and you deserve every inch of it, enjoy XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Christine x

  22. Having rented houses for the last ten years after my divorce, my biggest dream is to own my own space. I have a child with Tourettes Syndrome and all the associated issues, so I can only work part time in a school so I am there all the time for him (I’m a single mum with a 17yr old daughter aswell). Being able to afford my own place seems like an impossible dream, but this post has been such an inspiration. You followed your soul’s calling and made it all happen. Absolutely you deserve that, and it is absolutely right to share it with the world to show us all that anything is possible. And it’s a truly beautiful space aswell!

  23. Thank you for sharing your dream, what a fabulous living space! xxx

  24. You worked hard and you then created a beautiful space in which to recharge, what’s not to deserve! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! It looks utterly gorgeous :-)

  25. Such a nice haven!! Love it…

  26. your home is so wunderfull :)
    i loved to see these pictures – thanks for them! :)

  27. Flora, your home looks absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Got so much inspiration from your blog . Please write more . I learn so much reading from your blog . You are a good writer’ of course an inspiration for others . Life is beautiful when you have ideas to live it in peace ,sharing and caring for others gives happiness and sharing it with others is more inspiring to get it more ! LOL

  29. Your house is beautiful. I perfectly understand the need for all the light and the windows. A year ago I moved in my flat and it is great having sun for most of the day and in the evening.
    I love your bathtub with the view of the lilac. It is my favourite plant and I have a little one on my balcony. I hope it will grow and make some flowers too. Right now it is just leaves. But I am grateful that it is surviving in its container.

  30. While I can’t imagine for one second wanting to live with other people { ;) }, I do understand the ‘deserving’ thing. I’m also of the mind that honouring the self allows us to give more. Your home is just gorgeous ~ all that light! ~ and so beautifully thought out. If it was a case of deserving, you definitely deserve it. :)

  31. From one happy cocoon to another, I loved reading your story. After my partner and soulmate passed away a few years ago, I spent the next few years travelling all over the world in an attempt to distract myself from reality. I did have a marvellous time, but eventually had to face up to life alone. Art came to my rescue. I converted my sterile abode into MY place – full of photos and momentos of my trips, artefacts, treasures, bright colours and, now, even some of my own art. Thanks, Flora, as you helped me get started at the easel on the Bloom True course. I love every moment now – there’s just not enough time to get everything done but it’s the solitary life for me!

  32. Well said, and AMEN to a sweet quiet place of your own.
    Looks like Heaven, and I’m happy for you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  33. You so deserve this beautiful, wonderful, clean house. Clean lines, clean space, wow.

  34. You have a beautiful home! Thank you for sharing.

  35. I bought your book from Amazon . Cannot wait to get it in mail . Thanks for sharing what u do , what u have ,what you want and surely you deserve it after reading , all I came to know from your love for painting and sharing beautiful space ,your own with love from people sharing with people and it comes back much more multiplied by sharing with others .

  36. I have never been to Bali but I did watch Eat Pray Love, the movie. I wonder if you had thoughts of Bali when you designed this house with your friend, Ben. You certainly are deserving of such a fine, restful space where you can refresh and rejuvenate body and soul. I love it.

    Being new to painting (but not to creativity and owning a business) I have been drawn to your painting and your philosophies as they run closely to my own and the messages I hold dear. Bless your house and the time you spend there. Happy trails.

  37. I love your cocoon! beautiful and so very deserved!

  38. Flora! SWOON!!! LOVE! Your place is so open, full of light and projects out peacefulness. So happy you have your own space. :)

  39. Love it!
    :)

  40. LOVE IT !!! Wish it was mine.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Pat

  41. It’s just gorgeous and you so deserve it! So happy for you! ♥

  42. I absolutely *love* it. I love the feel of small spaces, having lived on a sailboat for a few years and now living on land, I miss the *cocoon* feel, and I am often found tucked into small spaces within the home we are in.

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