Innermost House - Built for Conversation


"To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich. To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes, and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony."

- William Henry Channing


Innermost House is about twelve feet square and rests somewhere in the coastal mountains of Northern California. It faces directly south beneath an open porch that shelters the front door. A hill rises to the north and the forest lies all around. The house encloses five distinct rooms: kitchen, study, and bathroom, each approximately five feet wide by three feet deep, and a sleeping loft above the three of them.

The fifth space is the living room. On the east wall of the room is a small fireplace set a foot above the floor, with a hearth extension of bricks projecting a foot and a half into the room. On the west side is a wall of books four feet wide and seven feet tall. Between these walls of hearth and books, our two low chairs sit facing each other a couple of feet apart. Everything about the space is conceived to make a harmony of conversation possible.

"We live for a special intensity of domestic life that simply requires a concentration of space to achieve." -Diana Lorence, owner of Intermost House


"I know that sounds strange in a world where conversation seems to go on all the time every day. But pause for a moment and try to remember the single most moving and meaningful conversation you ever had. Perhaps it was with your mother or father in days long past, or with your husband or wife when you were first in love. Perhaps it was when you said goodbye to someone for the very last time. Now, how would you design, build and furnish a place so that those conversations could happen every day? That is the question we asked of every detail of Innermost House, and we are still asking it."  - Diana Lorence


"We do not have electricity or power of other kind, so we warm the cabin and cook our food and heat our water for bathing all over the fire. Our firewood comes of local orchard prunings that would otherwise be burned as waste in the field. In the summer we cook over coals and wash with cold water. We light our home with beeswax candles. After examining all the options, we installed a conventional septic system, though we use very little water." - Diana Lorence


All the quotes above from Diana Lorence were found in THIS article at Tiny House Blog.