Global warming will encourage us to spend more time outdoors. Our needs for shelter from the sun and heat and conservation of electricity will prompt the design of hybrid dwellings. Sunrooms, porches, patios, and skylights will expand the definition of indoors. The sunroom won’t just be a playroom, reading room, or afternoon snooze nook. The kitchen table will migrate to a sunny corner of it. Breakfast, after school snacks, and neighborly chats will grace it daily. Patio designs will offer partial shade through awnings and roofs as well as lawn furniture and carefully placed trees. Mobile barbeque grills will become obsolete. Barbeque pits will become sophisticated built in grills powered by the sun. Solar ovens will bake bread, cookies, and root vegetables.
Eventually, indoor kitchens will disappear. Finished garages will sport refrigerators accessible to children seeking drinking water and parents barbequing dinner. They will be easily stocked with groceries by opening the adjacent van door. The mudroom’s washer and dryer will be accompanied by a dishwasher. A china cabinet will decorate its upper reaches. The nearby bathroom will offer a sink for mandatory hand washing before dinner. Instead of retiring to the dank if cool environs of the basement to cook and relax, families will enjoy the cooler evening air outdoors on their patios as they dine.
More families will grow their own vegetables and flowers, too. Greenhouse designs will become human as well as plant friendly. Instead of utilitarian rows of seedlings and delicate flowers, they will be atria harboring pools of koi, raised bed flower gardens, and family picnic areas. In ground pools will be an expected feature of single family homes like garages and basements are today. Swimming classes like driving instruction will be a curricular standard at public schools throughout the United States. Expert, certified swimmers will live in Kansas and Ohio as well as in Florida and California.
Inside homes, skylights will permit indoor landscaping. Gardens and trees will help manage the temperature, humidity, air quality, and sunshine. Less electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting will be needed. Floors of ceramic tile and stone will eclipse wood and carpet in their durability, ease of care, and cool comfort. Furniture will be more functional and less decorative. Its comfort, mobility, durability, and cleanliness will be assured by its design and composition. Lightweight, folding frames of aluminum and washable cushions will permit immediate furniture re-arrangement to accommodate changing purposes, numbers of people, and events.
Despite the global rhythms of life in the Information Age, humans will be able to live closer to the land. They will be able to observe the seasons and cope with changing climates rather than avoid or conquer them. Their respect and care for their neighbors, communities, wildlife, and the earth will grow. It will inform their daily life and their plans for the future. This stewardship will foster the wholeness for which people long. A nap on the couch can become Shangri-La.
© Laura Rizzardini, Inc., 2013