Outside In

Mar 24 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The Eames House, Southern California

The Eames House, Southern California

I spent the brief plane ride to Los Angeles last week pouring over a copy of Dwell, a forward looking magazine of modern home design. And when I arrived at my friend’s Hollywood bungalow, she pointed out that the house behind hers was the Freeman House, a concrete block Frank Lloyd Wright creation. This triggered a Mid-Century Modern design theme for the weekend and inspired some thoughts about the ways a home can capture a love of the outdoors.

What resonates with me about Wright is that he understood the interconnectedness of our lives with the spaces we occupy. He believed that domestic spaces should integrate seamlessly with the natural environment, rather than shriek away or dominate it. So his designs fly in the face of cloistered ideas of ownership and property lines, and blur the contractual boundary between “inside” and “outside” with floor to ceiling windows often appearing in his designs in lieu of walls.

Designers such as Ray and Charles Eames and developer Joseph Eichler tailored Wright’s design fundamentals for everyday people, and many others followed in his philosophy to inspire a new generation of design.

For me, a home that combines the charm of a child’s tree-house with grown-up necessity and sustainability like an Eichler (pictured below) equals bliss...

In what ways does your home reflect your passion for the outdoors?


Inside an Eichler House

Inside an Eichler House

Curbside View of an Eichler

Curbside View of an Eichler

Rue Mapp is the founder of Outdoor Afro, a community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more! Outdoor Afro uses social media to create interest communities, events, and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.

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