What is a Common House?
The Common House is the architectural heart of our community life. We will sometimes cook, eat, play, hang out, celebrate, meet, host events, and work together at our future Common House. It is an extension of our individual homes and allows us to live in smaller private homes than we might need outside of Femquility.
The Common House can include a large kitchen, dining room, living room, shared library/media room, game room, meeting room, office/internet room, exercise room, guest rooms, laundry room, art studio, large playroom and more. It wil be wheelchair accessible, with wide hallways and doorways, and accessible restrooms. Our U.S. mailboxes and our internal mail "cubbies" will be located in the Common House, providing residents daily opportunities to interact with each other. Community bulletin boards will also be here. Spontaneity and serendipity play a major role in building and maintaining our relationships. We will decorate the Common House with our laughter, photos, and an interesting variety of artwork.
The common house in each cohousing community varies from community to community. It all depends what the residents want in their common house. The common house also usually saves residents space and money. For example, instead of everyone having a guest bedroom or library room in each of their homes, those can be incorporated into the common house so everyone can share them as needed.
This photo shows an example of a Common House. This one belongs to the Eno Commons cohousing community and includes indoor and outdoor dining areas, a large kitchen for cooking some shared meals, and a bathroom for guests & visitors on the first floor, and the second floor will soon have guest bedrooms and possibly a meeting or craft room. Outside their common house, they have basketball nets, a kiddie playground and some benches for relaxing.
Culture & Fun
We want the Common House to be one of the places where residents can gather for spontaneous fun or planned community events. Examples: movie night, workshops, discussions, meetings, contests, billards, art classes, cooking classes, thanksgiving celebration, anniverary celebrations, common meals, etc.
Shared Meals in the Common House
Common meals. Cohousing residents usually share two or three meals each week in their common house. Eating common meals is always voluntary and everyone signs up ahead of time. Commonly, a team of two to four persons prepares meals for diners who sign up in advance, and each adult resident helps cook and/or clean up once every five or six weeks. There's usually vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. It all depends on what the residents want for the community's common meal program.
When our community is built we would like most common areas and individual units's first floors to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Articles related to the Common Houses on the Cohousing Association of the United State's website: