While homes are a special place for family and friends, truly remarkable homes are an expression of our unique nature. The luxury of our home may speak of our achievements in life, but there is so much more that makes us who we are. The car we drive or the clothes we wear may seek to express that, but they can change with trends and seasons. Our home is part of our legacy, a testament to our quintessential self, our unique spirit, our individual expression, and a contribution to the world.
A Murray Arnott award-winning home is not just about walls and a roof, it is about a philosophical attitude – an attitude that taps into your genius, your spirit, your passion. We slow down, take the time to get to know what makes you tick. We become intimate with your building site, understanding its unique character so that your home grows out of the land, a balance between carefully rendered natural materials and inspiring forms. Our forte is post and beam signature homes using massive logs, timber, stone and glass.
We are continually faced with the choice to stand still in our evolution or continue to grow our capacity to express our unique nature. In the words of Aldous Huxley, “The greatest art is the art of living, the art of adequately experiencing each moment we find ourselves inhabiting.” We take that attitude to heart, creating homes that are masterpieces of functional living art forms. They are solid, beautiful, inspiring, breathtaking, and an inspired reflection of you for generations to come.
For over thirty years, the creative team at Murray Arnott Design have designed exceptional homes: post and beam, timber, log, and conventional homes that have a role much greater than giving us shelter and beautiful spaces. Their function is to serve our fullest expression. To be successful, the overall form and the specific spaces should make us feel more alive. From the moment we awake in our bedroom, throughout the various activities we engage in our home during our day. Until we fall asleep, we should be uplifted by the space we inhabit. In short, it is about the quality of our experience. While my new clients show my photos of homes they like, I am more interested in the ‘why’. For example, what moves them? What engenders passion and creativity in them? What is it that inspires them in a physical environment? What makes them more peaceful? I immensely enjoy working with my clients in this creative process with natural materials.
I apply the expression, creative risk, not only to architectural design, but as an approach to life. Whether expressed in general terms (or in architectural expression) creative risk contains two elements. Risk, in this sense, means being willing to step outside of our comfort zone. This not only applies to the traditional ideas of a career or travel, but also in our relationships with ourselves, our relationship with others and our belief systems. Creative risk means not just stepping out of our comfort zone for its own sake, although that can be very helpful. To risk creatively means to bring awareness to what we are being called to do: what is the next step in our evolution? As an acorn contains within it the capacity to grow into a magnificent oak tree, we too, as individuals and as a culture or society, have the same innate potential.
I believe we all have a sense of where we chronically hold ourselves back from our own growth. Being creative means taking steps, however small, in the direction of our own growth, noticing our resistance but moving into it with intention. In my architectural expression, it means being willing to take risks that test my boundaries and those of my clients (with their permission) but with intention that our result will be extremely rewarding. In can be general, such as the massing of a home, or it can be more specific such as leaning walls off of vertical, or in the creative use of natural light. Creative risk means being in simple contact with the essential elements of what it means to be human, in contact with natural processes without egoist attachment; while surrendered to the more ethereal qualities of beauty, harmony, inspiration.
Great homes are the result of this. They embody an essential connection to nature in their materials, siting and natural forms, yet inspire us to be more alive. Simply put, it is to have both feet solidly on the earth while our heart and imagination soar in the heavens.