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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scatterseed's House of Light and Air

I grew up in a succession of houses from small to medium, to one which was positively large, where a single bedroom is the size of a 4-room HDB flat. Over time, I had come to the conclusion that unless it's a farm house that exists on its own piece of land, surrounded on all sides by sunlight and wide expanses, a house can be a rather claustrophobic thing.

Since I am prone to claustrophobic panic attacks, living in a house within a densely built cluster of other houses seemed far less appealing than living in a penthouse up high where the wind howls through the house and the sun barges in without permission. So it was that I snuggled into The Husband's arms last week, murmuring that growing old in our penthouse would be just lovely if farming wasn't practical for us.

But I changed my mind today.

Scatterseed's house has redefined my notion of what a house in Singapore can be. In the middle of the house, located at what would have been the darkest corner, this house had an empty wall of dark grey decorated only with a tiny stainless steel table at the bottom right corner. This dark and depressing wall would have given me a panic attack except that it was lit up from above by rays of sunlight diving in through a clear glass roof, and a flight of stairs entirely made of clear tempered glass.

Many people don't realize that less is more... that simplicity is elegance... that emptiness can satisfy. Scatterseed decorated her house with pure living sunlight which poured in from every place that it wasn't supposed to. And so it was that the empty wall, with its stainless steel table, made my spirit full.

There is beauty that I appreciate consciously. I can appreciate a Prada handbag or a pair of Jimmy Choos as well as the next gal. Whilst I will never buy them, I can understand why others do... and I can squeal excitedly with the best bag gals of my acquaintance. Ornate sculptures and gilded mirrors and antique furniture are lovely too. I know they are beautiful and I honestly think they are.

But there is another type of beauty that resonates with my soul. Scatterseed's house full of sunlight resonated to the point that I felt like bursting. This is the first house I have seen in my life that has ever spoken so loudly to my heart. And of a sudden... I want a house... not a farm house, but a house in the middle of a cluster of other houses in claustrophobic Singapore.

So now... if I can't have a farm house, then a house is good... but I want one where the sunlight barges in to play in corners where it usually isn't allowed to.


Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

i really appreciate your writing, in the sense that it's gentle and giving me the nostalgic feelings of the bygone era of Enid Blyton, James Harriot, Roald Dahl......of proper English and all.

frankly, i cannot achieve what you have however much i'd love to regain again. =)

please don't that i'm saying your writing is old per se, on the contrary, i find it very loving and warm as if the H1N1 + Indonesia bombs are lightyears away. i may not comment much, but i drop by daily.


petunialee said...

Ooooooh Fry! These are lovely things to say!! I am touched and I really appreciate the compliment. All I do is write my feelings down... and I am glad that these feelings makes others happy too.

Blur Ting said...

Oh, that sounds like the kind of house I love. Lots of sunlight and rustic things.

BTW, you would love this blog that I go to for inspiration every single day,

it's filled with rustic homes that are so desirable.

petunialee said...

Hmmmmm... it wasn't rustic. It's a house of steel, glass, bare concrete walls, metallic grey paint and white marble. It isn't a colour scheme that either of us would choose I think. But despite all the "heavy material" the clever use of light and space makes this house look like it floats. However, applying the same principles of light play... one could switch for other "heavy materials" like red brick and dark wood panels with stone cottage floor tiles. Oh dream!