“Next to love, balance is the most important thing”~ John Wooden

When you design and build a home, whether you are working with a designer or on your own, it’s helpful to think about two important aspects of home living. I found it helpful to frame these elements using the two ancient Chinese principles of Yin and Yang.

These two aspects of home living are:

1.) the times and places that you want to be open and connected  with other people in the house (Yang)

2)  the times and places that you want to have quiet and privacy (Yin).

We need both types of times and places to have balance in our lives.

Attributes of Yang:

  • open
  • energetic
  • active
  • social
  • the colour yellow
  • masculine
  • warm

Attributes of Yin:

  • quiet
  • dark
  • intimate
  • introverted
  • rest, renewal, retreat
  • feminine
  • the colours blues and purples
  • cool

When looking at home plans, working with design and thinking and planning our home, I periodically query “Where are the Yin places?” and “Where are the Yang places?”

The most common Yin places are

  • the bedrooms
  • the bathrooms
  • the north side
  • the basement
  • the study

The most common Yang places are

  • the great room
  • the south side
  • kitchen
  • living room
  • dining room

Using these principles, we designed our Mandala with a south facing great room as the big circle of the main living area of kitchen, dining room and living room. This is an open ,social, sunny , warm space that provides opportunity to connect with others.

We designed wings that encircle half of the 31′ Mandala, these wings cover the east, west and north and house the more quiet rooms of the house (bedrooms, washrooms, study). The stairwell curving down into the walkout basement below provides a transition into the private rooms in the lower floor. You can see the floor plans here.