I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.
Henry David Thoreau, “The Dispersion of Seeds”

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As the farmer casts into the ground the finest ears of his grain, the time will come when we too shall hold nothing back, but shall eagerly convert more than we now possess into means and powers, when we shall be willing to sow the sun and the moon for seeds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Man the Reformer”

Faith in a Seed


Building a world begins with planting a seed in the one art that precedes and unites and justifies all other arts and sciences: the art of living at home. As an entirely unpaid, voluntary association, we return to the origins of ancient philanthropia to plant a seed at the heart of domestic life, reaching inward beyond social problems and solutions to the unified beginnings of culture. Whether you bring your experience, expertise, or time, your means or materials, your land, craft, artistry or scholarship, we welcome your participation. We are many different kinds of people with one purpose. Engage with us to restore a timeless ideal to the present, and a present ideal to practical reality. Begin where you are. Plant a seed. Prepare to expect wonders.


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1. furthest in; nearest to the center 

The seed of the Innermost House idea
first took root in a very personal story. For twenty years, Diana Lorence searched for something she remembered from a time before remembering, a perfect unity of experience in place, time and mind. That search led her through more than thirty moves across America, from the Far West to the Eastern shores, at last to Europe and beyond. It concluded where it began, in the solitude and silence of the woods at land’s end in California.

What would become known as “Innermost House” was a 12x12 foot cabin Diana built to consummate a wedded conversation between wild nature and high culture. There she found the unity of experience she sought. For seven years, she lived in the woods without electricity, telephone, computer, or power of any kind, in a world lit only by fire.

Innermost House is now recognized as a long-term experiment in "plain living and high thinking," demonstrating that ideals of freedom and equality, simplicity, reason, and faith, self-reliance and environmental stewardship, can be made harmoniously and sustainably real. Diana’s life in the woods reminds us it is not too late to regain the Paradise we have lost. What she did in her way, we may do in our own. We all have an Innermost Life.

Innermost House publications have reached millions of people in over a hundred nations of the world. The prototype house and its story have been featured in House Beautiful, Fine Homebuilding, The Oregonian, Mother Earth Living, Green Style, The Examiner, Furniture and Home Fashion, Yahoo and AOL Homepages, Kiplinger, Tiny House Blog, Fair Companies, Kadinlar Arasi, Interior Post, and hundreds of websites, books and newspapers around the world.

Our record has been translated into languages from French, German, Spanish and Italian, to Turkish and Pakistani, to Japanese and Chinese. Innermost House has been judged the "World's Favorite Small House," the "Most Beautiful Tiny House in the World" and the "Most Inspiring Small House Ever." The voices of Myth and Archetype, Ideal and Spirit speak to us of the beginning, and have a universal resonance in our common human nature. 

The transcendental ideals represented by the Innermost House experiment stand upon the deepest foundations. Those hidden foundations have to be seen to be believed, and experienced to be understood. We are pioneers in creating a simpler, more sustainable, more beautiful culture. Together, we are sowing the seeds of a new world.


Wherever snow falls, or water flows, or birds fly, wherever day and night meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds, or sown with stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for thee, and though thou shouldest walk the world over, thou shalt not be able to find a condition inopportune or ignoble.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Poet"

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