Shared mansions

Floorplan of a divided mansion

I love walking through fancy neighborhoods.

During those walks, I often think, what if that couple shared their oversized house with other people? Do two people really need seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms?

So I came up with a solution to a question that was not asked.

Large houses could be shared.

Dividing up a house into three separate dwellings would have so many benefits:

  1. The most significant benefit could be increased mental health and social wellness. Three empty-nest couples who were good friends could band together to create one of these multiple-family homes. For their entire shared time in that building, they would have built-in friends for dinner parties, happy hours, morning coffee or just borrowing some Grey Poupon.
  2. Shared dwellings have a smaller environmental footprint than single-family dwellings. For example, one driveway in snow country takes less energy to plow than three separate driveways.
  3. Choosing such a dwelling would make a statement among your peers about the value you place on community and sharing.


  1. Zoning for a multiple-family building in many fancy neighborhoods is not currently possible. That would require a major cultural shift. “Influencer marketing” could make this possible… a famous person who catches this vision could wield enough influence to change local laws.
  2. Selling individual homes within a larger building could take longer than traditional single-family dwellings. This would also require a significant cultural shift.
  3. Scheduling a party would necessitate communicating with your neighbors about when the hot tub and swimming pool would be booked. But there are apps for that.


  1. After zoning is in place, an accomplished architect could design appropriate buildings that would ensure privacy for all occupants and good access for all to mountain or ocean views.
  2. Existing buildings could be converted. Heavy sound insulation could be added between each home. Additional three-car garages could be added and creative driveway solutions to provide access to each. Below, I grabbed a big house floor plan (top) and created a three-family building (bottom). I did a quick mockup by adding two additional garages and divided the footprint into three homes. (It’s a crude mockup – obviously, the front porch would be converted to a closet. The rear porch would become a master bedroom, etc.) And each home would have its own kitchen, porch, bathrooms, laundry rooms, wine cellars, etc.
Large home floor plan
Floor plan of a large single-family home
Floor plan of a large single-family home converted into three separate family dwellings
Floor plan of a large single-family home converted into three separate family dwellings



I realize this is not a new idea. It’s happening in different ways all over the world. But I have not seen this in very many posh neighborhoods.


A coffee love affair

Bag of Corvus Coffee

I love coffee.

My love affair has been a long one – I’ve been blogging about coffee since 2006! (Here’s my first post about coffee.)

Over the years, my tastes in coffee have changed.

I started by loving dark rich deep brews. Now I love lighter premium brews.

My local favorite coffees are from Corvus Coffee Roasters, based in Denver, Colorado.

My out-of-town favorite coffees are from Onyx Coffee Lab, based in Northwest Arkansas. (I discovered them because my daughter attended John Brown University in Siloam Springs, not far from the Onyx flagship store in Rogers.)

Both produce roasted beans that are so good that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how nice it will be to wake up later, when the alarm goes off.

One of their keys to success is that they don’t over-roast their beans.

A side bonus is that they are much farther along the social responsibility scale than the national chains… you can typically find out who grew the beans you’re consuming. As Corvus describes it, they produce “Relationship Coffees.”

My brewing methods have also changed. I used a coffee press for the bulk of my coffee-drinking life. In February 2023, I switched to the Simply Good Coffee brewer. I haven’t looked back. It essentially brews pour-over coffee as easily as a standard coffee maker. And it’s a lot cheaper than similar models from more well-known brands.

The resulting brewed coffee is excellent.

Bonus Material:

  1. No discussion of Denver coffee would be complete without mentioning my friends Erin and Ty, who run Flipside Coffee. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they are currently looking for a new home to serve their coffee. But when they’re back in the game, you’ll get delicious coffee – and pastries – served with a wonderful smile.
  2. If you’re in Dallas, grab some beans – or a cup – from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. My sister Sharon turned me on to their beans – nice.
  3. Like anything that involves taste, your experience may be different than mine. My friend Bob loves brews from Khaladi Coffee Roasters. I don’t. And he’s not fond of Corvus.
  4. Because I don’t have the budget to consume excellent coffee all the time, some days I brew and drink Trader Joe’s Light Roast Ground Coffee. (Be sure to sprinkle a few grains of salt on the grounds before brewing.) This makes good coffee taste even better – the contrast makes me appreciate delicious coffee even more.
  5. I’m too lazy to grind beans every morning. I grind the beans from a package all at once. Here’s why.

So go forth and consume some dark hot liquid.