So I look to Walden. The house, a small shed by today’s standards, reminds us of what we don’t need, and what we do. Thoreau seemed quite content during his time there, but would it work today? As the scale of the average American home has grown, has it made us any happier? Is all that space what we really need, or simply what we want? How has it affected our sense of family and community? The Rural Studio, founded by Samuel Mockbee at Auburn University’s Architecture School, James’ alma mater, has put together a modern Walden. Seen here in Dwell magazine, the house can be built for $20,000, clearly what some could easily pay for kitchen cabinets. Now I’m certainly not a purist nor a minimalist; however I do want to consider how I spend money, how I fill the spaces around me, and definitely how I spend my time. Perhaps the greatest luxury item we can give ourselves these days is Thoreau’s simple recipe: peace and quiet.