When I was young, my parents’ sofa was filled with throw pillows. These were our building blocks for the forts my brother and I constructed on rainy afternoons. Draped with the afghans my mother had crocheted, the two of us built precarious tunnels around the stripped sofa, stocking them with our favorite stuffed animals, toys and books, and whatever snacks we could sneak out of the kitchen.
Crawling commando-style with our supplies, we made multiple trips in-and-out of our tiny fortress.
The walls never held more than a few minutes before one part would cave in, but that was the whole point. Rebuilding and redesigning with our grade-school engineering, until finally we judged it finished.
Hidden in our miniature house, built inside the safe walls of our parents’ living room, we would settle in with flashlights borrowed from the kitchen drawer, and completely forget the outside world, losing ourselves in imagination.
It can be as simple as a cardboard box. Decorated with crayon drawings of stars, it becomes a rocket. Cut a door in the side and it becomes a castle. Add a paper plate steering wheel and it’s a taxi.
Forts capture one of the most precious qualities of childhood. If you haven’t built one lately, you should try it.
Some things can only be understood when you’re in a living room fort.
Living Room Fort is edited by photographer Mark Lund. His photography explores the modern idea of “home”. Mark lives in Brooklyn with his wife, fashion-stylist Alyssa Dineen and their two fort-building daughters – Hayden and Story Jane.
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Mark Lund Photography.