First off, we’ll start with the concept of a house broadly. Our houses, or apartments, are more than just the place where we live. They represent comfort and security. They’re a museum of our memories and emotions, and they tend to paint the impressions that make up our thoughts.
This is why the house in itself is so vital to understand and utilize to great effect. The familiarity of a house becomes a point of natural interest when it’s contrasted with the strange or surreal. The mantelpiece that you’re used to looking at for your entire life takes on a strange new essence when the glass over top the family photo that sits there reflects the image of your mom being fucked by a tattooed black man on the living room couch. When the security of a house is removed, it makes one feel as if they no longer have any refuge, making anything that happens in a house significantly more violating than anything that happens outside of one. When a house becomes uncomfortable, say due to the air of a tense moment, the fact that the awkward or upsetting moments will linger in the same air that the characters sleep in holds more weight. And when the privacy of a home is violated, the nudity within is of the most careless variety.
All of these things are broadly true. But what makes up a house? Well, rooms.
Not only do different rooms serve different utilities in life, but they also have a similar worth in storytelling. This is true of all stories. If you take any speech from any movie or TV show that happens at a dining room table, just imagine the same speech happening within a bedroom, or, for even more of a contrast, imagine it happening between two characters standing in a bathroom. Just like each room has its utility, each room, in turn, then has it’s thematic, narrative, and textural weight or purpose. So what are the general trends in storytelling and theme that arise because of the use of each room in my stories?
Doorway: The doorway functions as entrance into the house, as a visual to show someone or something being welcomed into the scenario at hand. While there’s less focus in regards to the front door than any other part of the house, they pack a disproportionate amount of power. As an example, think about how important the moment is when the son opens his door to see his dad’s hated co-worker standing there, looking at him with a smile. Or imagine the image of a man coming in through that front doorway after just kicking it open. Even just the fact that doors are where the characters often hang up their coats or place their keys after entering, little details which often are used as plot devices, or at the very least to make a story feel real with detail, make the power and utility of the front doorway more important than one would expect.