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House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live (edició 2006)
de Winifred Gallagher (Autor)
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House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live de Winifred Gallagher
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I'm a little in love with Winifred Gallagher. She writes about things that I wish I'd written about, or even THOUGHT about before. This little book did a lot for me. Among other things it made me understand why I love my house in spite of its ramshackleness and lack of a meaningful kitchen. It made me finally let go of a lot of things I felt I should want. As I read this book I felt as if I were having a meaningful conversation with a trusted and very wise friend. She may not be able to hear my side of the conversation, but it still feels like a dialogue, in that her words provoke me to think in new ways.
A new way to look at home decorating: I have decorating books replete with full-color illustrations of ideas, and I have New Age-y decorating books that explain Feng Shui and how to use essential oils, but this book is a really nice bridge between the visualizing your space and analyzing the psychology behind how you use it. It's strategic vs. tactical, but since there are so few books for laymen that tackle the former, it's a welcome addition and brings interesting insights as to how to think about our homes and make them more liveable.
I don't know if it's fair to mark this down for not being the book I wished it was. I heard the author interviewed on a podcast, and I got the impression that it would be about how to use the spaces in your house to achieve maximum comfort and awesomeness.
Instead, it was really about the history of homes in America, and how the ways we use different rooms has changed over time. Which was interesting, but just not what I really wanted to read about.
This book is not a how-to guide for remodeling or home purchase. Instead, it’s more of a “why-do” guide, showing the reader why rooms are (or should be) built a certain way and how that construction and décor serves to shape our daily lives and moods. And since “why” is always more interesting than “what,” House Thinking captured my interest in much the way that Bill Bryson’s At Home did. We should understand the history of our houses in order to get at a deeper understanding of ourselves.
The only thing that bugged me about this book was the lack of illustrations. If you’re going to expound about the grandeur of the great architectural masterpieces of the last 150 years, then there should at least be a picture of what you’re talking about. It’s very hard to visualize some of the spaces if you’re not an architect. All in all, a very intriguing book.
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Ethan Allen and HGTV may have plenty to say about making a home look right, but what makes a home feel right? In House Thinking, journalist and cultural critic Winifred Gallagher takes the reader on a psychological tour of the American home. By drawing on the latest research in behavioral science, an overview of cultural history, and interviews with leading architects and designers, she shows us not only how our homes reflect who we are but also how they influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions. How does your entryway prime you for experiencing your home? What makes a bedroom a sensual oasis? How can your bathroom exacerbate your worst fears? House Thinking addresses provocative questions like these, enabling us to understand the homes we've made for ourselves in a unique and powerful new way. It is an eye-opening look at how we live . . . and how we could live.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)747.019The arts Graphic arts and decorative arts Interior Decoration Interior Design Around the World Psychology of Interior Design
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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Gallagher's book is takes a look at how people use different rooms in their home. She explores the purpose of each room and gives examples of homes that are functionally good. The book is rather short on details and focuses mostly on the architectural level. This was somewhat disappointing since the introduction made the promising claim that sometimes all you need to do to make your home more behaviorally appropriate is rearrange the furniture; ideas of that sort could be extracted from the rest of the book, but were not obvious.
The most valuable aspect of the book was the behavioral look at the different rooms. For example, the chapter on the kitchen discussed how the kitchen has changed over time from a highly used but not respectable space to a functionally under utilized space that also acts as a social hub for the home. Also useful was the introduction of basic environmental psychology terms. One particularly useful pair of terms is "prospect" and "refuge". A home that feels comfortable has a balance of prospect (areas from which you can see and be seen) and refuge (areas which are more private). Places such as window nooks are delightful because they provide both prospect and refuge.
If nothing else, this book has inspired me with a new interest in environmental psychology. Now I just have to start applying house thinking to my own home.
(Note from 2013: This is the book the inspired my husband and me to build our own home, which we completed in 2012.)