House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Feb 7, 2006 - Architecture - 329 pages
21 Reviews

IKEA, Ethan Allen, and HGTV may have plenty to say about making a home look right, but what makes a home feel right? Is it the objects you've collected from your travels, or that armchair by the window that reminds you of your grandmother? Is it the "friendly" feeling of a classic American farmhouse, or the "prestige" of a formal Tudor mansion? These kinds of questions, which have more to do with environmental psychology than mere decorating, can give us a new way to think about the diverse spaces Americans call home.

In House Thinking, noted journalist and cultural critic Winifred Gallagher takes the reader on a psychological tour of the American home. In each room, Gallagher explores many of our deep but often unarticulated intuitions about the power of place. Drawing on the latest research in behavioral science, an overview of cultural history, and interviews with leading architects and designers, she shows us how our homes not only reflect who we are, but also influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Using a variety of examples -- from famous historical homes to experimental rustic pods -- Gallagher examines why traditional dining rooms and living rooms have given way to "great rooms," how the oversize suburban garage threatens civility, how kids' rooms can affect their development, and why Americans increasingly think of their homes as "sanctuaries" and "refuges."

House Thinking's unique perspective raises provocative questions: How does your entryway prime you for experiencing your home? Do you really need a mega-kitchen, or just a microwave? What makes a bedroom a sensual oasis? How can your bathroom exacerbate your worst fears?

It's simply not enough to think of our domestic spaces as design statements or as dumping grounds for our stuff. We need to approach our homes in a new way: as environments that actively affect us and our quality of life. Stressing the home's substance over its style, House Thinking is a surprising look at how we live -- and how we could.

  

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Review: House Thinking: A Room-By-Room Look at How We Live

User Review  - Diane - Goodreads

This book goes through the home room by room to explain the elements that make a home comfortable. The author also talks about how home design has changed over time. While an interesting idea, I found ... Read full review

Review: House Thinking: A Room-By-Room Look at How We Live

User Review  - Ellen Keim - Goodreads

Maybe the reason I gave this book a higher rating than many other reviewers is because I'm extremely interested in the concept of "home." I love to read others' opinions on what makes a home, how ... Read full review

Contents

The Entry and Plan
29
The Living Room
51
The Kitchen
73
The Dining Room
95
The Great Room
115
The Bedroom
135
The Bathroom
157
The Childs Room
173
The Basement
191
The Office
207
The Garden
227
The Second Home
249
The Neighborhood
267
References
291
Web Resources
307
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Winifred Gallagher is the author of House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), Working on God, and Spiritual Genius. She has written for numerous publications, including Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She lives in Manhattan and Dubois, Wyoming.

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