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Monday, January 12, 2015

House as a Mirror of Self - Clare Cooper Marcus

A residence takes on different meaning for different people. For some people it is a base of operation, for others it's a refuge from the outside, and others open it up for entertainment. There are all kinds of ways people use their houses and Marcus is set to not only discover how people use them, but also how they feel about them.

Through in-depth interviews, Marcus reveals the soul of the person reflected in the surroundings a person creates for themselves. Often a person's upbringings influences how they choose to decorate their home, either in a similar fashion or completely differently. How a person wants to feel in their home also influences how they choose to decorate.

For me, one of the more interesting features of the book is the pictures interviewees drew of their homes. These illustrations are included in full color and show the variety of ways people view their living space. Some separated it by "ownership" (who spent the most time in various areas), how areas made them feel, or their usage.

The desire for new or old, dull or bright, and any number of features are a reflection of each individual, though the meaning is not always obvious until the interviewees were asked the right questions. The environment we surround ourselves can lead to fascinating insights about ourselves if we take the time to think on it.

Recommended Reads:
Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You - Sam Gosling
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things - Randy Frost, Gail Steketee
SoulSpace - Xorin Balbes

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