It’s November here in Wisconsin, about the time that our thoughts turn indoors. It happens to everyone. Heck, it even happens to mice: this past week I’ve heard people talk about mice moving inside their houses, their schools.
When you find yourself curling up under the throw that’s hung neglected since May, take a look at the book by journalist and cultural critic Winifred Gallagher called House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live (Harper Perennial, 2007). Gallagher will get you thinking about your current home, your previous homes, the homes of friends and family and acquaintances. Have you either lived in a place or visited a place that feels more like home than any other place you’ve lived?
Sorry, The Century House doesn’t count.
“How does your home not only reflect but also affect who you are? How you feel? What you think and do?” Gallagher asks in the opening line. Thoughts will begin percolating—thoughts about your favorite homes and favorite spots in your home, which might be exactly where you’ll curl up with this book. What draws you?
Gallagher says a home that feels right has a tonic effect on your behavior. You feel both interested and relaxed. Fascinated and sheltered.
And she says it has less to do with aesthetic fashion than with evolutionary, personal and cultural needs. (What? The Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair doesn’t automatically make a house a home? We’re aghast.)
Wherever you’re reading this, enjoy November and what’s to come. Like mice, enjoy the life spent more indoors than out, if only for a few months. And let House Thinking help you understand just what makes a house a home sweet home.