Finding and furnishing the meaning of home
Your home should be a sanctuary shaped by you and your loved ones for the purpose of living life well. That good living is made better still when your home reminds you and speaks to others of your own well-lived lives. William Morris said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." There are ideas in things, so I propose meeting Morris' call for beauty and usefulness and raising it with the need to furnish your home with meaning.
Books, records, art, flowers and plants--and at least some of the treasured mementos we're implored to discard in the mania to declutter--are signs of life that make your rooms realms for the senses and launch-pads for thought and conversation. Furniture--whether passed down through family, accumulated over the course of your own life, or newly chosen with care and thought to please your eyes, provide physical comfort, and meet the demands of function--can also tickle your mind by evoking history, contemporary life, visions for the future, and cultures near and far.
Each of us lives with our own Platonic Ideal of Home residing in our consciousness, although it's usually buried among life's pressing concerns. Let's get together, clear our heads for a moment, think of home, uncover your Platonic Ideal, and make that ideal your lived reality. The result will be your very own "gesamtkunstwerk"--a "total work of art" for living, created by you, for you and those you love.
“Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house, a world; and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you: build, therefore, your own world.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I can’t paint. I can’t write. I can’t sing. But I can decorate and run a house, and light it, and heat it, and have it like a living thing.”
-Elsie de Wolfe
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”