What good is a home if you can’t be comfortable and have fun living there? If this is a philosophy you profess, read on. If you have an inkling that you feel to rigid with your decor, read on. Fanciful guidelines for a friendly home follow, from A Good House Is Never Done, by John Wheatman.
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. –Tom Robbins
There’s joy in planning a warm and friendly space. “I’ve had a great time!” “This has been fun!” Being able to say words like these makes the hard work worthwhile. It’s a wonderful game. It’s play time.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a truly wonderful living space belonging to someone who didn’t have fun on a regular basis. Here is a truth that children know very well but too many of us have forgotten: Play is productive.
Play with your living space. Be bold. Paint one wall in your favorite color, no matter how intense a shade. If you tire of it, there is nothing simpler than reverting to off-white. Experiment. Take that long dormant idea for a new coffee table constructed out of timber salvaged from your grandmother’s barn and give it a whirl. You will have the satisfaction, whenever you look at it, of remembering the fun of putting it together.
Whether you have inherited them or collected them over a lifetime, whether you have been frugal or extravagant–what you have is only seen at its best if each thing has its proper place and space. When a new object, painting, or plant joins the group, you have to rearrange to make room for it. Change keeps the eye awake–it’s a great game to play.
Summing Up Playing:
• Arrange spaces for maximum flow both within themselves and into other areas.
• Establish visual connections between indoors and outdoors.
• It’s not what you have, but what you do with what you have that counts.
• Consider using round forms in rectangular rooms.
• Acquire furnishings that can move with you to another home.
• Change keeps the eye awake, so rearrange things periodically.
Adapted from A Good House Is Never Done ,by John Wheatman (Conari Press, 2002).