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A Home for the Soul: A Guide for Dwelling wtih Spirit and Imagination Hardcover – November 11, 1997
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Mindfulness has become a common religious buzzword. In A Home for the Soul award-winning architect Anthony Lawlor shows us how to decorate a home that encourages mindfulness from every bathroom and bibelot. Despite a (perhaps unavoidable) tendency toward camp and solipsism, the stunning photographs and insights into the potentially sacred details of domestic living prompt you to pay closer attention to your immediate environment. For example, "Books are like small altars, each page serving as a threshold for crossing into realms of broadened vision." Investing the items around us with soulful symbolism is like living in a temple of one's own design.
From the Inside Flap
or is known as the architect who brings soul to design. His acclaimed book <i>The Temple in the House</i> showed how to and the sacred in architecture. Now, in <b>A Home for the Soul,</b> he reveals how our houses and apartments can become havens of inspiration and renewal.<br><br>"From the moment we're born, we seek to find home." Lawlor says, "Yet, despite this primal longing, our dwelling places often disappoint us." In <b>A Home for the Soul</b>, we discover that the depth and meaning we seek is right in front of us if we but have the eyes to see. Lawlor teaches us how to develop a consciousness about the spiritual possibilities inherent in our interior surroundings; he shows how to recognize the sacred in material form. "Each time we bathe," says Lawlor, "we not only cleanse the body, we refresh the spirit. Each time we open our front door, we enter a universe of connection and signifcance."<br><br>Lawlor leads us on a journey
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Lawlor takes an unusual approach to his subject by first examining each living area with respect to the Greek gods typically responsible for that space. Before one dismisses this as a New Age thing, study the ideas behind the activities represented by that god. It's simply his "hook" to get the reader to continue on, to think about what this space is intended to do in the routine of life. As a storyteller, I was thrilled to read of his ideas for planning one's living area, which should be a space for stories, music and social interaction. He does not ignore the ever-present television, but he does suggest planning for lively, involved social interaction, which we all crave but often lack in our busy lives.
He does give general suggestions for room layouts if you are in the planning stages of construction, and closes each chapter with his vision of the ideal layout for that living area. He suggests materials, colors, furnishings and accents for each specific area, so that if you are looking to change existing space, you'll find that, too. Anyone who places a priority on books as a major furnishing component will win me over every time, but his vision of planning for a home, not a house, has appeal as well.
"The round shape of an apple reflects the completeness of the soul." The sentence after that compares the apple to a body part. Seriously? What does this even have to do with a home? And the number of times they use the word "soul" is just absurd.
I gave it two stars for the photos - I would almost call them photo vignettes of homes or details of homes. Good photos that are fairly timeless. If there had been more photos and less text I would probably have given it more stars but to me the text really just ruined the book and since 3/4 of the book is text... well you get the point.
Obviously there are some people who liked this book but I was not one of them.
This book is a must have. As a result, I actually enjoy cleaning my home and no longer refer to it as a chore.