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Our Theme - Dec '22 / Jan '23

When books take pride of place, people prosper

When books take pride of place, people prosper

Walking into a library and being surrounded by shelf upon shelf of books must be one of the most wonderful thrills a book lover can experience. Better still, having books in your home or office that reflect “little bits and pieces of yourself” adds to the hygge-feeling so sought after in home décor.

Remember hygge? That Danish word that articulates the feel-good experience of a view, a dish, a corner of your home or an emotion. That sense of perfection, knowing that something is just-right.

This month’s design theme, Texture with books, allows for that heart-stopping feeling some would label awesome. It is a feeling of reverence, of tip-toeing into an area which evokes marvel.

Visualise a printed book: the feel, the weight in your hands, the smell. No e-book comes close to a bibliophile’s euphoric pleasure when gently opening a new book. And remember those old books – worn, fingered, tattered, loved. Those books that have added to the texture of your life.

In 2010, Dr Heidi Grant Halvorson explained in Psychology Today how our sense of touch influences us far more than we realize.
She says that the weight, texture, and hardness of the things we touch unconsciously impact our decisions. In the research, when subjects were holding roughly textured objects, they made stricter decisions than when they were holding soft textures. Said Dr Halvorson: “It's worth taking the time to think … about … the things you touch most frequently – the furniture in your home and workspace; your clothing; your bedding. Would work seem easier with a lighter laptop? Would your co-workers get along better if there were plush seats in the conference room? You can make whatever you're touching work to your best advantage.”

In his book Design A Healthy Home: 100 ways to transform your space for physical and mental wellbeing, Oliver Heath commented: “If a texture looks inviting, we take this as an appeal to our sense of touch to have a positive tactile experience.” And that is pure hygge: all our senses work together to blend a décor scene into something gratifying. So, run your hand over the backs of the books, lift one from its nestled space, sniff it and coax open the pages randomly. A new world opens.

In deciding to live mindfully (as opposed to haphazardly), is it not our choices in the line of beauty, conversation, art, music, reading and faith that provide texture to our lives? Texture here meaning three-dimensional depth, substance or value.

Downgrading to a smaller home as we age seems advisable, yet, can book lovers really do strict purging? Many of mine will remain as inherently part of my décor as always.

Christine Stoman

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