Words and quotations have always caught my attention. Something about a short number of words and the way they are partnered with others creates an exciting discovery for me. Their arrangement wakes me up to see and hear things differently. This has been true since I was a child. As a lifetime collector of quotations, I delight in finding the next one that introduces me to a new way of thinking or confirms my own ideas communicated in a way that is beautifully succinct and equally powerful.
With my interest in buildings, I have gathered an extensive listing of quotations as they relate to place and space, house and home. When I created my consulting business, Spatial Impact: Interpreting the Language of Space, I was on the search for those succinct comments that made a concept come alive. With a clear focus of how our spaces do impact human behavior, quotations started showing up. Some were found in books and mysteries I was reading for pleasure. Others were found in resources as I developed my business.
My art business, JazzArt, began by interpreting quotations using abstract watercolor paintings. What fun to discover how words look in another artistic expression. Knowing many of you also delight in words, I thought I would offer several favorite and insightful quotations for consideration. Hope this provides food for thought in the places you call home.
William Morris, Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.
Winston Churchill, We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.
Louise Penny, Still Life, Homes, Gamache knew, were a self-portrait. A person’s choice of color, furnishing, pictures. Every touch revealed the individual. God, or the Devil, was in the details. And so was the human. Was it dirty, messy, obsessively clean? Were the decorations chosen to impress, or were they a hodgepodge of personal history? Was the space cluttered or clear? He felt a thrill every time he entered a home during an investigation.
May Sarton, I had first to dream the house alive inside myself.
Christopher Day, Places speak to us. What they say affects us and influences our behaviour. Their messages stem from the underlying attitudes with which places are planned, made, used, and maintained. Few of us consciously acknowledge these messages, but subliminally we all experience them, are all affected by them.
Winifred Gallagher, The Power of Place,
Environmental cues teach us what to expect in different places.
After psychologist, Roger Barker (1960’s) recorded the entire days in the lives of children – recording all their interactions not only with people but with places and things – after examining his data, he came to a startling and most un-American conclusion: their settings were more important determinants of his subjects’ behavior than their personalities.
Jose Ortega y Gasset, Tell me the landscape in which you live, and I will tell you who you are.
Jacqueline Winspear, Birds of a Feather, A person speaks not only with the voice but with those objects she chooses to surround herself. That photographs tell a story is well accepted, but the way furniture is positioned in a room tells something about its occupant; the contents of the larder reveal desire and restraint, as most surely does the level of liquid in the decanter.
If you, too, are a collector of wise words, what quotations might be your favorites around house and home, place and space?