How to Make a House Into a Home demands far more than an eye for fashion. A Ariel Kaye, owner of Madewell house store (a division of Architecture Education Media, Inc.) shows you how to create a home that not only looks good, but can be comfortably lived in. This is no “do-it-yourself” project. It requires knowledge of construction, laying of bricks, understanding ventilation and plumbing, and a lot of common sense.
How to Make a House into a Home isn’t a “do-it-yourself” book; it is much more. Ariel Kaye shows how to achieve warmth, aesthetic design, practicality, and functionality. She talks about using plywood as a light, strong, flexible material instead of wood. Plywood allows movement without resistance, even on stilts. Using this technique, she demonstrates how to make a house a home by leaving large empty spaces where doors and windows would have been. By leaving the large empty spaces open, you leave the possibility for movement, and even escape.
In How to Make a House into a Home, Ariel Kaye describes a process through which plywood is transformed from a difficult to manage, stiff, heavy material into a soft, flexible, light material. What we are left with is a product that can be moved into any space, creating that open space that is necessary for creativity and warmth. “How to make a house into a home,” she writes, “is simply an extension of the tenets of ecological homes–efficient construction, environmental design, minimal waste, and mindful consumption.” The end result is a beautiful home that meets our needs through an attentive awareness of design.
In her discussion of the philosophy of structuralism, she uses the example of barns. Barns were designed so that their frames were supported by slabs of concrete, while the roofs and walls were made out of wood. They achieved a fashionable design book look by choosing an eclectic style of architecture with an attention to function rather than beauty. And through a process of replacing the wooden beams with steel beams that do not divide the room, they achieved the stylish design book look.
The book concludes with a brief description of color palettes, explaining how you can use these colors in your own home to achieve the effect that Ariel Kaye describes. I found that her description of color palettes was both useful and inspiring. Color palettes can be used in your home to create a warm, inviting, functional space or to achieve a cool, chic, elegant, and stylish design effect.
I agree with Ariel Kaye when she says that you can use a warm color palette to bring mindfulness into your life. I have done this through careful observation of the furnishings I choose and the colors I chose to paint my walls and floors with. I know how to make a house a home when I am aware of the smells that surround me and when I choose to sit on cushions and seat on the floor rather than a couch. I know how to bring mindful choices about colors and materials to my home. And this knowledge brings me peace.
A more complicated answer about how to make a simple house is based on using blocks to build something I call a crafting table. I visualize my work area as a place of calm creativity where I can sort through my thoughts and ideas and find the creative solutions to questions about how to make a house. I like to think of my crafting table as a place where I can create plans, match purposes and colors, arrange materials, etc. But I use my imagination instead of thinking about how to make a house.
This type of thinking is useful because it keeps me from focusing on the act of making a house and more on how to make a simple house. It keeps my mind active and excited about the process of building. This type of active thinking is necessary to be a creator. But being a creator also means that you need to have systems in place that will make the process easy and fun for you. So if you need a system or set of plans to help you along the way you might want to consider using a wooden crafting table to make your plans, match supplies and color palettes, and arrange materials.