Heart and Soul

I just finished a lovely little decorating book:  House Beautiful’s The Finishing Touch – Details That Make a Room Beautiful.   The writer often stops to ask designers what they think on given design subjects.  What gives  a room Heart and Soul?  Let’s see what these designers had to say about it: What Gives a Room Heart and Soul Heart and Soul

“Family photographs, a dog, and a sofa you can vacuum.” – Kitty Hawks

Rachel Ashwells dining room 300x300 Heart and Soul “Evidence of life.  Anything from children’s art to dog-eared magazines to fresh-cut flowers that aren’t perfect.” – Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic

“Good old Oriental rugs give a beautiful soul to a room.”  – Mona Hajj

“Using a room gives it heart and soul.  People never use their living rooms.  You’ve got to take it back, give it another purpose rather than just entertaining.  Put your easel or drafting table in it like Jackie O did.  Put your computer in it.  Or put a big double-wide wicker chaise lounge next to the fireplace with a big mohair blanket at the end and make it your prime napping spot.”  – Tom Scheerer Drafting Table from The Pioneering Woman 300x270 Heart and Soul

“All those subliminal things you don’t really see but experience, like solid wood doors with solid brass hardware.  And there’s nothing like real hardwood floors – that lovely creak.”  – Maureen Footer

Maison 140 Red Room near Rodeo Drive Heart and Soul “Red rooms always have heart and soul.”  – Mary McDonald

“Objects imbued with memories.  In my parents’ vacation house, there are old rods and reels;  a propeller from a boat we used to own;  a beautiful model sailboat that my dad helped me build when I was ten;  and my mom’s collection of 1930’s green-and-white plates, which have been hanging on the same wall forever.”  – Jan Lee

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What do you think gives a room Heart and Soul?


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  1. a height chart btw the doorjam, fresh apples or lemons in a treasured bowl, collections, music

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