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John Wheatman - Meditations on Design: Reinventing Your Home with Style and Simplicity

This book may be destined to become a classic. It is certainly different from most "style" books. Wheatman carefully explains how a brilliant interior designer actually sees space and objects. The awareness that he teaches is in tune with the intuition that good feng shui requires. I believe that anyone who reads this book will develop keener intuition of their surroundings. There aren't many books that I can say the same about!

The book is a wonderful synergy of deep writing with photos which concisely illustrate the lesson. There are 22 lessons known as chapters. When discussing light, he begins with, "The best examples of light come from two opposite extremes: from the untouched corners of the natural world and from the theater, the height of artifice." Later in that same section he says, "If your sofa is slightly soiled but you want to wait to buy a new one, pull it away from the wall a few inches (put a couple of blocks the legs so it doesn't slip back) and put lighting behind the sofa. The sofa is seen in shadow now and doesn't look soiled." Marvelous advice!

When a dwelling is too close to a freeway, feng shui recommends convex mirrors and hedges. Here's some wise advice from page 61 for the same situation, "…you can mask the sound quite effectively with a fountain." Sounds a lot like feng shui to me.

Another common feng shui dilemma is how to bring back a missing area. His suggestion on page 35 seems very applicable. "Claim the view outside your window by breaking down the barrier between interior and exterior. If you have a bush with white flowers outside your window, place an arrangement of clippings on the table directly in front of it. That visual connection brings the view inside, creating the feeling of a much larger room."

If you are doing anything with interior design, stop what you're doing --- read this book --- and continue on doing a better job. I'm quite serious! This is an exceptional book that will benefit anyone. It's not just interior stuff, there's also a great section on building a room outdoors.

Conari Press, Berkeley, CA, www.conari.com, (800) 685-9595, 1-57324-192-X, 127 pages, color photos, hardback, $24.95

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