Lately, I have been reading "House Thinking -- a room-by-room look at how we live" by Winifred Gallagher. I checked it out from the library. Try your own library. The book was published in 2006, so you might find it used online for a decent price.
This book's philosophy runs along the lines of the series of "Not So Big..." books by Susan Susanka. Susanka condemns the McMansions and advocates well thought out homes rather than large ones.
In "House Thinking," Gallagher outlines the history of each room in the home. This helps explain why there are certain expectations about how we should use each room. Over time, the uses of each of these rooms have shifted. I think that if a room doesn't feel quite "right," it might be that something about the room is stuck in the "old" arrangement, while we are trying to use the room in the "new" way. Just my own observation. I think that if I were to re-read the book with this question in mind, I might be able to find support for my theory.
Gallagher also writes about how we experience the home with our five senses. If something is amiss, we might not be conscious of it, but it still heavily influences our experience of the room and whether we are comfortable in it doing our chosen activity. We "feel" that something is wrong, even if we can't give a specific, logical reason. So by making the home more emotially comforting, we won't worry so much about redecorating as about having the existing furniture arranged to facilitate our activites.
By the way, I have no connection whatsoever to any of these books. I just found them very helpful.
So, as long as we're on the subject, does anyone else have a book they'd like to recommend? Why do you think we'd enjoy the book? What did you learn from the book?