I have been one of those girls that loved playing house since I was very little. Heck, I probably tried playing house in my mother's womb (TMI?). Whether it was my dolls and dollhouse, my sister and our playhouse, or my husband and our actual house, I have loved the sense of playing "house." After reflecting for a while though, I think what I was actually in love with was the feeling of home. That feeling that you are safe here. That you can cry here. You can wake up and look terrible all day here and it doesn't matter kind of here. This is what I wanted. That is what I love.
My mom always did a great job of making our house feel like home. There were always family pictures on the walls, blankets for snuggling, and yummy candles burning. She was not afraid to paint a wall, or wallpaper a room. It's not that those are the only ways to make a home, but what she did teach me was that you have to decide what you love and then make it happen to make a home. This also encouraged me at a young age to explore my love for interior design (whether she realized it or not) and I think that only allowed my love for "making a house a home" to grow. If I wanted to rearrange my room, she helped me. When we built a new house when I was in the fifth grade, she let me pick out the paint, carpet, and bedding for my new room. Then later when I passed my pre-teen stage, she helped me create a more grown up room, always encouraging me. Hey Mom, thanks for teaching me about home.
Throughout college I was always that roommate that brought most of the furniture. Nothing too special, mostly furniture and decorations that were hand-me-downs or castoffs from other family members, but they were mine and I loved the feeling they gave me. College was a little easier for me because even though I was living in sterile, everything-looks-exactly-like-the-next housing, my home feeling made the difference. My environment was comfortable, safe, and pleasing.
Fast forward a couple of years, and my husband and I bought our first house. It is a lovely house. Great bones, beautiful history, elegant woodwork, and slanted, well-loved floors. I am sure no one was surprised that I dove head first into decorating the place. Within a few weeks I had the whole inside painted, art on the walls, and furniture in place (maybe we have even repainted a few rooms already, too!). This was so important for me to finish. To me, if I can't look at a room and say, "Gosh, I want to spend time in this room because I LOVE IT," then it can be really hard to relax. I would probably sit and think about how I could make it into a room that I love.
What is a house to me? A house is a means to an end. It is the place you go to for shelter. It is place you have because you need a place to live. It is a place that has huge potential.
What is a home to me? It is what happens when you change your house into a place you love. A place full of rooms that are worthy of the home feeling. A room that you walk into and feel warmth, rejuvenation, and intrigue all in one. A home is a place you want to go back to, that place you dream of. I don't even mind working hard at it because knowing that creating home is so important to my entire being, the work is not exhausting. It's life-giving.
This probably looks a little different for everyone, but I want to challenge you to think about two things: What makes something feel like home to you? Is the place you go every night a home?
Once you answer it, make it happen if it isn't already. Everyone deserves a place to call home. Everyone deserves a place that feels like home-even if it is an apartment, bedroom, or house boat!
One more thing, if you are feeling up to, or extra adventurous click here and you can experience the place that I call home! Thanks for visiting today. Come back soon.