What Makes a House a Home?
Yesterday as we drove by to check the progress of the house we're building, I started thinking... We're building this lovely house in a lovely neighborhood, but how long will it take for it to feel like home? In all honesty, I've been thinking about this post for a while (and solicited feedback from friends several weeks ago), but driving by our future home reminded me of it again. And prompted me to go ahead and get my feelings about the subject "down on paper."
As dissatisfied and fed up as I am with our current place, it definitely fits my definition of "home." We bought this place when my oldest was just 6 months old. He is now 5-and-a-half. All three of my kiddos have learned to crawl and walk in this place. They learned to talk here and have decorated many windows and pieces of furniture with stickers here. The days are long but the years are short, eh?
The house we currently live in is well worn. My old pal from Nashville had some of the same sentiment. Diane wrote, "Scratches and dents on our hardwoods show our house has been lived in ... However frustrating it may be, we have put them there from sippy cups falling, platters slipping, the dog running to the front door and boys running throughout the house."
I agree completely, Diane. Let's call this a design style "bruises and scratches of love." It's not fancy. I wouldn't even say it's decorated... more like arranged to maximize the play space and minimize children injuries. Or at least that's how it is here.
Sure, I'm looking forward to the day when we can all fit around a single table for a meal in our house. Or when I no longer have to squeeze between a washer and dryer and a pile of coats and backpacks to get to the van. I can't wait to have a closet big enough to stop the seasonal clothes switchout or my very own sink to powder with makeup as much as I want.
But will that place feel like home? Our home?
Will I miss coming down the stairs and recalling the very spot all three of my children experienced their first Christmas?
I know... I know...Home is where the heart is. Yadada yadada yadada. But does that translate to new construction in a suburban paradise of freshly laid brick?
When I asked several friends what makes their house a home, I was encouraged that our new abode will indeed one day feel like home - that the little touches children leave along the way are what really make the place.
Or touches from the family dog.
Check - we can take handprint smudges with us for sure! Uncheck on the dog... as I've said before, no dogs (or pets of any kind) at least until everyone can wipe their own butt!
I was a bit jealous of Debbie's answer. Instead of sticky fingerprints or even dog hair, she has funny and thoughtful notes scattered all around her house from her kids. Taped up in the fridge or a post-it on a mirror. How precious is that?!? I can't imagine getting notes from my kids instead of barks to get them a drink or demands to watch TV or cries for attention. Fingers crossed mine decide to be that sweet!
Another we can check off our home-making was the answer from several folks - artwork. On the fridge...
On the walls...
Or in the form of food (I'd call culinary masterpieces artwork!).
I found it interesting that many of the ladies I asked responded with quotes or scripture in their homes - almost like little family mottoes or creeds. It makes me want to adopt one for my own ragtag-band.
The options for a Minish family motto I was thinking of aren't quite as profound as the ladies' I've chosen as friends. I was thinking along the lines of:
I'm not sure what I was expecting people to say about making a house feel like a home... My quartzite island definitely set the home bar for me... Or the stain we chose on our hardwoods just makes the whole place feel like home... All that thought I put into wallpaper in the laundry - that sir, that made the house a home right away... Those all just sound ridiculous, but those are they type of considerations I have going on my head!
For sure anywhere I take these precious humans they will turn the place upside down real quick, which should add a layer of just-lived-in homeyness to the whole block!
What are your favorite things that scream home to you? Or do you have any tips for creating a homey look? I so, I'd love to hear your comments!
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Wife, mom and full-time marketing pro. Diet coke addict. Auburn fan (and alumn). Christian - striving to comprehend grace.