What do you love about your home? For me it is cosiness. I don’t like big, open plan homes with lots of space and sparse furnishings – they seem very cold and unfriendly to me. There are times when I wish I could be more Spartan in my decorating style and live in a less cluttered space, but that wouldn’t be me and I wouldn’t feel as comfortable. I like colour and pattern. I like being surrounded by things that are special to me, or have been gifted to me by someone I love. My home isn’t very sophisticated or adult looking. I have nice artworks, but then they are, quite often, accompanied by something silly or incongruous. I have lots of vintage items, but then they’re sitting with something from Kmart or a discount store. I don’t care – it’s whatever makes you happy, right?
My house is small. But that’s ok. My hoarding habits are probably better being contained anyway 🙂 But I do like cosy. I like to feel cocooned. I like to feel safe and enclosed. I like to look around the room and see all my “precious things” – they have memories attached to them and they’re important to me, even if they’re not “on-trend” or matching or stylish. I have started culling a little bit – as much as I like my stuff, even I have to concede that I do have a lot of junk. But if something has a real emotional pull – I keep it. It’s there, in my life, for a reason.
So, what makes a house a home, to me…..
- Colour. I like white – I really do – but I would always pair it with lots of bright colour. Shabby-chic white I love – because it’s distressed and homely and paired with lots of pretty colour, wood finishes and interesting textures. But stark white, I can’t do. Plus it shows up dirt too easily ha ha.
- Plants. I am not a great gardener, as I have pointed out before. But I do like lots of plants around the place. Greenery is good. As long as it stays green 🙂
- Soft furnishings. I like a cushion or two. Embroidered tablecloths. Throw rugs and patchwork quilts. Especially when they’re handmade ones. Curtains I can take or leave – at the moment I am stuck with the ones that came with the house – but I HATE vertical blinds with a passion. Unfortunately, I have those too. They will be going as soon as I can afford to get rid of them.
- Candles. I definitely have a bit of a pyromaniac streak. But I love the soft light they give (hey, I’m in my 40s – I need all the soft lighting I can get!) and they create such a nice ambience. I love the fragranced ones – vanilla, berry and gingerbread are my favourites. My house always smells like cookies.
- Books. I am a bit ridiculous with books. I have LOADS. But I just love having them around me. A house without books is not a home. For me, anyway.
- Pets. This is one aspect that I am currently lacking in. It’s so sad. For most of my life I was surrounded by animals. Now I don’t even have a budgie or a goldfish. I am working on getting cats though. One day (in my fantasy world) I will have a property large enough for geese and dogs and rabbits and chickens, cows, and sheep again. One day.
- Art. Whether it be a family heirloom worth thousands, or a cute crayon scribble created by a special munchkin in your life, it’s important to have art around the place. Things that inspire you or just make you smile.
- Music. I always have music playing. I have to have at least the radio on when I’m cooking or creating. It helps to block the world out and focus you inward. Plus, I like to sing. I would die if anyone else heard me, but it is one of life’s joys, having a sing-a-long to a favourite tune. As long as the neighbours don’t complain, it’s all good.
- Nooks. I nearly bought a house last year purely because it had a reading nook with a balcony overlooking the garden. Oh I loved it. But I did not like the neighbourhood or the low popcorn ceiling (ugh!) or the ugly dark grey carpet (I was never sure if it had originally been grey or not…). I really struggled to let go of that reading nook though – it was glorious. I’m still dreaming about it now. I would have spent my life in there, snoozing in the sunshine or pondering the Universe. Sigh. But nooks are important. Every home should have a cosy little corner somewhere. A place you automatically go to recharge and recoup.
- Photos. I think it’s important to have photos in your home. Family photos, travel photos, childhood photos – they’re all important. They remind you where you’ve come from and where you’re going.
Most of all, your home should be a place of sanctuary and security. It should be the place you feel happy to fall asleep in. The place you can’t wait to get to at the end of the day. Granted, I am a bit of a hermit, and I probably spend more time at home than most people. Because I need lots of me time and space, anti-social wench that I am 🙂
My seven-year-old niece had a sleepover at my place on the weekend. She slept with me (much more fun than sharing with Daddy – he snores!) and although I copped a few kicks to the back during the night, it was nice to share my space with that precious little person. Having her be comfortable and feel secure with me is what home is really about. I want my home to feel cosy and welcoming to everyone who visits me. Especially the little ones. That is way more important to me than having the most expensive furniture or crockery that matches my napkins. Because home, most of all, should be about family – whatever family means to you.
Hope your home is a happy place today and always.