We’re coming up on four years in this fixer-upper and I’ve realized that when I picture, “home” in my head it looks nothing like where I actually live. Apparently, I’m not the only person who has this problem. I was talking to a friend about this yesterday and she also felt a disconnect between “house” and “home.”
So that begs the question…
What IS the home that I’m imaging, and how can I make my house more like it?
When I picture a “home” I imagine a 2000 square foot cookie cutter suburban house, with builder beige walls, that is neat as a pin and sparsely decorated.
If I’ve never been to your house and you tell me you’re watching a football game or a movie or something, I’ll picture you in a greige room with a Pottery Barn sectional, tasteful chevron blankets, and decorative wicker baskets. I’ll picture your kitchen with granite counters, dark wood cabinets, a huge kitchen island with trendy bar stools, and stainless appliances that are shined to perfection.
None of the rooms in my house even remotely resemble these rooms I’ve described. I’ve never lived in a house that’s been decorated like this. If you gave me a million dollar budget and an entire Pottery Barn catalog to choose from I would never, ever come out of the other side with rooms decorated like this. You can check out my Pinterest boards for the evidence. This is great but it isn’t what I’d pick.
A tan sectional?
Maybe… er… no.
One of those tall kitchen tables and bar stools for the island?
Not really. No.
So why is this somehow the gold standard for me? How in the world does this read as “home” when I’ve never had a home that looks anything like it?
My friends and family don’t have homes like this either. They have eclectic and funky houses, classic style, beach themes, cottage chic, or just a mish-mash of joyful mess, that somehow works perfectly. I’ve been to houses like this but I’ve never had any lasting impression of them. What’s the deal, brain?
Regardless, whatever we have going on isn’t working for me. Too much clutter, too many tools, too many holes in the floor… besides the obvious approach of “patience” I don’t know how to make myself more comfortable.
I’m a little concerned that my nomadic lifestyle may have made feeling settled in one place an impossibility.
So, in the mean time, I find home not in the space but in the details.
Home is in a fluffy cat sprawled, belly up, on the clean laundry.
Home is in the gold finch pecking at the seed in the feeder, next to the window where I do my work.
Home is the hammock in the back yard, with the perfect view of a full moon.
Home is a teenager chopping vegetables at the kitchen counter, and the fragrance of frying garlic.
Home is a pile of shoes by the front door that belong to the friends that we love.
Home is a jumble of keys, a pocket knife, and a flashlight on the ottoman.
Home is a 17 year old pooch snoozing on the rug in the living room.
Home is the morning light making my scratch and dent orchids glow on the kitchen window sill.
Home is the not a house, or decorations, or a spread in Southern Living. It is the jumbled and chaotic entropy that let’s you know that this is a dwelling and not a movie set. This is a place where people create, work, sleep, and love.
Imagine yourself home. What does that look like? Does it look like where you are? Does it look like your house?