Image courtesy of Iurgi diamanti at freedigitalphotos.net/Make your house a home
I am a rather late bloomer, not having left home until the age of 22. More pertinently, up until recently, I have allowed others to shape my identity. They did so with the best intentions, and I am very appreciative. For the most part, things they gave me for my home did reflect me as a person. For example, I adore cats and have been gifted with cat paraphernalia which I do absolutely love.
However, when op shopping with friends, people would suggest that something “was me” and to be honest, I hadn’t even thought about what “was me” before.
I think I have had a very passive personality – one of those people who “will watch whatever you’re watching”. Being flexible is one of the qualities I do like about myself.
However, lately I have discovered a new more adventurous side. At the age of 38, I feel I am beginning to “find me”. For example, I got a rather arty candle today, and some photo frames. Totally of my own choice.
I rearranged some things within my humble abode (I rent a small flat). I shifted things – shoes, cushions, placed things which “felt right” in different places, and the place took on a whole new look, even though my actual belongings hadn’t changed!
There is definitely a difference between having a ‘house’ (or in my case a flat) and making it a home. To make it home, it really needs to resonate with you. It needs to reflect your personality. Or, if you share it with others, it needs to at least have a space that has “you” written all over it, or "your family" - each contributing their preferences.
This is the place you come home to after work, it’s the space you relax in, you sleep in – it’s a place that’s your own, even if you rent it- you own the atmosphere, you own how you’ve arranged things, the things you’ve chosen to make it that special place that is a home.
Things that you can do to make your place special to you, a sacred area you come home to are (or that special place that’s yours if you have a family):
1. Choose items to place within it that reflect your personality. I love cats, so I have got “crazy cat woman” written all over my place – abstract cats, photos of my cat etc. I love books, and so my bookshelf is central to my home.
2 Choose colours that you like – I am a real “girl girl” and love pink- this is reflected in matching culinary sets that have pink designs.
3 What makes a place comfortable for you? Do you like a few carpets? Or do you prefer tiles?
4 Are you a sentimental person, or a person who does not like to collect things unless they have direct utilitarian purposes for you?
5 Do you prefer a spacious place, or does a little bit of clutter seem more like creative décor?
6 To what degree do you like to have your space clean and tidy. To this end, how could you store things, or minimise things to be dusted or let them be? There is no one right way to be!
7 Each room serves a different purpose. For example, the bedroom for me is an extra special place to relax – it is utterly sacred. I choose with purpose the bedding, the quilts – I choose objects like candles to make it a place of peace. A children’s rumpus room may be full of colour. The lounge room a comfortable place where one can watch television and relax.
8 Do you like to sit down formally to relax? Or do you eat in front of the television. Partly because I have such a tiny place, I don’t actually have a kitchen table and eat with a stable table in front of the television. Some may judge me for this, but I find it comfortable.
9 Do you have pets? You may want to consider having furniture and other household items that you don’t mind becoming scratched – particularly if you are a cat owner.
10 Is having a garden important to you? I have recently started a communal vegetable garden with my neighbour, the maintenance of which is as importance as the inside of my flat.
Making your house a home turns a place to dwell in a place that is really yours and your family’s. It reflects you all and you can resonate with it. I live by myself so choosing what to put in my home is easy, but if you live with a partner and children, they each have their preferences which are all equally important to yours.
Creating a sacred space can be one of things you don’t have to do in a day. It can be a process of evolution for you and your family.