We have a great house. But despite having many amenities that we desire, it has not felt like home in the 2 + years that we have lived here. In our previous house we had achieved a balance that truly represented who we are, and made us feel right at home. Sure, there were things we wanted to fix or add–but at least we had a plan! Our only real problem came when there were suddenly too many of us, so we moved to a larger house, thinking we would just re-create our mojo in a larger space. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
For one thing, newer houses don’t have that innate character that an older house has–like exposed brick or oddly placed nooks and built-ins that inspire creativity. For another thing, our new house has wide open spaces that are expensive to fill. That’s how we found ourselves hyper-focused on the smallest room in the house, my office; making our style mark there because it felt the most manageable and familiar to us. We painted it red, like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Would it feel more like home if we clinked our drinks together 3 times? Why yes, it does! We found ourselves spending all our downtime hanging out in the office. We thought, “Hey, we’re so good at small spaces, maybe we should re-do our closet next and hang out there!” (I’m not kidding; that was an actual conversation, although there was significant bourbon involved.)
A particularly perplexing problem in our new house was the disgusting carpet left by the previous owners in our living room and dining room. We kept vowing to turn those rooms into our own as soon as we replaced the carpet. Except each time we had the money to replace it, we found something more fun to do–like go to Disney, repair our car, or buy groceries. Until one day I realized I had stopped inviting people over because I was afraid they might catch a communicable disease from our carpet. With our new carpet installed it seemed a shame to put all the ugly furniture back in those rooms. Maybe if we switched them around a bit? Still we struggled with how to make it feel like “our” home. It’s not entirely a lack of funds, although I could solve most of this problem with a large sum of cash at my favorite antique store (currrently Scout Antiques & More on Liberty Road.) The problem seems to be a lack of vision.
Until last night. Last night we got the brilliant idea to bring in the old iron mosaic front porch table and put a lamp on it. Then we remembered the curtains we had in our old den, still unpacked. In no time at all our living room looked just like our old den. It still isn’t exactly what we’d like, but hey, it didn’t cost us anything.
And so we sat there, completely satisfied, clinking our drinks together and saying, “There really is no place like home!”