Monday, March 21, 2011

Making Your House Your Home

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I remember house-hunting with my older sister when I was in my early twenties. "I like old houses," she explained as we walked through a creaky, run down dump. "As long as it's got good bones, I like the idea of fixing it up and making it my own."

In my head I stubbornly disagreed. Why buy an old house when you could buy something brand new, ready to go? Why live far away from everything, when you could live right near everything? Looking back I can see how this attitude was so representative of my early twenties. I was ready to get going and dive in. I wasn't interested in paint samples, or long drives from my house to the grocery store. I was impatient. I wanted life to be readily available to me... as soon as possible.

The decade since then has taught me patience. I'm still not a big fan of home improvement projects, but I appreciate the value of taking the time to make something your own. I can appreciate the value of living in a place where your neighbors and ugly strip malls aren't smothering you. These days I put enormous stock in a room with a view. I walk into people's houses and notice the difference between generic styles of "pretty," and a house that has soul. Where someone labored over the details of creating a distinctive and incredibly personal residence. I

I've hardly scratched the surface of my own house, and in most ways it is generically decorated, and comfortable in a strictly utilitarian sense. But making my house into my home is something I think about often. It's at the top of my Some Day list. And I'm not suggesting that I want to move to Nebraska, buy a shack, and paint the walls red. I've just learned to appreciate what "home" looks and feels like to different people. It's become one of my favorite day dreams: If I could live anywhere, what would it look like?

Do you think about this question sometimes?

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