Just the other cold and snowy day, I snuggled deep into our sofa watching the fire, while our toddler was napping soundly and my husband was attentively watching sports. I had a chance to enjoy a quiet moment to myself – a rare occurrence in our busy household. As my eyes wandered around the room, taking in the backdrop, I immediately felt a sense of peace and pride in our home and what we have created.
Two thoughts also came to me in that moment: 1) how many other people also felt this way about their homes? 2) how many other people get the time to just be together at home, and, more importantly, look around and feel a sense of that same pride I felt?
Alone with my thoughts, I considered how important it is – especially leading into the holidays – for us all to re-connect and hold onto the feeling of what it means to be “home”.
So, how do you re-connect to the feeling of home?
It all begins with reflecting on what “home” means to you and creating a home that is the best reflection of your family and your life.
Creating a home you feel proud of
My friends often laughingly ask “Is your home always this tidy?!” and the answer is yes. For the most part. Here are my two very important reasons why…
- My home is my haven. Life gets crazy in our family, as I’m sure it does for many others. My mind is a constant hive of activity, buzzing with agendas, lists and deadlines. It’s the one place I can go to where I want to immediately feel at peace, without chaos. And I don’t want to look around and see more chaos.
- We don’t own a lot of clutter. Living simply is another way of keeping the drama to a minimum and keeping us in check with what really matters.
I should let you know that the sense of pride I feel in our home was not always present. It has been a wild ride transforming our neglected century-house into the home it is today. But, the more time we have spent here, the more TLC we’ve invested and the more our family grows, it has only brought the richest memories and joy to our lives which is something that we would not trade for anything.
It is possible to have the best of both worlds. We can love the space we live in day-in and day-out, and at the same time as we’re caring for our homes – with freshly painted walls, regularly cleaned floors and trimmed landscapes – we’re nurturing the biggest investment we make in our lifetime.
How to feel pride in the home you create
Focus on making your home your own and a sense of pride will follow. Surround yourself with the things you absolutely love and cannot live without or things that tell a greater story of who you are and your history, and your home will be a great reflection of your family and your life. The colors and design choices you make to decorate your home, should be the things that speak to you and make you happy when you surround yourself around them. Consider them as your personality on a canvas that you show to the world.
I’d like to share with you some personal touches around my own house that have helped transform it into a home for me and my family. All of these pieces have a special story and meaning behind them which only add more charm and vibrancy to our home.
A welcoming entrance
A warm and inviting entrance is crucial for creating a homey feeling right as you or your guests step through your door. Make the first thing you see something lovely or cheerful to set the mood for the rest of your home and to keep you in good spirits each time you come and go.
A history lesson
These are antique solid silver spoons and skeleton keys that we found when we ripped out the original kitchen. Our home dates back to 1914, so it’s quite possible these spoons could be from that same time. I loved the idea of displaying them in a unique way to capture the character and history of our old home. It also makes for a great little story to tell when people come over.
You might consider artwork to being an expensive investment when it actually does not have to be. You can display just about anything and it acts as art that is unique to you and your family.
Believe it or not, these two black and white pictures of my hometown in England (dating back to the 1900’s), were actually pulled from a calendar to have framed. They keep me connected to where I came from and all the happy memories that were spent during my formative years there.
Also framed, is four different decorative gift wrapping papers I bought from a store in London (UK) during one of my first research trips while attending interior design school, back when my design passion was still new! They keep me grounded to think of where I was in my career when I bought these.
This framed antique map of England was a serendipitous find at a local consignment store in Elora. It’s another little piece of my other ‘home’.
Putting the sparkle back into this antique lighting fixture was one lengthy project, but the hours of work that went into this neglected chandelier (with lots of missing crystals), was all worth it and makes me appreciate it so much more today. A statement fixture really pulls together a room and this one fits our home’s style and history just perfectly.
This open glass shelving nook was once a boarded up window of the exterior of our house. When I was redesigning the kitchen, I knew I wanted to bring it back to life but also needed to think of a way for it to be practical to utilize it in our new kitchen. This custom idea of exposing both sides of the unit was an excellent way to put our personal stamp on our home.
I feel that a bit of fresh greenery is an essential element in every home. Feng Shui masters – who have studied the power of items placed in your home with promoting positive energy levels – would agree too. A bit of greenery brings the outdoors in creating a connection between the two. Some plants are also known to be air purifiers which is another added benefit of adding some greens into your home.
Displaying personal or meaningful items in your home adds to your canvas and further tells your story. And everyone has their own story to tell.
The best question to ask yourself to help you get started in creating a home that’s uniquely your own is “What do I want my home to reflect to myself and others?”. Once you are clear with this, the rest will begin to flow.
#WhatHomeMeans Month: Re-connecting to the feeling of “home”
Simply put, “home is not a place, it is a feeling”. We’ve officially dubbed December “What Home Means To You” month in an effort to help remind people of what they are thankful for and what is most important going into the holiday season. Follow our social channels to be inspired by quotes and join in the conversation by sharing your own thoughts of what home means to you.
Our hope is that the feeling of home doesn’t just last throughout the holidays, but also throughout the rest of the year.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!