Home is a fundamental part of our lives, yet we rarely spend any time reflecting upon its role and significance. The quest to build a home is definitely one of the most sacred journeys we take in our lifetime. Setting up a space for yourself and your family is a magnificent project, but can also be incredibly daunting and complex. We all, undeniably, wish upon a star to one day own our dream home. But the question of why is this desire so firmly rooted in our hearts often stays without a proper answer. Regardless of the likely pitfalls, we willingly devote everything we’ve got into putting up walls, choosing a paint colour, and finding our way to some particular objects and furnishings, but rarely (if ever) dig deeper into the meaning of home.
So why is home such an important environment and what is it that makes us so obsessed with the idea of building one for ourselves and our loved ones?
‘An Englishman’s home is his castle. ‘
Image source: Emily Henderson
Existing only in our mind’s eye, or being linked to a physical location, a home is our sacred space where we feel most in control. It offers the freedom to express our true selves, our feelings and temper, and never judges if we show up as fussy or grim.
In our homes, we are the ones that make the rules, tailored to support our merits. All the limitations reinforced in the outside world stop bothering us the very moment we enter our beloved refuge. No matter how small or grandiose it may be, our personal abode offers protection and security to, without restriction, celebrate our authentic selves.
And while privacy is turning into a rare commodity these days, the value of a personal space where you can hide from the outside world is inflating.
What makes a house feel like a home?
Image source: Northern Sisters
Home has always been a shelter and a gathering place — our very own stepping stone into balancing our two seemingly conflicting needs for freedom and belonging.
And while a home empowers us to explore any decorating style we may feel drawn to and allows us to sport a lifestyle of our choosing, it is also a highly political ground where we negotiate rights, build relationships, make compromises and seek self-affirmation.
Home is a memory machine, a material guard to our most cherished days. It keeps alive the moments we look to preserve and gives meaning to the story of our lives. For a loving parent, the old elm tree in the back yard will forever be a beloved playhouse, while the bedroom closet can be nothing but their kids’ favourite hiding spot. And while our memories tend to fade, the walls endure and continue to serve as silent reminders of the moments that once defined us.
Why homes matter?
Image source: Mor til Mernee
For the most part, our homes are not necessarily the most beautiful spaces we could be spending time in. But to us, they feel like the heart of the universe. No grandiose dwelling could ever nurture our spirit in the way that our own living room sofa and a cup of warm tea can. Like a womb, our homes offer protection, comfort and warmth to grow and find calm — a place to profoundly reflect upon ourselves, but also to look out at the world.
Having a safe base makes it easier to stay balanced and achieve life goals. Those who have never had a proper nest, and those who’ve been unfortunate enough to lose it often face significant identity crises that lead to a troublesome personal and social lives. As a rule, those coming from unhappy environments make a promise to strive for turning things around in their life. They understand that only once they define their home, they can begin to define themselves too.
A temple to ourselves
Image source: My Home
A home is a place where our soul sings. Being a physical manifest to our spiritual values and strivings in life, a home is a temple to ourselves.
A lot can be said about us by the very look at our personal space. The objects and colours we choose can articulate very different lifestyles and belief systems. We are willing to go through an enormous effort of tracking down particular pieces that we feel communicate just the right message about our peculiar selves. This can be such a demanding process not only for the adventure of unearthing the desired pieces but even more for the process of figuring out who we are looking to become.
While curating our home collection, we seek objects that speak volumes about the values we hold dear, but currently, don’t have enough of in our lives. We rely on our surroundings to help us get a more secure hold on the road we’re heading. Our furniture and cutlery offer daily whispers of the words of encouragement and display warning signs as we go about our daily routines. As a kind and loving friend, our home helps us become better people and feeds our wildest dreams and ambitions.
And as we grow older, the importance of our home environment grows with us. During the lifetime, we breathe meaning into the walls of our homes and they become a backdrop to the story of our delicate selves. They help us gather our identities, preserve fleeting memories, and offer emotional refuge. With the autumn of our lives, our home ends up being the only place where we are still in control.
A home is such an important environment because it offers a loving nest for our hearts and souls, while quietly reminding us of our most authentic loves and ambitions.
Feature image: myhome.aftonbladet.se