A House A Home

About a month ago, I ran across an article on Apartment Therapy that caught my attention. I mean, I liked it so much I pinned it.  High praise, right?  The article was entitled 5 Completely Free Ways to Make your House a Home.  Since one of the items on my Ultimate To DO list is just that - Make Our House a Home - I found it pretty inspiring.

When I put that item on the list, it was my intention to decorate our house into a home. I intended to create a perfectly coiffed and fabulously photo worthy showcase and then cross that item off the list. For some reason, I equated a "Home" as something to be shown off or put on display. What I loved about the Apartment Therapy article is that it flipped my script. It changed my whole perspective and it helped to re-frame my list item. A home is a place that is lived in, that is loved, and that is used with joy. What I hope our home always is is a place where the hubby and I feel safe and comfortable and relaxed and ourselves.

The Apartment Therapy article suggested that there were five things, things that we are already doing, that create a home. So, hang on folks, I'm crossing another item off my Ultimate To DO list.

1. Spend Time in It:


One of my favorite places in the world is the couch in our living room. It's where we spend Sunday Mornings (to watch CBS Sunday Morning), it's where we've had some pretty monumental discussions about our past/present/future, it's where I come when I can't sleep so that I don't keep the hubby awake all night, it's where we eat dinner very often *gasp*, we laugh there, we've cried there, and it is where we spend a majority of the time that we spend in our house. The couch in our living room is where real life happens.

2. Use Your Space:


It's been in our kitchen that I've learned how to cook. (Well, as much as I've learned so far.) We've made Thanksgiving dinners in our kitchen, we've eaten surprise doughnuts with friends on early weekend mornings, we make dinner together here at night and coffee here in the morning and it seems to be where people first gather during parties. Our kitchen is far from state of the art. It's not full of top of the line gadgetry or marble counter tops. But, it is well loved and well used.

3. Speak Kindly:

For the first few years of our marriage there were times when our house was a bloody battle ground. Let's just say we didn't always communicate well. "Kind" might not have the adjective on the tip of either of our tongues to describe all of our conversations. But, with the help of some great counselors, a bit of practice, a whole lot of effort on our parts and unending grace from God we're learning to speak to one another kindly. Interestingly enough, a huge part of that is just listening more closely to what the other has to say. We sometimes even use those totally cliché and completely effective communication techniques - like speaker/listener - to help. Speaking kindly has undoubtedly made our home a more pleasant and all around safer place to be.

4. Music Matters:

About a year ago, the handsome hubby splurged on a Bose sound dock. At the time, I didn't really see the point since we never really played music around the house (maybe because we didn't have a way to do it - duh). But, what a difference it has made. There is no doubt that music makes such a difference and goes so far in creating atmosphere. Music makes cleaning the tub that much more tolerable. Music puts people at ease and sets a tone when entertaining. And music in the house gives me a chance to sing along somewhere other than the car! Plus, usually nobody is watching so I can bust a move if it's ever called for.

5. Entertain Without Worry:


For the past several months, I've had a pretty regular standing Wednesday afternoon engagement. Liz and Emery come over to hang out, chat, and Emery squeals and laughs at our crazy animals. These Wednesday afternoons have been amazingly good for my psyche, but they've also been good for the hostess inside me. Slowly but surely, I've relaxed. No longer do I feel like I need to have my house in tip top condition when they walk through the door. I don't feel like everything must look perfect for our time together to be worthwhile. If you could look closely at the above picture you would notice that my rug is not vacuumed. If the shot was wider you would see that there is junk all over the coffee table and the magazines are in total disarray. Truth be told, the counter tops in my kitchen were probably a mess too. These Wednesdays have reminded me that sometimes entertaining is more about the time spent with our guests than presenting a perfectly clean home for inspection.

Tell me, please, what are some ways you've made your place feel more like a "home"?