The saying goes “Home is where the heart is”.
And that is why home can be anywhere – anywhere your heart chooses.
Growing up, my family moved several times – to different homes. We lived in a small home, and an old home, even a falling apart home while a new home was being built! Every house we lived in became a home – my mother with her keen eye for decorating and design, and my dad with his handyman abilities worked on each house to make it a home and always on a budget.
I remember the greenish blue gingham curtains that my mother made for the kitchen, and the curtains that she dyed a golden colour to match the black wallpaper in the music room, and the red shag carpet she chose for the new home – when shag carpet was just becoming a trend. Oh – and yes that was for the living room – the family room had orange shag carpet! So very trendy at that time! And you had to rake it before you vaccumed it – I thought that was so very cool back then! She always carried wallpaper and paint swatches in her purse in a small plastic bag – and fabric swatches that she was using in the different rooms. She loved to make our house a home – and she did that so very well.
It was the small touches that made the difference such as the red place mats made especially to go with her Old Country Rose china – always used on special occasions. A large urn filled with pussy willows and special grasses that she had dad stop by the side of the road to cut down. Little things that made a difference – she brought out a clean dish cloth any time there were guests coming – that was important to her. And homemade desserts – always. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, lazy daisy cake, german chocolate cake – every night we had a homemade dessert!
I remember as a young teenager spending my Saturday mornings baking cookies and filling the freezer. My mom just let us go at it – she loved filling the freezer with baked goods! Of course – we used to sneak in there and eat the Christmas shortbread eating from the bottom of the tin so you could never tell they were disturbed – oh we were so bad! It was just all of these things plus more that make a house a home .
We were also taught to respect the furniture – and especially in the living room – on a budget furniture was not easily replaceable. Saying that, my creative mother and my resourceful father always found a way to buy a new piece or recover an old piece of furniture. The decor always seemed to change – be updated and refreshed. And again – always on a budget. Garage sales, and newspaper ads- those were the days before Ebay. I am amazed at how well my parents were at creating and recreating a beautiful space to live in!
And since my growing up days, I have lived in a few different places – not sure I would call them houses as they were either dorm rooms or apartments. And I tried to follow in the traditions I was raised in – make every space beautiful.
And for the last 13 years I have had my own home. This past Saturday I was sitting in my living room and the sun was pouring through the large south facing windows – the reflection off of the buttery colour of the walls filled the room with light – I lifted my heart in gratitude to God for blessing me with such a beautiful home. It is not grand by any means – very small in fact. But 13 years later I still feel the joy that came when I first moved in – it is home to me.
And this is what I try to remember – a house becomes a beautiful place if much love is poured into it. And that love can come in many different ways. If it feels old and tired – repaint, repair and re-adjust. If there is not enough music – bring on the music. If there is not enough atmosphere, dim the lights and light the candles – if there is not enough laughter – invite people into you home!
I have a friend who is always doing something to upgrade their home. They are always working on a room, whether it is a total makeover, or just a fresh coat of paint. And although their home is modest by many standards they take such great pride in it – and they continually make it a home – a place where people gather – a place with warmth and life!
I am working away at my home. I am taking it room by room – and it takes a while . I get a lot of satisfaction out of letting my creative spirit soar – taking on a project and seeing where it might take me. Last year I put time and resources into the garden – and it has become a new room to the house – at least in the summer – and I could not be more pleased. This winter – I plan to finish my second floor den/TV room, my bedroom and the main bathroom! Stay tuned!
“Some look for a beautiful place – others make a place beautiful.”