Unless you follow me on Pinterest, you probably don’t know that I love interior design. It’s an art I’ve appreciated for a long time, but have little experience or real knowledge about. Despite wanting to continue living in a small, low-maintenance home in the future, I can still admire the design genius behind floor-to-ceiling windows, indoor-outdoor bathrooms, and grand entrances.
Many of us are dissatisfied– if only slightly– by our current home. Perhaps we wish we had more natural light, or a better space for entertaining. Maybe we dwell with other family members and can only call our bedroom truly our own. And some of us live in an urban environment when we want to be in the country, while others long for nothing more than bustling streets and lively evenings.
It’s hard not to criticize our current home, or hope that our abode will improve in the future.
However, I believe that homes have a greater purpose than satisfying our aesthetic preferences and holding our belongings. A home is an important space, and even if it’s not perfect, it’s possible to love.
Our current home…
I can relate to this conundrum. We currently live in a condo that I like very much; it’s spacious, cozy, and full of light. As we add plants to our small patio garden, I am constantly amazed that I get to live here.
But, I don’t particularly love the city we live in. The San Gabriel Valley, where Pasadena is located, is both urban and suburban in a non-sequitur kind of way. Lately it has been ablaze with latent summer heat– all the more reason to cultivate cacti and other drought-tolerant plants! To the detriment of my palate but the benefit of my wallet is the fact that few good restaurants are to be found nearby. True, I really don’t have much to complain about, but compared to previous places I’ve lived, Pasadena could use a few improvements.
So, to combat whatever discontentment I feel about our current home, I desire to step forward in gratitude and courage. I desire to risk emotional investment in my home because I believe it’s an important place to embrace. As part of living this season to the fullest, here are some things I’m doing to fall in love with my home right now.
How to fall in love with your current home
1) Designate a purpose for each room.
If you have more than one room to use, then give each space a purpose. Use your whole home, not just one chair or bed. Do work in one place and relax in another. Sit outside on a nice day. Read on the couch. Make use of every corner and appreciate all the space you do have.
2) Invite people over.
Sure, perhaps there is no formal dining room, but you can still have friends over for good conversation and a bite to eat. Realizing that our homes are capable of bringing joy to others is important: hospitality does not have to be limited by space.
When we have people over to our place, we enjoy our home so much more: being able to use it to entertain our friends helps us be grateful for it, no matter what inconveniences have presented themselves.
3) Keep it tidy.
An easy way to hate your home is to treat it like the laundry hamper or the dump. Caring for your space can help you enjoy it more Messes, on the other hand, cause dread and stress. Need some cleaning tips? Check out Brittany’s post, 5 secrets of people whose homes are always clean.
4) Decorate it (with plants, perhaps).
Even in a rented space, you can make simple additions to your home to make it more attractive. Try hanging up photos with a clothespin display, or put together a few succulent arrangements by your window. I believe that most homes can be improved by a few indoor plants, and the less maintenance required, the better.
5) Build relationships there.
If you are living with other people, spend some time getting to know them– even if they’re already family. The more intimate your relationships at home, the more attractive that space will be.
If you live alone, try getting to know your neighbors, or meeting people in your area that you enjoy spending time with. This can be challenging (we’re still getting to know our neighbors), but it’s worth it. Having people nearby who can support you in emergencies is also invaluable.
6) Find an oasis.
This may sound anti-intuitive, but I think our love for our home can be multiplied when we know we have somewhere else to go. Finding a place outside our homes where we can relax for an afternoon means that when we are at home, we choose to be at home. This oasis can be an old library, a public garden, a park, local coffeeshop, or university campus.