Pursuing a Homier Home | Phase 1: Building the Foundation
Step 1: Create your personalized definition of home.
Have you ever found yourself uttering things like, "I hate going in this room. It makes me so stressed out," or, "I know what I want this room to look like, but I have no idea how to get my vision to become reality?" Maybe you've even found yourself saying, "I want my home to feel (fill in the blank), but it just doesn't and I don't know how to fix it." If you are always searching for the solution, but can't seem to find it, you may need to start out somewhere even broader than you think.
When you don't understand why you do what you do or what drives you in your home-related decisions, you can end up bringing a lot of unwanted extra into your home. In order to save yourself time and energy, defining your personal homier home could help set you on the path to finding the "right feels" for your home the first time.
Once you define your vision, you will be able to refer back to it as you work your way through the rooms of your home. Also, it will help keep you focused and alleviate some of the stress that goes along with making over a room. Answering these six questions will be the first step in helping you create your own definition of your personal homier home. Now that I hyped it up so much, are you ready to get started?
Let's do it!
1. What value and purpose does/could your home serve your family?
When considering the value and purpose of your home, think beyond providing shelter. Consider the different functions your home is used for, such as, a place to gather, host, eat meals, read, relax, and/or a place to enjoy each other's company. Think about the deeper meaning your home has to you and your family.
Also, think about what your home provides you in the different seasons of life. What may be helpful in the summer might be completely different when the winter comes. In addition, think about the season of life you are in overall. What my home provided me in my 20's is a lot different than what it looks like now.
This will be a question that may not have a definitive answer today, but keep this in the back of your mind and add to your initial response over the course of a couple days, weeks, or even months. Know as well that this may be a question you will have to revisit as your life evolves. Taking into consideration the value and purpose of your home will open your eyes to not only what your home could provide your family, but also what you want it to provide for your family.
My home's purpose is to provide my family with much needed cozy, snuggle time at the end of our long days and weeks. We also enjoy hosting friends and family, so providing space for our loved ones to gather with ease is important to us. Since we've moved 3 hours away from most of our friends and family, when they come to visit for long weekends it is important to us to provide them enough room to get comfortable. At the core of our current season of life, these make up the purpose our home serves.
2. How would you describe your ideal home?
The key here is to write down the unaltered version of your wildest dreams in addition to what you envision home to feel like, sound like, and look like. Being totally idealistic is a-okay here. For instance, when I wrote my answer, I definitely described an entire situation involving a pool in our backyard. For some, this may not seem that wild, but for my husband who has swore up and down that he will never get a pool, this is a full-on dream of mine - not necessarily reality.
However, in describing this scenario of what it would be like to have a pool, I realized that many of those feelings are already a part of our home now (minus the water feature). Writing down even your most tall, outlandish dreams of what your ideal home would be like could be helpful in deciding what it is about that dream that makes you desire it so.
What about homes, hotels, or interiors you've visited while on vacation? Would any of those pieces fit in your ideal home? When my husband and I vacation, we love to check out old buildings, including mansions, hotels, and restaurants. I love it because of the amazing architecture and luxurious decor from another era found at a time when craftsmanship was at its best. For my husband, he loves the history behind these buildings, but when we discuss our takeaways, it almost always goes back to the feelings the buildings exude.
On our trip to Charleston, SC last fall, while we were touring some of the mansions, I could not get enough covered porches, pocket doors, and statement ceilings. I was in awe of the ease of beauty throughout while still having something unique in each space. Because these home elements made me so happy, I promptly added them to my dream home list when we arrived back. Inspiration while traveling, in my opinion, is the most fun because it allows you to expand your ideas on all the possibilities.
How about when you were a kid? Think about what you wished your home had or what you loved about your's or your best friend's home. For me, it was my grandparents home most fittingly named, The Sunkist Hotel. I named their home this for two reasons, 1) they had more bedrooms than I had rooms in my own house growing up and 2) they always had oranges on the table for fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning. It felt so inviting and comforting as a guest, so there home was the inspiration behind my addition of a breakfast nook in my childhood floor plans (see below).
Can you believe I found this plans in an old memory bin? This is my actual handwriting as a 12-year-old... wild! As I remember it, I was a multi-room-fort-building, floor-plan creating, home-loving maniac as a kid. My mom, grandma, and I used to pop in to any model home open house we could find after church on Sundays and visualize what it would be like to live there. When I was in third-grade, my grandpa taught me how to draw real floor plans, so I could continue to design my own homes from what I liked in the model homes. I even began my college career majoring in architectural engineering, but for as long as I can remember, I've been dreaming about my ideal home and knew I needed to take a second and consider what I loved when I was young. So, be sure to take a few minutes to think back on your childhood and see if anything still holds true today for your ideal home.
Lastly, consider the words you would use to describe your ideal homier home. What words come to mine when you hear the word home or homey? When you think about your perfect home, what would you describe it as? If this questions stumps you a bit, take to google! Sometimes when someone asks you to describe something, all of a sudden your mind is blank, so don't worry about cheating and go research some vocab for inspiration.
The words to describe my homier home are cozy, inviting, warm, beautiful and functional. If the word strikes you, write it down! Reading over your words again later may also spark more words that describe your ideal place even better. Throw caution to the wind!... Ok, maybe I'm getting a little too enthusiastic, but gather those words!
3. How would things be different if you lived in your ideal home tomorrow?
Now that you've taken some time to think about how you would describe your homier home. Close your eyes and try to visualize what it would be like to live there right now. Do any of your stresses wash away? Do you visualize your family happier? Does your vision still look like the home you live in now? If not, how is it different? If it does, what part?
*Pause to actually close your eyes*
When you open your eyes, consider this: If you could snap your fingers and have all of your home dreams come true in an instant, what does you and your family stand to gain? Write down what comes to mind. Try to be as specific as possible.
Is there a certain aspect or feeling of the ideal home you described that sticks out to you the most? Try to get a feel for what you are holding on to about this ideal scenario. Do any of these feelings and idealistic conditions exist in any area of your current home? If so, in which part of your home do these feelings exist? Why do you think they exist in this space? Visualizing can be hard, but try to give it your best effort. You may be surprised what you find.
4. What do you love currently about the feels and functions of your home?
Now let's switch gears for a second. We just spent the first half thinking about idealistic views of our own homier home. However, living in solely idealistic thoughts can be dangerous, like getting dead set on a walkout basement to my infinity pool. I can keep this on my dream home list, in case we ever move, but there is no way that my current home could ever accommodate a walk-out basement... or an infinity pool for that matter. In addition to understanding your home hopes and dreams, it is just as important to keep an err of realism to help you lay the foundation for pursuing your homier home.
As you think about your current home, remember you bought it for a reason. There was something you loved about it... what was/is it? Next time you are home (maybe now), take sometime to walk through your home and note what you love about it - even if it is the smallest thing. Consider feels, functions, but also the layout of a room and/or how your family uses the room. As you take this walk, if you end up loving only a tiny corner of your bedroom, that's okay. Write down what it is about this corner that you love so much.
If you are having trouble thinking of any room at all, go to the one you spend most of your time in and pick out what works for you in that space. Remember, you are on the positivity train right now with the goal being to determine what you already love and why you love it. Deciding what you love can give you insight into how far away or close you are in reaching your homier home goal.
5. What would bring value to your family now and in the future, but is currently lacking in your home?
After riding the positivity train for a minute, jump off for just a second and consider what is currently lacking in your home that is hindering you from being able to describe your home with the words in the second question. When I use the word value here, I'm talking more about the intrinsic value rather than the home's value on the market.
For instance, do you have enough designated space to create the memories you envision for your family? Do the basic functions of your daily routine work well enough to alleviate the stress when you walk in the door? When you host guests, either for parties or otherwise, do you find yourself saying, "I wish..."?
Think of the areas in your home which could be made better, but only right them down if they also fit one of your ideal descriptors and provide an intrinsic level of value to your family. If you're like me and blank walls give you hives, then maybe adding meaningful decor to the walls in your living room will add value, but the idea is to focus on the things you would change to fit your home's purpose. The goal here is to get a clear understanding of why you want this to improve in relation to how your home feels and functions at the moment.
6. Why do you seek to create a homier home?
The question we’ve been weaving our way to… why? If you’ve never read the book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, I recommend it. As many of us do, when I began my homier home journey, I was dead set on making my home beautiful. In the beginning stages, I believed that meant filling it with anything I loved (and could afford) in the store. I would come home with bags and bags of stuff only to return nearly all of it the next day. It was exhausting and frustrating because I knew it could be done, but why wasn’t I able to go out there and do it?
After stepping back and diving deep, I realized I didn’t know why I was doing any of this. My husband would argue that it was because I liked to spend money, which may be true, but it was more than that - problem was I couldn’t put my finger on it. Because I have a problem-solving-type of personality, this question lingered in the back of my head for weeks. I felt like I was a creative person and I definitely read plenty of decorating books, but I just couldn’t get the feels I wanted to shine through in my home. Not until I came up with my driving force behind what home meant to me did I feel at peace with continuing my journey to pursuing a homier home. You can read my why here.
To sum it all up, I challenge you to consider every answer you wrote to the questions above and try to write yourself a homier home definition according to you. Make it a sentence, or a paragraph, but write it down somewhere you will see it on a daily basis.
Add to it as you see fit over the next couple weeks and hone your personal definition. Taking the time to answer these questions and create your definition will be worth it as you move through your home. Don’t forget to grab the free fillable PDF to jot down all of your answers to the questions above, too. Stay tuned for step 2 of laying the foundation of your homier home coming soon.