Spring is right around the corner, and it’s time to reflect, refresh, and rejuvenate. New beginnings are to be anticipated; it’s all part of life. You feel these things internally and know that loss, growth, and change are inevitable.
Spring is the perfect season to make external changes as well. For many of us, our home is part of our self-definition, which is why we do things like renovate, decorate, upkeep, and take care of our lawns. They all are used as part of the public face we display as an extension of ourselves.
In our society, our choice of home is usually determined by the economy and personal preference. The endless array of options can leave us continually wondering if there isn’t someplace with better schools, a better neighborhood, more green space, and less congestion – and on and on. We may leave a pretty good thing behind, hoping the next place will be even more desirable.
In some ways, this mobility has become part of the natural course of life. The script is a familiar one: you move out of your parents’ house; possibly go to college; get a place of your own; expand to a bigger house when you have kids; and then downsize to a smaller one when the kids move out.
In spite of every reason for making changes or moving, on some level we do recognize the importance of home. Often the second thing we ask someone when we meet them (the first being their name) is “Where do you live?” We ask not only to start a conversation, but because we recognize the answer tells us something about them.
If home is where the heart is, then by its most literal definition, my home is wherever I am. If I’m going to visit relatives in Texas, I’m going home. My first apartment on the west side, as well as my 10-year residence in San Diego, also feels like home. The truth is, the location of our heart, as well as the rest of our body, does affect who we are. The differences may seem trivial, but they can lead to lifestyle changes that are significant.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, a home is a home because it blurs the line between ourself and our surroundings, and it challenges the line we try to draw between who we are and where we are. For many of us, home is where we celebrated our children’s birthdays and graduations, experienced holidays, or enjoyed simple Sunday afternoons. Every house we’ve resided in will leave an impression – a repository for every experience of the life we’ve lived.
If you’re ready to make some changes to your home, this issue is filled with ideas from top experts to help you through the process. Decorating and building projects entail making hundreds of decisions and choosing correctly. I hope these concepts start you thinking about your home projects early and in detail. Define, as narrowly as you can, each function you establish for a room, then explore all the specifics you want to create your dream home. Remember: it’s easier to prevent a problem than to undo one.
I hope you fully enjoy your home, and until the next issue – love, laugh, and live more!