What is Heaven at Home?
For some people, it’s having a certain number of bedrooms. For others it’s having a home with a particular square footage. For some people it’s having that sub-zero refrigerator or Viking range. For others it’s living in a certain zip code, or in a particular town. And I’ll never be happy unless __(fill in your own definition)____.
I remember a friend of a friend in another state. (Note: I was not acting as her designer. I have to say that up front.) She had a lovely home, but she was not happy at all. She said she was simply miserable until she had her kitchen upgraded to the hilt. So she hired someone to install the highest end appliances, custom cabinets with rare woods imported from who knows where, redoing the existing counter tops and so forth. Every time I’d see her at a social event she kept talking about this kitchen, how she couldn’t sleep until she had such and such appliance, and the built in cappuccino maker and so forth. In fact, she upgraded way past the neighborhood standard. She spent huge amounts of $ on this kitchen, spending as much as a small home in some areas. At long last the kitchen renovation was done.
But… was she happy? Did she feel she truly made her house into a home? You guessed it. Miss "I Must Renovate My Kitchen to be Happy"… was not happy. Sure the space itself was beautiful, but she was still restless – still seeking something external to make her feel happy at home. So, she turned her attention to her bathroom. Spent HUGE amounts of $ to redo the layout and the finishes in the master bathroom. Again, after thousands upon thousands of dollars were poured into this area – was she happy? Not at all. Don’t worry – I did not work on that project, because I realized that redoing every room in the house was not going to make her truly happy at home.
What happened next? I remember her saying, “Maybe I need to get all new furniture.” Last I heard she was thinking of selling her house and building a new one. On and on it goes – I lost touch with her years ago, and I really hope she has found true happiness.
Here is the thing I learned by watching her and others like her. So many people THINK the only way they’ll be happy at home – truly to have a sense of peace, joy & contentment at home– is for the external reality – the home’s finishes and appliances and so forth – there are many that THINK the external reality has to be just “so”. Here’s the difference – those external things – they’re just what makes it a pretty HOUSE.
Here's the big secret – happiness, true contentment and JOY at home –has nothing to do with how much you spend on your home. Ask any lottery winner who bought a huge mansion and is still unhappy. If this concept is new to you I encourage you to watch Hollywood director Tom Shadyac’s I AM. It’ll open your eyes.
The square footage of the home does not make your house a home. The PEOPLE and EXPERIENCES and JOYFUL MEMORIES you make in the space – that makes your house a home. Having a piece of whatever artwork you purchased…made by such & such doesn’t make your house a home – it’s the quiet sense of joy with your four footed friend curled up on your lap, as you have your cup of tea. IT’s the pleasure of having your dear friend come for a real in person chat at your kitchen table. That’s what makes your house a home.
And that’s this month's home tip – in order to have a bit of heaven on earth, do not look for certain materials or finishes or brands to make you happy – be grateful for what you have, focus on the people, experiences and joyful memories you’re making in the space, and you WILL experience deeper joy in your HOME.
May your own house be filled with people, experiences, and joyful memories that make your house into a home.