For somebody who is literally obsessed with interiors and architecture, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a home, and the answer of course is slightly different for everyone, but there are some key points that I would like to highlight.
With the constant flow of inspiration and the amount of magazines and books out there on the subject, it is easy to get caught up in trends and creating certain looks. Whilst this might be helpful in narrowing down what you are drawn to aesthetically, or highlighting key pieces that you can bring in to your home, they are not as helpful in understanding what makes your home perfect for you.
For this you need to delve deeper.
Without risking boring you with details about the phenomenology of space, and environmental psychology, I am going to try and keep it simple, and share with you my thoughts on my own home and what we value as a family.
Home as you can imagine is really important to me, and always has been since I was young. I have always had a strong emotional connection to space, but also to the pieces that I wear or things I choose to do. I have never been a subscriber to consumerism (anyone who have seen my wardrobe can probably attest to this) and I choose to celebrate the little things in life.
The most important thing for me, and what I now have in abundance in my own home is natural light and the connection with the outside. Surrounding myself with greenery and being in tune with the “outside” world has a major impact on my mood and emotional well-being. I love how wherever I turn, I see nature and how the sunlight streams in to the living spaces.
Choosing a home or materials and furniture that fits within the larger context, deepens the connection with the area or home that you have chosen and will age beautifully. I live in a weatherboard house with high ceilings, large expanses of glass and clean lines. My kitchen, though it is 20+ years old, feels relatively modern and goes well with my furniture/palette which have a similar feel to the rest of my home.
You are unique and so is your home. You know the feeling you get when you visit friends/family whose homes really feel like homes. It is not because it has a certain style or look, it is because their homes are an extension of who they are and have been infused with their personality. Adding some items/furniture that tells a story, has age/patina is also a good way of layering your home. As Patsy Stone said “One should never be the oldest thing in one’s house”.
If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. If the colour doesn’t feel right, don’t paint your walls with it, even if that is what everyone else seems to be doing… or it fits the style you are trying to achieve. It needs to pull at your heartstrings and it needs to make you feel good.
This comes back to your personality as well but we love entertaining and having people over. Sharing our home, good food and laughter with friends and family brings us so much joy, and infuses our home with memories of good vibes and good times. We therefore value open plan living and flexible spaces. We need a relatively big kitchen with easy access to the garden for fresh herbs/veggies etc. My kids needs their own spaces, as well as places where they can spread out, make a mess, be close and have space to grow into whoever they are.
Last but not least, let it take time. Renovating a house/apartment, or building a brand new home is a pretty big deal. Creating a home is a life long journey, and it does take time. Living in a place before making too many changes lets you get to know your new home, the community and how you use the space. This is invaluable in ensuring you create a home that is right for you and your family.
Next time I will share with you what I believe my role as a designer is.