Monday, November 11, 2013

What Makes a Home

{Design Philosophy: Approachable meets inspirational with equal parts form and function and a dash of personality, plus a few dust bunnies} 

   Recently I was having a conversation with my friend Em about how to decorate a house. How do you make your space comfortable, livable, and real all the while, maintaining a certain "je ne sais quoi?" Since we both have highly active toddler tornados inhabiting our home-atmospheres, that "je ne sais quoi" usually means piles of toys that can be quickly swept away morning, afternoon, evening, and especially, right before company arrives. 

   About once a month, I'll even have an almost Pinterest-worthy place with carefully curated stacks of books, wiped down baseboards, and empty laundry baskets/washer/dryer. 
Not counting the hidden pile of clothes stuffed in a suitcase under the bed, 'cause that's just always gonna be there. 
For about 20 minutes (or 2 hours if the tiny tornado is sleeping), the hardwood floors are gleaming and the pillows artfully plumped. Only the pretty stuff is out on my kitchen counters. The ugly toaster oven can stay; he makes a mean pizza bagel and I definitely have a soft spot for pizza bagels. 

   This! THIS is a home! Clean, tucked-away, and perfect. 

   About once a month, I almost believe it. 
Then a certain someone scribbles on the wall with a dry erase marker while we are on Skype with his Auntie Lana. 

   My house would be sooooooo much better with that new EVERYTHING from [insert favorite store].(I happen to be "Target budget with ABC Carpet & Home taste.") Well, yeah, technically it would. The clouds might even part for a few seconds, baby angels playing harps, time stands still, and peace on earth. Have you seen those rugs?! As much as I appreciate, (oh so appreciate), a beautiful Apartment Therapy photo shoot, no amount of stuff, (or mid-century modern lack thereof), will ever ever ever make my house the complete home. 

   I don't remember what my parents' living room arrangement was like back in 1993, (we did have a gingham sofa, so, you can imagine), but I do remember leaping off the staircase onto the sofa while the railing was being installed. 
I have no clue what kind of stovetop Em's mom had in her kitchen, but I DO remember that one time (and last time) she experimented with an orange chicken recipe. 
   Years later, and I'm still laughing. 

   That is what I want my home to represent. 
Building on those memories of community, hospitality, and warmth. 
There might always be an unfurnished area that we are "working on," a comfy old rocking chair meant for cuddles instead of (Instagram) "likes," and definitely my fair share of failed recipes. 

[Insert all those sappy heart cliche things here]...  
that's what makes it a home. 


{Bon Bon}


Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

I feel like this is something I need to remember, because I RARRELY have a picture perfect home, or even a clean one. Ours is lived in and loved in, and that's what's most important (as long as it's not downright foul ;))

Bonnie Iliyn said...

@Christina: yes and yes AND yes!:-) Hospitality and cleanliness, (ranging from spotless clean to good-enough clean:-) are perfect things to provide for your family/guests. "Lived in and Loved in", such a great description!

Megan Lane said...

this post really resonates with me. a reminder to keep things in perspective, i can get a little obsessive sometimes with how our house is decorated. it's so hard to find that balance of comfy and aesthetically pleasing. and i have to say, it looks like you found it w/ that setup.. an loving everything about it -- the couch, pillows, painting, coffee table.. wow! looks like you have got some mad decorating skills lady. but are also grounded about it, so that's pretty awesome.

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