Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to take a moment to stop and appreciate our homes for all of the warmth and security they give us. As a designer who is always looking at images and plans for beautiful spaces, sometimes I get caught up in everything I want to do to change our home.
I have all these ideas to make it better and often focus more on the problems our home has than on all of its great attributes. So, at least for today, I want to think about what makes our home special.
I like the idea of taking a minute to write down three things about your house that you are thankful for. It could be that you are thankful for a kitchen that supports you in making food for your family. A refrigerator that keeps your food cold and fresh, or a table where your family can all sit down and have a meal together. I am grateful for the sliding doors leading out to our backyard and garage. They allow me to see the kids playing outside, and they let in beautiful sunlight to warm the kitchen.
It might also help to focus on all of the areas you have already improved your home. Instead of stressing about the horribly desolate laundry room, I can focus on the beautiful bathroom we just carefully remodeled. The kitchen floors might still be ugly, but the cabinets and shelves are a huge improvement from when we moved in. Taking before and after photos can help remind you of all the love and hard work you may have been pouring into your home.
Think about the connections you make with family and friends in your home. The games you play around the coffee table, the forts you build with sheets and sofa cushions, and the conversations with your friends and family around the dinner table. If we appreciate and focus on the small joys, it helps us to see the beauty in all of our home’s imperfections.
As I look around my home, I see a lot of messes. But if I look at the meaning behind the messes, I can be thankful for many things. The legos strewn all over the kid’s room means that my five-year-old daughter is building and creating, using fine-motor skills and her incredible imagination.
The fort in the corner of the living room was a labor of love between my three-year-old son and his daddy.
The stack of bills on my desk means that we have heat and water, and a roof over our heads. We are living life, and that is why there are a few messes.
If you like to take pictures, one way to appreciate our homes more is to carry your camera around and take photos of the little things that really matter.
What makes you smile? It could be the dog napping in the sun, your kids playing together, a good book waiting to be read or the chairs you lovingly painted to bring color into your home. I think we would all be surprised at how many positive and wonderful things are happening in our imperfect homes!