Autobiography, journal, scrapbook
“Each of us is eccentric because each of us is unique and no one else is like us. We can best express our individuality in unusual, uncommon ways at home. Our home is an autobiography, a journal, a scrapbook…Living at home is a dynamic, creative process.” — Alexandra Stoddard
I really miss the days when people spent more times in one another’s homes. I always feel I know someone much better after I’ve been in their home a few times. It doesn’t really matter to me how large or small the home is, how old or new, or how it’s furnished. What I enjoy is the way each home, like each person, is totally unique. Some of my favorite places to stay have been the smallest and coziest, even when some of what we now think of as essentials were not available.
Real estate agents now “stage” homes to make them look basically as if no one lives there. I can understand why they do this; it’s much easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in a place if it starts out with an appealing but bland atmosphere. But as a visitor, it’s much more fun to see a home that has the unmistakable stamp of the people who belong there.
In the recent winter storm, I was stuck in Atlanta for a couple of days longer than I had planned to be there. I was anxious to be home and antsy at wondering when the weather would allow it, but best part about that was that I was able to stay with Drew, Megan and Grady in their new (to them) home. They have recently bought a lovely place, several decades old, that had been in the same family all that time until now.
I fell in love with the home. What I liked best about it was how unique it was. You could feel a sense of the generations of the family who had owned it, lending a sort of character to the atmosphere. At the same time, it seemed perfect for its new occupants, each of whom is (at least in my eyes) quite exceptional and well suited to such a one-of-a-kind dwelling.
Our homes don’t need to be grand, stylish or even consistently neat to be welcoming and appealing. What’s most important is that they reflect who we are; our interests, our priorities, our joys. Some of us are private people for whom home is a retreat, with visitors rarely present; others of us love to have a steady stream of friends coming and going. Either way, we will be happiest in a home that is comfortable and full of our own personalities.
How about your home? Does it suit your personality? If we all popped over for a visit, what would we see there that we would not be likely to see elsewhere? Don’t worry, we won’t notice the dust or the piles of yesterday’s mail or laundry that might be lying around. We came to see YOU– and I just know your smiling face will light up the place, whether or not you feel as if it’s ready for prime time.