If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. When the image is new, the world is new.” ― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
Of all the things we’re grateful for this holiday weekend, the freedom to create spaces that are unequivocally ours is near the tip top. In my opinion, it’s of the utmost importance that we strive to create physical spaces that are in line with the lives we hope to live—if we can do that, we can help our homes help us be who we want to be. Yes, we know that our houses should shelter us, but it’s my belief that they should also empower us. While finances, circumstances, and life in general all ebb, flow, and get the occasional wrench thrown in them, in the end it is still up to us to decide what kind of life we want to live.
The beautiful part is that that “kind of life” is different for all of us, and it inevitably manifests itself physically into our spaces. It’s sort of a real world reflection of where you are on the inside, so it should be entirely unique. It shouldn’t be what others want for you (and it doesn’t even need to be what you wanted it to be six months ago). It’s what you want, here and now. At the end of the day, you know what sort of space suits you best, and you shouldn’t compromise on it.
So while we’re all heading in for hibernation, let’s get clear on what we want both of those spaces—inside and outside—to look like. They’ll both affect the other, after all.
Revisits and revisions to your dream space are to be expected, and there’s never a bad time to sit for a moment and marinate on the things that are important to us. Where do you feel most at home? How can we take that feeling with us when we leave? Whether we want a quiet refuge or more time on porches with people we love, that’s a choice we get to make on the outside that will positively impact our insides.
Let’s allow our homes to serve both as our sanctuaries and as a reminder to make the choice, again and again, to be “at home” within ourselves first. There’s no one quite like you out there in the world, and no space quite like yours. During this season of thanks, I’d like to thank you for both. Good choice.