What does “home” mean to each of us? The question seems simple enough, but the varied answers are unimaginably expansive. A home is built by the shared experiences of those that live inside—the warmth of others, the reflection of solitude, the love sewn into the structure itself.
In trying to get a deeper understanding of what the word means to all of us, I interviewed a few friends who have strong ties to the notion of “home,” to discover how they created their safe space and what went into the process for them. I knew the definitions would be wide-ranging and entirely subjective, but the right questions prompted responses I hadn’t anticipated.
In creating this series of casual, Q&A chats, I realized that I’d never answered the questions myself, so I decided to start (literally) at home. Below, you’ll find my answers to my questions (easiest interview I’ve ever done), and as we trudge ahead, you’ll get the insights of those near and dear.
"I find that the days I wake up early and spend time with my pets are the days I feel the most fueled and ready to conquer."
How is home maintained? What routines or rituals are performed in the space to create and preserve a sense of “home”?
Great question, Samuel (😏). I maintain my sense of home through smells, sounds, and feelings. I have two cats and a dog, and we all love each other. The feeling in my home makes me incredibly happy, so anytime spent there is truly special to me. I love routines--they surround me with a sense of purpose throughout the day. I am 100% a morning person, so the beginning of the day is when I feel the best, and I'm able to create that sensation of home. It always starts by bringing the house alive, lighting up some incense, turning on the music, then preparing breakfast and coffee for the fam and myself. I'm at my happiest, and I sing and dance with my pets...get everyone riled up. I find that on the days that I wake up early and spend time with my pets are the days I feel the most fueled and ready to conquer. It's a morning ritual that is so special for me and my little family. In my opinion, a home holds a lot of power and energy--it will give back what you put into it. These routines enable my home to serve as my power source throughout the day.
Describe a place (and time) in life that has offered the truest sense of “home”.
I would have to say my grandmother's home in Bozeman, MT. I lived with her for a few summers when I was younger. It was just the two of us all summer long, and I spent most of my days alone, playing games and creating a world in my head. I haven't returned since she passed nearly a decade ago, but if I close my eyes, I can see every detail in that space. The smells are still so potent in my mind, and I often feel like I still get a whiff now and then. It had a huge backyard that was surrounded by trees, and there were long, windy roads and trails you could get lost in. The feelings associated with it all have stuck with me. I was able to be my true self with out judgment: I was away from siblings, friends, and the people of my home town. I was able to hone in on who I am as a person...her home created a safety net for me.
Is there a particular person, place, or thing that has helped to shape your ideals surrounding the idea of home?
My mother, hands down! My mom was always creating a warm, comfortable space with whatever she had in each of her houses. She created such a strong sensation of "home," but she was constantly changing it, making it fresh and new. It’s such a great sentiment that I have carried into my adult life. I've been able to create that same feeling in my space and it fills me with so much joy. I admire her for taking what she had--mostly thrift-store finds and yard-sale scores--and making it all so special. In doing so, I think she gave me the best gift ever...insight on how to turn a house into a home.