I’ve asked more than once, actually on a daily basis, what is the deal? Sometimes knowing, just allows you a point of reference. Creating a home is important, actually it has always been the basis for who I am and where my brain is. I have been designing and redecorating homes in my head since I was a child, sitting on the floor of my father’s library, and making a home for Barbie from books, washcloths, and knick-knacks.
Luckily I met my soulmate early. The night we met (the eve of my brother’s wedding, we were paired in the wedding party) we sat on the couch in my parents home and literally planned our life together (yes, we had JUST met). We talked about destinations we wanted to travel to, homes we would like to own, and places we would live. We married four months later (that was 1982). Our first home we purchased as husband and wife was a cute little house in Michigan built in 1913, on Church Street, where we could hear the bells from the historic building down the street. It was full of charm with a white picket fence, and will always remain in my heart as we brought our first baby home to this house. We walked to town, went antique picking through the shops, and enjoyed concerts in the park. We loved that little old home, and we have not owned one since. My heart was yearning, although I could never claim depravity for the homes we have owned, but I still desired that quaint feeling that only an older home can provide.
We left that little house and purchased a newly built condo in San Diego, where baby number two arrived. From there, we moved north to a brand new tract home in a cul-de-sac where my brother and his family lived down the street. When that was sold a few years later, we rented a few other homes in the same town while trying to find our paradise, the place we would raise our children since our final baby had been born and we needed to start worrying about schools. After much research, we chose the perfect place, and purchased three acres of wooded land, moving back to Michigan to build our dream home. While renting a tiny condo with three children for a year, we built the home I had designed and drawn as a teenager, but with a new eye for optimum family living. It had everything we could want, gorgeous property, and we could hear the bells from a church nearby (which tugged at my heart for the memory of our first home). I thought we would live there forever.
Fast forward to us moving back to California eight years later, renting briefly before buying a lovely home with a pool. Since I had reluctantly gone back to California, a place we were born and raised and near family, I spent most of that time trying to figure out how to get back to Michigan. Let me just say, I can be persuasive, but my dear husband saw the need for our children left at home to return to our quality of life in Michigan, and back we went. I was desperate to return, so when I was slightly unenthused about a newly built home, I conceded because it was lovely and I really couldn’t complain. Besides, I was finally going to get my little cottage on a lake in northern Michigan as well, so I figured I could daydream there. We spent eleven years in that home, and finally sold it when we downsized after all of our birdies were out of the nest and married. I was anxious for a renovation, so we purchased a home (from it’s original owners) built in 1956. It took us a year to complete a renovation inside and out, and we finally settled in to enjoy our empty nest.
In creating a home in a newly renovated house, it was very important for me to honor the history that the house had lived but to also make it work for our lifestyle. I’m constantly antiquing, finding new items, and reworking what we have, always sure to carve out the areas for the activities we are engaged in. Having your home work for your lifestyle is key, because if it doesn’t, then things seem a bit too chaotic for my liking, it’s hard to keep clean because storage usually is an issue, and things just aren’t as comfortable when life in a home is out of sorts. This is one of the things I hope to share with the blog — how to make your home work for the life you live there. I want to share the things I have learned over time, because as I have gotten older and looked back, I was always greatly influenced by experiences I had, people I met, and places I visited. I feel like creating a home sends you on a bit of a self discovery tour, because it is only through truly knowing yourself (your family) and what you want, that you can create the space that you are most YOU in. I’m hoping you will join me on this journey and the fun that is ahead!