Tuesday, 26 June 2012

What makes a home & why does it matter?

Nina Holst's "old living room" Stylizimo.com
Life can certainly put us through the mill sometimes and our home is the one place to which we can retreat, hibernate in, be ourselves in and feel safe in. 

This past week has been a rather emotional one for me. From my own health concerns that have caused concern for close loved ones to friends being frighteningly diagnosed with cancer, it has made our frailty as human beings feel very real to me. Redundancy for other friends has made me think about how you can never be sure what is lurking around the corner. Added to this, the realisation that we really are all different beings and that people react in different ways to different things has demonstrated to me how in tough times your real friends are there for you, no matter what. They do things beyond their call of duty and their words make everything feel ok.

I took some time to have a little think. Think about who I am and what I do. Think about why I do things and don't do others. And it made me ponder my work choices. The choice I made to set up my own business. The choice I made to focus on 'the home'. For a while I thought what I do is irrelevant, fickle, unimportant, how is choosing the right piece of furniture or finding the perfect shade of paint going to make a difference or save our planet. But you know what, reflective thought and having an internal discussion with oneself can work wonders.

It made me realise that actually what I do IS important. It DOES matter. And it IS relevant. Why?      
Because home literally is where the heart is.

Our home is our haven, where we live, relax, play, create, enjoy, experience, rest, unwind... where we can be who we want to be and live how we want to live. So in fact, what better a 'job' for me, than to help people create spaces where they really can 'feel at home', where they can do all of the above and more.

It's not about being on-trend or having a house full of the latest must-haves. No no, it's about creating a space for you, about you and around you. One that you can breathe in and be happy in. A space that you look forward to spending time in because it makes you feel safe, creative, peaceful, excited, comfortable, loved...

fact: we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives sleeping
That's a lot of life spent with our eyes shut. Even though we can't see what is around us whilst we sleep, isn't it a good idea to create a bedroom that says 'mmm, cosy, come hither and let me lull into you into the wonderful land of nod' when you enter it at night. Tired after a long day, you want your bedroom to be as restful and soothing as possible. That's something I can help people achieve and how brilliant if they sleep all the better for it.

fact (sort of): we spend on average 3h 42 mins of the day sat on the sofa
Ok, so I question the truth in this especially as this research comes from the John Lewis soft furnishings department, but this is going to help me illustrate my point nicely! If we spend so much time of our time on the sofa - let's change sofa to in the living area of our home for the sake of this post - then surely we want it to suit our lifestyle, reflect our personality and feel welcoming not just to those who live in it but those who visit it. I have often walked into client's homes and instantly seen where the errors in layout and style mishaps are.

Three common mistakes;

1. addicted to the box- focusing the living room all around the TV - is that really the most important item in the room?
2. stuff, stuff & more stuff - overfilling the room with 'stuff', cluttering up surfaces and floor area, which encroaches on vital space. either following an entirely 2D neutral palette (too dull and lacklustre) or mis-matching items without a central co-ordinating 'theme'.
3. bored & confused - either following an entirely 2D neutral palette (too dull and lacklustre) or mismatching items and colours without a central co-ordinating 'theme'.
Oh, how I relish getting my hands on rooms like these and morphing them into spaces that area full of life, light and space, where clients can kick back and love the part of the house that gets used for so many different activities and occasions.

So after all the pontification, self-doubt and wondering if what I do actually matters, I have come to the conclusion that yes it does. Life is life. Each days presents us with challenges as well as celebrations and whatever it is that we do, it matters. Deep, I know but hey I feel better for sharing...how are you feeling today? Do you think that home is where the heart is?



  1. Hi Katey, a lovely heartfelt post which I can relate to. A lovely reminder also that my home is my haven and it doesn't matter if I am trying to lead a simple life...it can still be a little stylish too!

    1. Thank you Amanda, home certainly is a haven to cherish *smile*

  2. I really love this post. You've managed to turn something really personal into a universal idea that we can all relate to. I agree that feeling "at home" is incredibly important. Surrounding ourselves with meaningful, beautiful mementos helps us tackle the more challenging aspects of life.

    1. Thank you Rian, making your house your home does help soothe the soul at times doesn't it!

  3. Katey, sorry to hear about your emotional week. I like the way you have used your own personal life as a starting point for a post about 'home'. Absolutely written from the heart and choosing a subject we can all relate to. It's good to reflect on the important things in life and sadly it's events like these that often make us do it. Anna x (fellow BYW2er)

    1. Hi fellow BYW2er Anna, thank you for your feedback. Writing the heart can make a more connected post, which I am so pleased that readers have found they can relate to x

  4. Beautiful post. I'm very sorry to hear of the health struggles. :(
    I have had mixed thoughts about where the heart is. On one hand, I'm quite settled and can't imagine life elsewhere, but on the other, being in a long distance relationship home seemed more where he was. And now, wherever my son is! I'm a big jumble. :) Your words were beautiful though, and I think what you do is absolutely so important!

    1. Sarah, thank you for your kind words. Yesterday's post was cathartic and also made me realise how much I love life and also my work yay *smile*