Source: Pioneer Press
Your Unique Interior
The Importance of Feeling Connected to Our Interiors
Often we see photographs of homes; beautiful homes stylishly decorated in hues and textures so lovely you want to touch the page in hopes that the aurora created there might somehow be transported through your finger, through your person and into your home. Then what? You have a house perfectly appointed with “things” that don’t mean anything to you, however well put together they are. Does this really matter?
Consider a broad definition of home. Basically, a home is a place of safety, both physically and emotionally, a place of love, support and respect, and a place of comfort. To say that our home should be a place of beauty is icing on the cake. Now, we need to determine whether the “things” we put into a house help define it as the home we want it to be.
Here is an easy test: imagine yourself staying at an elegant hotel. This is a hotel of luxury with sheets that are crisp and cool against your skin, towels so thick they could be mistaken for pillows. There is thick, lush carpeting and the entire space is decorated in a sumptuous, serene color palette. This brief description is undeniably appealing for a number of reasons, one of them being our conditioned response to beauty. It is enjoyable to be in a beautiful environment.
Yet, how long would you stay in this hotel before pulling out a photo of your partner or child, or picking up your journal to record the day’s events or settling in with the book you’re currently reading. It wouldn’t be long before even the luxuries of such a place would not be completely satisfying. As human beings we want to be connected to our surroundings. We respond to senses and images that jog our memories, that inspire us, comfort us, that make us laugh. These are important “things” to have in a place we call home. Ultimately, your home will be a reflection of you if it serves the purposes we first articulated of providing a safe, supportive, comfortable environment because to feel these emotions in a physical space, there must be something in the space to which we feel a connection.
The furnishing process shouldn’t be like going to a department store (or the Merchandise Mart) for a one-stop shop though obviously there are furnishing needs that can largely be met with standard pieces. It is in the details that our interiors should be as unique as we are.
What kinds of things do have meaning to us? Something that has been passed down to us from our family, an object given to us by a mentor or a friend who may no longer be here, these are meaningful . Even things we have recently acquired in some memorable way, through travel or study may provide a meaningful connection. Photographs are a good example of this. A friend recently framed a collection of vintage photographs taken in the neighborhood of New York City where her husband grew up. I have a simple wooden box on a shelf full of hand-made dominos. The box and its contents were made by my great grandfather for my grandfather who was born in 1894. The box is simple but still a treasure.
Objects like these that are uniquely personal are not only a reflection of us but they start to make up our own history. They’re interesting and clearly have meaning. Set them out and enjoy them. Chances are very good that they will enhance your interior environment and, more importantly, you will feel good about having them around you. It doesn’t have to be a priceless dining room set or an heirloom oriental rug to make an impact, though these are nice too!