Owning your own home and land, is something so common that we tend to forget how special it is and, in the scope of history, how rare and privileged.
Your new house can be the beginning of your family’s dynasty, every bit as precious as the fictitious Earl of Grantham’s massive castle in Downton Abby. And how you think of it can make it so.
Architects and designers agree that a home is always a work in progress, growing to suit the homeowner’s wants and needs, to suit their personalities and families.
Renee Garrison and Tom Szumlic, authors of Sweet Beams, argue that you should name your home.
A person’s name is their dearest possession, they write.
In that way, you are always headed to a place that is yours, not only home, but a special place with a name and spirit. To name your house, think of the qualities that characterize it: kinds of flowers, materials in the house itself, the location, the first owner, future owner. You can even post a plaque above the doorbell: The Smiths of Water house.
Store shelves are lined with books on how to wallpaper your kitchen or tile your bathroom floor, but there’s nothing about how to turn the place you live into a personal refuge, Garrison says.
One way is to tell the story of your home, the authors say. “Pass on the meaning of your home to your children as if it was a beautiful legend, and it is,” Garrison writes. “The legend will echo in their future homes.”
Above all, make your home a place of refuge for your family and guests. Think of your home as your castle where you go to let go of stress, worry, and all the concerns of modern life. Then cherish your home as it is and as you will make it as time goes on.