Friday, May 6, 2011

The Moment a House Becomes a Home

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today called Young House Love and there was a post about when your new home really started feeling like your home. For those who aren’t familiar with the blog it’s about this young couple who like to fix up houses. They bought their first house as a newly engaged couple, held their wedding in their backyard, totally renovated and fixed up the place, had a baby, and then decided they needed a new challenge so they bought their second fixer-upper this past winter. Their website is full of interesting ideas and do-it-yourself projects and I love seeing the transformations going on at their new place.

Their post today really got me thinking though—at what moment did my house start feeling like home? I’ve often mentioned on this blog how the feeling of being a new homeowner is still a bit surreal. As Sherry over at YHL points out it’s a very strange feeling to know you can paint, knock walls down, hang curtains, etc. without having to consult a landlord or property manager if you’ve never had that before. For me there was definitely that feeling of elation that comes with buying something as big as a new house and as I have noted I definitely went through that “honeymoon” phase of this-is-going-to-be-so-fun-I’m-a-real-grown-up-now (I found it funny that the couple at YHL compared their home ownership experience to a romantic relationship too). But as far as the house actually feeling like my home…that did take some time.

I think initially there was just so much to do when I bought the house that I couldn’t really focus on much else. Painting and repairs were at the top of my list and although they were part of the getting-the-house-to-feel-like-home process, I saw them more as items to check off a huge to-do list. I had a goal of getting to my sister’s baby shower (scheduled for 6 weeks post move-in) and I was not going to relax until everything was as close to perfect as possible.

So yeah I would say it was about 2 months in—after the baby shower and after coming home from a much needed vacation with some of my friends—that I really began to feel like the house was my home. I walked inside with my luggage and saw the pictures I had hung on the walls and the paint that I had so carefully chosen and it all just clicked. Ever since then the house just feels cozier to me. I’ve now had a couple of parties and cooked more than a dozen meals in my new kitchen. Just the other day I made one of my favorite meals ever, stuffed grape leaves (a Greek delicacy). It may sound ridiculous but I secretly always use that recipe as a test for my new kitchen—an inaugural dish of sorts—and despite a blender malfunction (RIP old friend) they turned out delicious. I know I am weird but it made me very happy that my kitchen passed the grape leaves test.

Overall it’s such a good feeling to come home now. I have now established new routines and everything has its place, which to a Judger (Meyer’s Briggs anyone?) like me is essential. There is definitely still a lot that needs to be done but nothing that is critical and even though there are things I still want for the house I am pretty happy with the way things are at the moment.

So I’ll leave asking the same question they did at YHL—at what point did your house become home?

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