THE UNIQUENESS OF HOME - A SELF REFLECTION
You can read the first part of this two part blog post here.
Our homes are at their most soulful and satisfying when they can successfully reflect back to us something core about our sense of self. Through the design process of our homes many of us are trying to replicate, reject, or rework spaces from our history in an attempt to define ourselves and create a satisfying container for our physical and emotional worlds.
Setting aside the idealised images of what the perfect home ought to look like, we can instead begin to utilize reflective practices that tap into our own, deeply personal, sense of home. Whether we are aware of it or not, our personal sense of home is constructed through the amalgamation of memories of physical spaces, images, and emotional experiences we have encountered in all the places that have to do with home throughout the course of our life. Each one of us engages in the creation of our own unique cartography of home. The design of our spaces will be most satisfying when it can tap into some of the many and varied elements that make up this unique and personal map of what home looks and feels like for us in its ideal.
The world of design is fickle and creating our homes solely on the basis of current trends can leave us dissatisfied as soon as the tides shift ushering the current trend out and bring the next one in. Taking the time to uncover some of the unconscious images and memories that have shaped our unique sense of home in order to use these to guide our design decisions can shield us from the discontent of following a trends-based approach to design. When our spaces are created to reflect something deeply personal to us, we are more likely to stay satisfied with our creations through the changing whims of the design world.
What follows is a series of questions intended to prompt reflection on your own unique cartography of home. Once completed these self-exploration exercise can serve as a tool for decisions making. As with all that we encourage, they should be gentle nudges towards getting to know ourselves a little better and drawing what may be under the surface into conscious awareness. They are not intended to serve as rigid or restrictive codes to follow or standards to hold ourselves accountable to. They are here to serve and inspire us not to draw our attention to what we don’t have or the gap between where we are and where we would like be.
You can return to these questions again and again, especially during transitional moments of your home life such as changes in you living situation, renovating or moving into a new home. The aim of these reflections is to offer a tool for aligning our decision-making to something deeply rooted within our own sense of self. The more we uncover, the more personal guidance we have to use alongside any external sources of inspiration. This can be particularly useful when we feel stuck, lost, or unable to make a design decision. We hope the explorations are thought provoking and insightful and that they will help you to become more intimately acquainted with your own unique sense of home.
You can note down your answers on a piece of paper or in a journal so that you can return to them and add to them again and again.
Part I: Unearthing the Past
Remembering Places Past
- Reflect on the various places you spent time in as a child and adolescent, your home or a relative’s home, a public building you spent a lot of time in or a friend’s home. It can be an entire home or just a room or small space. Out of all of these places, which felt the most nurturing and comforting to you? Take some time to reflect on why?
- What are some of the most beautiful spaces you encountered as child and young person? What made these spaces so beautiful for you. If you cannot think of any notice this too as it might indicate that the spaces you spent time in did not meet your aesthetic needs.
- What are some of the object or items of furniture from your past that left a lasting impression on you? What did they look like? Why did they leave a mark in your memory?
- What did the objects and places look like around you as you were growing up? Does this align with your tastes today or has it pushed you toward different preferences?
- What are the main feelings and emotions that come to mind when you think of the word home?
- Which objects best represent these feelings for you?
- What are your favourite childhood memories?
- Where did they take place?
- What made these moments special for you?
- Where any objects a relevant part of these memories for you?
- Where did you feel safe, nurtured and content as a child or young person? Take a moment to reflect brining to mind as many details of this place as well as the experiences you had there.
- Why did you feel, safe, nurtured, or content there?
A Sense of Magic
Are there any places that you found magical as a child or young person?
- If yes, take a moment to bring to mind the details of the sights, sounds, and sensations you experienced there.
- What contributed to creating the magic of this place for you?
- Are there any design elements from this place that you could use to inform your choices for your home today?
The Movies in our Minds
Our minds are full of conscious and unconscious images that we have collected along our own unique path to adulthood. Some of these images come from movies and shows or books and magazines we encountered when we were growing up. Rewatching some of this media can reveal surprising extents to which images we encounter when we are young can influence our design preferences as adults.
Pick a movie or tv show from your childhood or youth that contained a place that made an impression on you. If it is famous enough, you can Google some of the images but ideally go back an rewatch parts or all of the movie so that you can examine this space and the objects within it. Has this movie or tv show informed your sense of home and the design elements that you are drawn to today? If so how?
Part II: Reflections on the Present
- What are the connections between your sense of self and the design preferences that you hold? How do the designs you are drawn to reflect something about you?
- In what ways does your current home reflect your life, your sense of self, or your values?
- What are the objects in your home that feel reflective of your sense of self?
- If you were to embark on a new design project in future, what would you want to change or add in order for your space to be a more closely aligned with your sense of self?
- Select an object you have recently encountered (it can be a decorative item, a functional object or a piece of furniture) that you feel reflects you well. How does this object mirror something about your sense of self.
- What feelings and experiences would you like to experience more of in your home?
In a world of design where trends come and go at an ever-increasing pace building and nurturing a connection to a very personal design aesthetic can feel like the best shield against discontent. When the designs of our homes are informed by a deep connection to our personal preferences and sense of self we are more likely to create spaces that feeling enduringly satisfying and deeply nourishing.
Images above show many of the items from our upcoming Vintage and Collected Collection including vases, candle holder, plates and oil painting and our Hand Forged Copper Stacking Cup, Stone Washed Flatware Set, Heavy Washed Belgian Linen Napkins and Brass Water Mister.