Sometimes, no matter what we add--whether it be more furniture, different accessories, or a new paint color--the rooms in our houses can still feel empty and uncomfortable. Something is missing--but what the heck is it? Figuring this out can seem daunting--and it is certainly frustrating to feel that you have tried everything, perhaps over many, many years of living in a house, and STILL it doesn't feel like home.
So, the best way for me to explain your problem is to say that there is a lack of intimacy in your home.
OKAY, OKAY....before you roll your eyes and stop reading, LET ME EXPLAIN...
When I talk about intimacy as it relates to your house, I am not talking about a Dr. Ruth kinda thing, I am talking about a quality that exists when a house is set up in such a way that it truly supports and even enhances how we live. When it is present, intimacy gives us that feeling of being "at home"--and we sense it at a soul-deep level.
Hopefully I haven't lost you out of frustration or doubt. If you are still with me, let's go over some concrete ideas that each of us can implement to capture this essential element of intimacy and make ourselves a home:
- Your Furniture--no matter the size of the room they are in, sofas and chairs in a living space should be close together and oriented toward one another. Yes, I know the TV is all important, but if we want our homes to FEEL GOOD, our rooms have to be set up so that we can easily sit down and have a CONVERSATION. Intimacy can't exist without relationships.
- Your Rooms-- please ignore what your rooms were named when you bought the house. For example, if your "dining room" is only used once a year for a formal dinner, and the rest of the time it sits empty (except for papers and other clutter) then be honest with your house and yourself about your needs. Maybe a "home office" or a "craft room" would be a better use of all that square footage. Change the name and tell the truth. Honesty creates intimacy.
- Your Emotions--what brings you joy? What do you find beautiful? To feel tied to our houses, they need to connect with us on an emotional level. Again, honesty is important as we look through our possessions and evaluate whether or not they make us feel good and whether we feel they are are an accurate representation of how we want to live and what we find meaningful and lovely. Getting emotional connects our hearts to where we live--and intimacy is created.
- Your "Personal Grooming"--if you were preparing to go out to dinner with a spouse with whom you had nothing but years of frustration & disappointment, you probably wouldn't care to get dressed up or look your best. Why bother, right? I am betting the same is true in how you have cared for your house amidst all this lack of intimacy. Consider doing a deep cleaning--or, better yet, hire someone else to do it! A spa day for your house creates a fresh start and can help you feel it is indeed worth forging an intimate connection once again.