Relationship building is arguably the most important part of being human. We know how important it is to build relationships with others, and even with ourselves. Today, I want to talk about the importance of building a relationship with your home.
We spend so much time at home, and yet, most people simply view their home as a place to sleep and store belongings. Or at least, that’s how many people operated until March 2020 when the entire world was forced to stay home, indefinitely. This year has changed how many people think about the concept of home and how it affects us.
While we’ve been stuck at home, we’ve started cultivating a deeper relationship with our homes without even realizing it. We’ve converted spare corners into home offices and found ways to make our living rooms feel like home gyms and movie theatres. We’ve organized our closets to make space for comfortable loungewear and filled our kitchen with ingredients to make nourishing foods.
We build relationships because we need connection. It’s an undeniable fact that we are social beings (yes, even if you consider yourself an introvert like me). On some level, we all want to feel loved and supported. We want to feel like we belong.
What does it mean to belong?
Belonging is a really important concept. We often see belonging as fitting into a set of social constructs. Such as, being a popular kid in high school or feeling respected and well-liked by your colleagues. In my opinion, this isn’t belonging at all; it’s conformity.
To me, belonging is the feeling of inexplicable peace that comes with the alignment of our inner and outer selves. Belonging is when you can be the most authentic self in your environment. This alignment of your inner and outer worlds is really important and explains why we might feel completely different depending on the environment, clothes we’re wearing, or the people we’re with.
Belonging is sacred. The conditions of belonging reveal so much about who we are, what we want, and what we need.
Do you feel like you belong in your home?
Let’s steer the conversation back over to your home. Home is important because it has the ability to fulfill the external and internal sides of belonging. The external side sounds obvious, but if you cultivate a real relationship with your home then you can also fulfill the internal side of belonging.
Holistic interior decorating is all about cultivating a style that supports and enhances your internal and external self. In my opinion, creating a beautiful room is the easiest part of the design process. The design industry is massive and you can pretty much find home decor and furniture pieces to match any style.
The real challenge is understanding how your home decor can serve more than just an aesthetic purpose. This is where cultivating belonging and a relationship with your home is crucial.
Here’s what I know to be true: a house can be beautifully designed and feel soulless but a house that is full of soul will always feel beautiful.
If you’re looking around at your beautiful room but can’t shake the feeling that something important is missing, I’m here to tell you that you’re the thing that is missing. Your personality, your soul, and your internal knowing are missing. And even a room filled to the brim with beautiful things will feel empty unless you inject your personality into it.
How do you build a relationship with your home?
Slowly, and over time. With curiosity and a desire to see beyond the obvious things like throw pillows and candles. If you’re looking for the best place to begin, I’ve created two blog posts with questions to ask yourself before you start decorating. Get out a journal or the notes app on your phone (or a napkin if you’re Taylor Swift, iykyk) and start answering basic questions about your needs, wants, and desires. Think about your childhood self, the dreams you’ve never let go of, and the colours you can’t help but reach for.
Take care of your home. Relationships require maintenance to keep things running smoothly, so create a sustainable cleaning and decluttering routine to keep your space feeling clean and fresh.
Building a relationship takes time. We often look for quick fixes and immediate results but this is a process that takes time and doesn’t really have a set destination. Remember that we’re meant to change as we grow and that you will grow as a person when you start to cultivate your environment. As you change, your environment might change as well. Notice the subtle shifts in your lifestyles like your sleeping patterns or appetite. Everything is connected.
I’m always working on the relationship between myself and my home. My home is my safe sanctuary because I’ve taken the time to understand how I need my home to serve me, and how I can serve my home. I’ve carried this sense of home to seven different homes and continue to build upon this relationship every single day. It’s a constantly evolving process that will look different for everyone. But that’s the beauty of it!