A house is not a home. I am not a homebody.
Growing up, cooking was a chore like vacuuming and grocery shopping, to be done, checked off a list. Taking time to think about meals, spending hours cooking them, lingering over eating them and reveling in new or delicious tastes, were not part of our culture growing up.
Our house was our home base. None of us liked spending much time inside it but rather preferred getting out and doing something. And when I lived on my own, long after college, my apartment was also not an inviting nor cozy place to spend time in, but it was a place to launch from, to get ready for the action elsewhere. I’d return each night sleep and keep my stuff till the next day.
Creating an attractive, cozy and functional house takes effort. We notice it when we are inside it. We notice homes and places that “work” for us, spaces that “sing”, maybe that is feng shui, but the space anticipates our needs.
My husband is a homebody. He appreciates home and enjoys figuring out adjustments needed to make a corner more comfortable and useful. His best day is a day at home. After a few years of marriage, my husband gradually and steadily applied his touch— added shelves to corner space, moved lights to where we needed light and where they looked good, added couches and end tables to facilitate conversation, moved the desks to create work nooks. Usually moving around what was already in the house
He also had opinions about food. He noticed and critiqued the flavors and textures of meals I cooked. For him a cooked fish, for example, should have a crusty skin. What? I was surprised texture, spices mattered so much to him.
And over a year or so of his work in the home, I noticed I was less restless at home. Instead of running away to the action outside, I was drawn to the wafting homemade waffles, the just-right light for the sitting room and the comfortable chairs placed in the spot for maximum comfort for reading. This gift of turning awkward bare corners into cozy nooks helped our whole family form healthier habits– the designated art table, a puzzle nook for puzzles, homework space, chores time. It felt magical, this gentle order from chaos and I even surprised myself by lingering longer at home before going out.
Children and grown ups alike appreciate cozy and useful spaces. How do you make your home work for you? Invent Boston brings simple science—a tool, gadget, or approach--to make home more fun for busy people and families. These tools are gateways to help us be more present at home. We hope you discover some fun in them.