Our home is our castle and our shelter. We want to feel warm, comfortable, safe and relaxed, even when life is getting too much. It’s about knowing where everything is, never facing surprises, and being able to kick back, with your feet up, and forget about the world.
Homeliness is a vital part of who we are, and it varies between everyone. Some people’s sense of homeliness stems from cleanness, order, and straight edges. Others prefer softness, a bit of clutter, and a few fluffy accessories. But either way, the most important thing is that the home is a place where you’re safe and comfortable.
Comfort means different things to different people. Some need a large, squishy sofa with throws and cushions galore, others prefer a clawfoot bathtub or a king-size bed, and some of us want all of those things. Comfort is in the things we turn to when the world is getting too much. It reassures us that everything will be okay, it soothes aching muscles, and it helps us to wind down. Without comfort, a home just isn’t a home.
Whether it’s natural warmth from the sun, from a roaring log fire, or from designer column radiators, a home just isn’t a home when it’s too cold to walk around bare-footed. Maybe it’s because the weather is still pretty chilly at the moment, but the idea of a home without warmth is like imagining Ant without Dec. A home needs warmth for its inhabitants to relax, kick back, and feel at one with their surroundings.
Homeliness needs a certain amount of personality. For some people this is minimalism, keeping clutter at bay and appreciating the beauty of a few things. For others, it’s filling their home with things which are personal to them. From seashells from much-loved family holidays, to photographs of childhood pets and distance relatives. The injection of personality into a house is what makes it the place in which you want to spend time.
If you can’t relax in your own home, where can you relax? When it’s clean, warm, and everything’s in good, working order, the home is the most relaxing place there is. When it gets messy, cluttered, and there are a myriad of things which need fixing, a home becomes more like a chore than a centre of relaxation. A home needs to be a calming influence away from the hubbub of the city and the madness of life. Dim lights, a good book, and a hot bath, or a comfy sofa, Netflix, and a glass of wine – home is where the true relaxation is.
We need to feel safe in our homes, and we need to know that our families are safe in our homes too. There can be no homeliness when there is a threat of injury or intruder. Good quality window locks, a security alarm you trust, and fire alarms throughout the building is enough to reassure anyone that their home is safe, and that they’re free to relax and feel at home inside.
After all, homeliness is a big factor in happiness and the key to relaxation.