What does home mean to you?
As Dorothy famously said, “There is no place like home”.
At a fundamental level, a home is a dwelling that provides shelter, a roof over one’s head, a space to store belongings and a place of residence for the administration of life. But a home is so much more though, isn’t it?
In our lucky country, our homes are so much more than just shelter. They are a clear display of our personal style. A statement of our values and what standards we uphold. A physical expression and representation of our toils and successes. At an emotional level, our homes are a sanctuary from the outside world. They are a safe and secure place. They are also a stage for entertaining, growing-up with & playing with family, connecting with friends and creating peak experiences. Appearing in the lower foundational level of Maslows Heirachy of Needs; the home also can fulfil the higher levels of esteem and self actualisation through the creation and enjoyment of this sanctuary.
A warm bed, a hot shower, a kitchen to cook in, a sofa to snuggle on, a garden to relax in? A home is all of these things and more. It’s the sense of peace that fills you when you pull into the driveway after a long trip, the feeling when you sink into the sofa to watch a great film, when you watch your children and your pets playing on the rug in front of the fire, when you wash your hair after a long, hard day and climb into your PJs and into your bed made with fresh clean sheets. When you watch your partner cook up a family meal, when you crack open a bottle of wine… home is defined by simple pleasures and blissful moments like these. It’s a place where you can be 100% yourself, with family around you who can drive you absolutely crazy one moment and make you feel like a million dollars the next.
A home is filled with memories. Lazy Sunday mornings, family meals, late night dinner parties, spontaneous sleep overs and binge-watching marathons. Music turned up loud. Smells of flowers, of perfume, of newly bathed babies. A scented garden, weed-free and with new plantings, fridges full after a weekly market garden shop, roast chicken in the oven, freshly baked bread.
The sound of children’s laughter, of the lawn mower, of a crackling fire. Clean laundry on the washing line and a hot cup of tea. Picking flowers from your own garden smell so much sweeter, vegetables from your own vegie patch taste so much fresher and candles at dinner time turn a meal into an occasion.
In many ways, homes embody how we live and see ourselves. And these spaces evolve when we focus on what makes us happy. When we create a place that meets our needs and expresses our character, we enrich our lives.
We do worry a lot about how our homes look – our Instagram feeds are filled with aspirational images of the chair, the cushion, the artwork we must have. The interiors industry is incredibly influential in our lives. But really, it’s the people in it that create a home. When you walk into some homes they instantly feel welcoming. And it’s not just because you enjoy the company or admire the decor – although both help of course. There’s something else. The space feels authentic, a genuine reflection of the person or family who lives there.
The appeal of owning a home is deeply embedded in the psyche of Australians.