As I previously mentioned, 2012 is the year we make a new addition to our family. As if that weren’t enough transition, this year we’ve also decided to take the big leap to becoming homeowners. Doubling the amount of children in our home was a big part of that decision.
We wanted more space, of course, but we also wanted all the amenities of the typical suburban home: a yard, a white picket fence, the ability to walk across the floor without hearing your neighbors’ kids screaming downstairs. These all seemed like the types of things that would be helpful to support a growing family.
Being a hardcore urbanite, it took me a while to get comfortable with the idea of moving out of the city. Many families are raised within the confined spaces of Chicago, and I had always assumed ours would be as well. But when we reviewed what we wanted for our kids – especially our overactive three-year-old son – a yard space to play safely was on top of the list, and that is a precious commodity within city limits.
I’ve come to a place of being okay with being a suburbanite. Part of that is because the city will literally be blocks away. But a big part of it is something that my wife sold me on early: we’ll be able to transform our new house into an actual home.
There’s just something about having a pile of bricks and a roof to call your own. Lately, my wife and I have been devouring all kinds of home improvement and design resources, from This Old House to HGTV, from Dwell to Apartment Therapy. (The irony of the last one is not lost on me.) We’re seeking out tips with a desperate passion that equals the weight of responsibility we feel towards our new home.
All of this reading and preparing has me questioning: what is the tipping point when a house becomes a home? It’s has to be more than a coat of paint, or certain furniture, or feng shui. The aesthetics are important, but so is the cumulative effort of the relationships progressing under its roof. It’s some combination of the lives lived and the environment the lives are lived in.
I want to hear from you guys about how you went through this process. How did you make your space a home? What made it more than walls and paint?