Home Design: Intention v. Evolution

I’m minding the family history center at my church at the moment, being bored and watching The Practice on Hulu (hey, a bored attorney needs to do something).

This commercial came on…

It’s for a website called wayfair.com, that sells home furnishings.  But what it’s about is how this person designs peoples’ homes to reflect them.  She apparently interviews people and then furnishes their homes to somehow match them, to judge from the commercial, right down to the pillows and sheets.  Then they move in and Instant Home!

OK.  I get that.  You know how my parents’ home was designed?  By the stuff they bought and brought into their lives (and, by the way, are still bringing into their lives) over the course of more than sixty years of marriage.

T and I splurged a little on design when we moved into our current home.  We bought matching bookcases for the living room, and a couch (in both cases, thanks, Ikea!).  The other stuff in that room came with us.  And even then, the bookcases and the couch?  We picked them out.  We figured where they would go.  And we’ve moved the couch.

Design is intentional.  Homes are evolutionary.  That is to say, what we put into our homes reflects the process through which we’ve learned over time what works for us and what doesn’t.  And what doesn’t work for us but that we’ve grown accustomed to–you’ve probably got something like that.  A refrigerator door that doesn’t open the right way.  A drawer that sticks.

Years ago, I watched a show in which the main characters traveled constantly, jumping between similar dimensions, lost, looking for the one that was theirs.  In one episode, they came to a dimension that seemed to be perfect, to be the one from which they’d originally come, and one of the characters is about to walk into his mother’s yard when he notices that the gate doesn’t squeak when he walks in.  That’s all it takes.  Imperfections like that are what make a house a home.

If you have someone else design your living room, even if they’re doing it to “reflect” you, you’re not living in a home.  You’re living in a fancy hotel.  And you probably have too much money.

And not enough time.

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