It’s true that a home is where your people are, and a home is made of the things you love – be that a beautiful garden, books, art, pets….
But a home is also made of something else, something intangible. A feeling, an atmosphere. An effect on you that’s created by the composition of the windows and the view through them, the places where natural light falls, the colours of the walls and carpets, the surrounding trees and plants. And when you’ve been in a home for long enough, that atmosphere also begins to be shaped by the memories you make there.
Before we moved to our current house, we lived in the first home that Big R and I bought together. It was a lot smaller than this house, but a lot newer, and it was a lovely place. From the moment we first walked in to that house at the first open home inspection, I could feel this “home” vibe. I couldn’t put my finger on why it felt like home, the owners at the time had hideous furniture throughout, and the gardens were non-existent, with no lawn in either the front or back yards. Maybe it was the warmth of the terracotta-coloured tiles through the house. Maybe it was the way the afternoon light filtered in through the living area. Whatever it was, I picked up on it straight away, and it felt right to be there. I felt confident about this place. Big R and I kept glancing sideways at each other as we walked from room to room amongst the other prospective buyers, with a knowing look that said “Yes, I like it here too”. We put an offer on the place, and it was accepted and sold to us. Over the 5 1/2 years we lived there, it never lost that feeling to me. It was like there was something in the air, a pheromone that I was particularly susceptible to. My heart was always warm there. Visitors would tell us that they felt it was a cosy, homely, comfortable place too. Even now, without being there, I only have to picture myself in the rooms of that house and I can feel that indescribable something.
I was heartbroken when we eventually left that place for good. I knew it had to be done, our family was growing and the house wasn’t big enough for us anymore. It was meant to be a first house for a young couple like we were, or a place for a new family to have its beginnings like we did. It wasn’t meant to be a forever family home though.
As we scoured new sale listings online everyday and went to house inspections every weekend for 6 months, I wondered whether we would ever find a place that would have that feeling again. We had our list of “must-haves” for our new home – two living spaces, good storage, closer to the town centre, good schools nearby, etc. But regardless of those things, I could tell whether a house was right for us or not from the moment I walked through the front doors. There were plenty of houses we inspected where I wanted to walk back out again within 5 minutes of being there. If a house didn’t have “that sense”, then there was no point pursuing it any further.
There were a handful of houses we saw that did possess that vibe. We had quite a lot of disappointment along the way, as offers were refused and we were outbid at auctions. When we came to view our new house for the first time, I could sense something even as I turned in to the street. I already felt comfortable, safe, happy being in this place, and I hadn’t even seen the house yet. Once again, as Big R and I walked through each room, we shot those knowing glances to each other. The pull of this house was perhaps not as strong as the pull of our first house was to me. We had some doubts about the size of the bedrooms and whether they would withstand growing children, teenagers. But I still walked out of this house feeling confident, like I knew a secret. And those doubts weren’t enough to keep us away. We made an offer the next day, which was quickly accepted. Our search was over.
We’ve been here nearly 5 months now, and it’s been a hectic time. Little R was born less than 2 weeks after we moved in, when we were still surrounded by towers of unpacked boxes, and finding our feet in our new dwelling (“Which key opens that door again?“, “Whoops, switched the wrong switch“, “Hey where did you put xyz?“). But now that we are completely set up, making our own marks on this place and our own memories within its walls, the feeling of home is growing. Our family is complete, the time for searching, busyness and stress is over, and the time to settle down, enjoy and simply just be, is here. This home is feeling more and more ours.
Linking up with The Weekend Rewind at Maxabella Loves