March 17, 2012

Making a House a Home

I changed my mind.  

Today's post isn't about my new style/fashion project (you will have to wait until next time for that one).

Instead, today is all about my effort to make our new house in Jacksonville feel like home.  Over the last couple of weeks, as I have worked to make our house feel comfortable, relaxing, and inviting, I have pondered over the concept of "home".  As a result of our military way of life, Bo and I have already lived in three homes in less than a year! And while we don't know what the future holds, at least now, in the present, it can sometimes be a challenge to establish a genuine sense of home in a brand-new city/job/neighborhood/house.

So what is a home, exactly?!

Well, I did a bit of research, and here is what I learned:

  • Home - a place of residence or refuge. "Home" is also used to refer to the geographical area in which a person feels like they belong
  • Sometimes, as an alternative to the definition of "home" as a physical locale, home may be perceived to have no physical location - instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort.
  • Since it can be said that humans are generally creatures of habit, the state of a person's home has been known to physiologically influence their behavior, emotions, and overall mental health.
  • Some people may become homesick when they leave their home over an extended period of time. Sometimes homesickness can cause a person to feel actual symptoms of illness.
  • Furthermore, places like homes can trigger self-reflection, thoughts about who one is or used to be or who one might become. (citation)

Who am I?  Who might I become?  How can the Behne home reflect who we are?!  I don't really have a great answer for any of those questions.  But I think, or rather I know, that who I am - and therefore who Bo and I are as a couple - is constantly evolving.  Moreover, I do know that I:

  • enjoy cozy spaces;
  • like to feel warm and invited;
  • prefer soft, warm light over harsh, neon light; and
  • connect with artistic touches that remind me of someone, someplace, or sometime.

In fact, the most recent Instyle magazine included a "What's Your Decorating Style" pop quiz.  Of course I, as a person who loves quizzes, picked up a pen and jumped right to that feature!  In the end, my style was almost equally divided between two categories: (1) Romantic and (2) Globe-Trotter.
  1. Romantic (10 points)- "a sensuous respite from all.  An inviting chaise, a plush throw, a fireplace, and a thousand books are your definition of happiness.  The only thing that rivals your 18th century poetry collection is your tea collection." (Which is true, because I have over a dozen different kinds of tea in my cabinet!)
  2. Globe-Trotter (7 points)- "You exist to roam...There's no real method to your decor...but the next design crush could come from pretty much anywhere - except the local mall." (I love to connect memorable pieces from places we visit and live.  It makes our home unique, and filled with memories.)
Recently, I have been working on our breakfast nook.  For the first two weeks in our new home, this cozy space off of the kitchen was completely empty.  Luckily, Bo used his deal-making-magic to find this little wood table and chairs on Craigslist for $50.00!  After a good polish of Pledge, they are shining like new!

I also stopped by Ross and found these cute little wall pieces.  Together, I think they make a nice arrangement, and add to the cafe-esque element of the nook.

Eventually, I would like to find some cute seat cushions for the breakfast nook chair.  If I could find something in the right color palate, it would bring the whole area together nicely.

In another room of the house, the master bathroom to be exact, I had been looking for a vanity stool/bench.  Although our master bathroom only has one sink, it does have a nice vanity area for me to sit and do my hair and makeup.  Up until recently, however, I hadn't been able to use the space because I didn't have anything to sit on!  Now, thanks to a cute Ross find, that problem has been solved!

We found this stool for $45.00.  It was a little bit pricier than we wanted to pay, but I thought the design on the top went well with our shower curtain and color-scheme.  It is also very comfortable, and fits perfectly underneath the counter-top.

Much to Bo's chagrin, a home is always a work in progress.  For now, we are going to take a little decorating/budget break.  All of the big stuff on our list has been purchased and put into place.  Eventually, I would still like to:
  • purchase chair cushions for the breakfast nook;
  • either re-cover the existing decorative pillows, or purchase new decorative pillows, for the living room couch and loveseat;
  • buy curtains for the office/yoga room; and
  • find unique pieces of art to go over the television in the living room and in our bedroom.

And one day, when we own our own home, I CAN'T WAIT to paint the walls!!!!!!!

Next time - a style/fashion project with a charitable spin.  Maybe some of you will be inspired to join me!!!

Question of the Day:

Other than the people that live in it, what makes your house a home?!  Is there a piece of art or furniture that really says/means "home" to you?

Ally and Bo


  1. My home is Full of 'memories'...much more important to me than a particular style. Almost every piece of funiture or wall art has a story to tell. It provides a haven of comfort and peace....I feel surrounded by the people I love even though they may be very far away....Oh, I think your little stool is perfect for the "Queen" of the house

    1. I love spending time in your home, Mom. You and Mike have done such a beautiful job of preserving our families heritage. Every room holds memory after memory, just like you said. I always look forward to visiting and staying with you.