To me, domesticity simply means making a comfortable home. All the parts that add up to a comfortable home may be different for each individual. But the end result we all desire for our living spaces is that they be inviting and enjoyable. And bonus points for spaces that embody our personal styles.
For me, creating a comfortable home includes:
Finding balance and beauty in the compositions of the rooms
This is another way of saying decorating. I really enjoy beautiful spaces that reflect the lives and personalities of the people who inhabit them. I’ll share my own preferences on this blog, but everyone has to discover for themselves what feels best for them. I think of decorating as layering, much the way we layer our outfits and add accessories to our person. Decorating is doing the same for interior spaces.
My background is in the visual arts, so I am very sensitive to light and color and texture. This makes me somewhat obsessive about my home! This blog is meant to be an outlet for that obsession.
What balance and beauty do not require is a lot of expensive furnishings. Most of the things in my own home were acquired very inexpensively. For larger purchases, I’ve invested in pieces of quality that will last many years. I also enjoy bringing vintage and used pieces in, and find they are often of a higher quality than new, more pricey items.
Cooking at home
Eating is a fundamental activity. Meals nourish us and give us time to slow down and reflect, or enjoy the lively company of others.
Until recently, my husband and I didn’t cook and eat at home as much as we would have liked. We often relied on the convenience of take-out, or took full advantage of the many culinary delights our city has to offer. The problem was that we lost touch with that aspect of home life. And we were spending way too much money. Now, we try to cook and eat at home all but one night a week.
It is important for me that I make and mend things for my own home. I enjoy sewing, especially. But I also love painting furniture and making gifts for friends and family. My home has things I made on the walls, the bed, the sofas, and shelves.
For some, making things could mean simply preparing food and mending broken items. Homes feel more comfortable when they have a touch of the handmade to them.
Entertaining people at home
This is one of the main reasons I like to keep a comfortable home. We love having people over. Entertaining at home is one of our favorite activities. We generally have casual gatherings, but I always like to add some fancy touches or little luxuries. Even if we’re all sitting on the floor having dinner at the coffee table, I make sure to have plenty of candles and cloth napkins.
Following a budget and saving money
Like eating at home, this is a recent priority for me. I’ve found that I enjoy my home much more when I have a complete handle on finances. Budgets may not be sexy, but they are so important to a comfortable home no matter what your monthly cash flow. My budget has changed my life. Because we now prepare for our monthly expenses, my husband and I know exactly what we can save and put towards other goals. I can’t say enough what a sense of security and relief this financial change has brought to our life.
Regular cleaning and de-cluttering
I clean a lot. And I de-clutter a lot. And I organize a lot. While I would pass this chore to someone else if I had unlimited resources to do so, I don’t really mind taking care of my home on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. In fact, there are parts of cleaning (such as vacuuming) that I actually enjoy.
Although I spend about 2-3 hours a week cleaning, I estimate that I enjoy the result of that work for 50+ hours a week. The time I spend cleaning is well worth the other time I get to enjoy the spaces.
That said, I don’t mind a lived-in look. Throughout the work week, our condo does not remain in a pristine state. Magazines lay about, coats are left tossed over chairs, shoes pile up by the door, empty mugs gather by the bedside, and the mirrors get spotty. But I actually like this lived-in feeling because the underlying surfaces and the condo itself are immaculately clean.
It’s kind of like checking into a very fancy hotel: the place is pristine, but you immediately make yourself at home by getting your clothes out, pulling back the sheets, and generally making yourself comfortable.
I’ll write on all of these aspects of domesticity on this blog. I feel a focus on the home is a wonderful way to bring balance to life; at least it has been for me.
Also, I’m not at home full-time. I work an office job five days a week. I also don’t have children (yet!).