A Perfect House vs. A Perfect Home
Good morning from the beach; it’s September. The beach is empty; the sun is just rising and reflecting it’s brightness across the horizon and straight into my window, onto my face. The waves are rolling lazily onto the shore.
There are not a lot of shells on the sand in St. Augustine. The ones we do find are scattered, cracked, and broken. My beach friend went beach-combing this morning while I sat at the window. Her bounty came back in an empty coffee cup. We talked about each broken piece and how beautiful they are. We decided that when we were young the only things we thought were beautiful were perfect; they were perfectly formed, perfectly matched, perfectly designed, perfectly arranged, perfectly everything!
I reflected; that it is exactly how I imagined my life as a designer to be. Designing perfect houses for people to live in, perfect offices for people to work in, perfect business spaces for people to shop in, perfect shopping spaces for people to buy perfect things in. So, as I’ve matured, both in age and as a designer, I see perfection in the not so perfect! The broken shell reveals colors and swirls of texture only formed through the rolling around on the ocean floor.
It is the same with our homes; the perfection we strive to achieve is superficial. It doesn’t reflect our experiences, whether it’s the birth of a baby or the death of a parent, “the perfect house” does not allow for personal pictures, cheap collections from our growing children, stacks of curling papers from our parents files. But homes do!
A “home” evolves with your family. It is more beautiful than “perfection.” You can put your feet on the table; you can hang a weathered mirror in the foyer and see your resemblance to your ancestors flash as you walk by. You can collect broken shells as a reminder of the brokenness, the mending, the joys and hurts, and the memories of being washed upon the shores of life!