Home Sweet Home?

We interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast for a quick patio progress report: the wallet-draining patio supplies (mentioned here) have arrived. And now we kind of get why they were so expensive. They’re bigger than our car, it took a giant truck to haul them, they weigh over 19,000 pounds (that’s not a typo or an estimation, it’s on our itemized delivery ticket) and they completely monopolize the carport. John’s out there working away today (T minus one week until Clara’s big par-tay) so I thought I’d slip in this sneak peek of the craziness that is the current patio project. More details soon.

But now back to the whole question in the title. Wait, first I have to ask. Does anyone else think of this part in Anchorman when you read questions?

Just me? I’m ok with that.

Anyway, the first few weeks of living in our house didn’t feel like it was our house. It didn’t necessarily feel like the previous owners’ house either. But it just didn’t really feel like ours. Call it House Limbo if you will.

Even after moving in every last box and setting up Clara’s crib and sleeping in our new bedroom for thirty-ish days in a row it still felt kind of like we were living here but not exactly “home.” Then we painted the master bedroom (the first room besides Clara’s that we tackled) and somehow something shifted and it felt a little more like ours.

Maybe it just took a few of those bigger “alterations” (like changing the wall color) to help it sink in that it’s really our house and we can do whatever we want to it.

I remember how novel that concept was back when we moved into our first house. The whole “wait there’s no landlord to tell me I can’t paint or hang curtain rods?” thing. It took a while for us to fully grasp the concept of home ownership. And it was surprising to have those feelings again with our second house. It wasn’t like we were expecting someone to come in and tell us we couldn’t switch out the light fixtures or knock out the wall between the kitchen and the future dining room, we just sort of felt like we were playing house. Courting the place but not married to it yet, you know? We were in that “seeing where the whole relationship would go” phase. Haha. But lying in bed at night after painting our bedroom we both talked for hours about how it finally started to feel like ours.

And that’s sort of a huge concept – the whole “this house feels like our home” thing. So something so large and hard to grasp must need to happen slowly in stages. Because we only recently reached another “deeper” level of the whole “it really does feel like home” journey. What triggered that feeling? The personalized frame gallery that we made in the hallway…

… and the fact that we finally had a real working dresser and an organized closet.

They both really were game changers, as lame as that sounds. I can’t believe we waited so long to add something personal to the walls (the hallway gallery took us over three months to start and over a month to finish). And to create an actual sock and underwear drawer for myself after months of living with crazy piles of clothing on the floor of the closet was definitely a huge relief. I guess we felt more like ourselves with the sentimental stuff hanging up and the unmentionables tucked away. Like we were getting back to ourselves and the real way that we like to live – as opposed to feeling like we were on vacation with nothing on the walls that was really ours (and piles of clothes on the floor “temporarily”).

And of course it always feels the most like our house when we have people over. Because they show up and it just feels cozy and full. Even if we just order pizza…

…or lounge in the living room.

We’re actually anticipating another level of the whole “this really is our house” feeling when we finally complete the patio. I guess just the idea of creating an outdoor zone that no one before us has ever hung out on feels especially unique and ours-ish. Here’s an up to the moment shot of John’s progress so far out there:

Have you guys noticed that it takes a while to really feel at home in a new house too? Or did you move right in and feel amazing and call it “home” right away? It’s funny because it didn’t not feel amazing to us. At all. We were floating. Every night for the first month we marveled at the house and were so happy that it was ours (in fact we still do that at least twice a week). But it’s just kind of weird how certain things have to take place to feel settled in a new space. What did it for you guys? Was it cooking your first big meal in your new kitchen? Or painting every last room and piece of trim for a totally fresh canvas? It’s weird how such mundane (or major) things can totally change how you feel about your four walls.

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners. Click here to see if it’s you.

Psssttt- Have you heard that Mariah Carey named her son Morrocan after “an interior decoratoring theme of a floor of their apartment”? Do you have any feelings about that? And furthermore, should we name our next baby Quatrefoil after our favorite mirror shape? Quatrefoil Petersik does have a nice ring to it…


  1. says

    For the first 3 months after moving to our apartment, our mattress & box spring were on the floors (we had borrowed them from my fiancee’s sister). The weather was not helpful at all (so many snow storms). So, even though we painted the walls and made the living area cozy, whenever we went into the bedroom, it was comical.

    Thankfully, we have the bed & dresser now so things are much better.

    • says

      You have a fantastic place. I like the basket arrangement. It contrast to the color of the wall and cabinets.

  2. LauraC says

    Totally agree with you, but it took me most of a year to feel the “this is our home” feeling. Maybe because I got pregnant three months after we moved in, so things were still in a lot of upheaval, and then I was sick, sick, sick. ;-) But we’ve been here two years now and in a few more months it’ll be the longest time we’ve been in a place! But yeah, I missed my running routes, didn’t know the area very well, etc. Took a long time, but I really, really love this place and now that our son was born here, it’s extra special!

  3. Sarah Mc says

    As for the twins’ names, when I heard them I said truly awful to a co-worker who then decided little Truly Awful would sound better than Moroccan.

  4. says

    I”m still a renter but I totally know what you mean! I moved around a lot in my early twenties and there’s something about the first time you go away (on holiday) and come back to a place that cements it as home for me. Also hanging up my clothes and the first tme I re-arrange all the furniture.

  5. says

    Can’t wait to see the finished patio results!
    I was just thinking about the name Morrocan, celebs sure like to choose unique names, don’t they? I think Rocco would be a cute nickname to use.

    Speaking of babes and moms, have a wonderful Mother’s Day Sherry!

  6. Stephanie Phillips says

    Our house was our dream house, so when we finally got it we had such a feeling of relief. It was like coming home (I emailed you that story eons ago)! It probably helped that we jumped into the home improvements before we’d even closed (gotta love a cool seller!).

    Yeah… Morrocan and and Monroe. I have twins, so I had been following her progress and was curious about the quirky names Mariah was sure to choose. Hey, the nicknames are sweet: Roc and Roe!

  7. says

    We didn’t move into our house for almost 2 months after we closed (there was a lot of wallpaper to take down, carpet to come up and walls to be painted). To me it felt like home pretty quickly after we unpacked since we had already put so much work into it. But on some level it does, 2 years and 6 days after we closed, still feel a little temporary. For the same reasons you mentioned. We are still working on getting the right furniture, rugs, closet organization etc. I am so looking forward to the day when I don’t look around and see “temporary” furniture around anymore.

  8. Kate says

    My husband and I are currently still renting, but I agree that it took me quite a while to feel like it was home. My previous apartments were all in college (so more temporary feeling) and never really felt that way, but this one has started feeling like it’s our home. Well, at least it did until we started looking for a house and then everything started feeling “temporary” again.

    We’re soon (within a month if everything goes as planned) moving to our first house, and I expect it will take quite a while for it to feel like out home or like it really is our’s.

  9. Jenny P. says

    This is our fifth house, and yes, each one takes a while to feel like “home”. The more work it needs, the longer it takes!

    As for the names, Morrocan sounds like an adjective, and Monroe is a lovely name…for a boy.

  10. says

    I’m married to an Air Force pilot, so we move a lot, and thus far, we have either rented or lived on base. Which means, there is no painting (unless you want to paint it back in less than a year), no curtain hanging (for the most part), and really not a ton of options when it comes to picking out a house (the house we live in now, we picked from a list of 5 houses, without ever seeing the inside/outside, or even realizing the second bath was really a half bath).

    That being said, if you don’t make a house your home quickly, you’ll feel a bit like a nomad. So honestly, once that last box gets shoved into the attic to wait for the next move, it usually feels like home to us.

    I can not WAIT to be somewhere longer than a year so I can actually think about buying a house.

  11. Lindsey says

    For me, it finally felt like home in our new house when my mom planted a weeping willow tree in my front yard as a surprise on my birthday. I’d said my whole life that when I grew up, I wanted a weeping willow tree. Once that tree was in (we’d lived in the house about a year), BAM! It was home! Giving birth to my second daughter at home was another moment when I really felt like the house was truly our home. I will be really sad to leave this house someday (if ever) because of those two (and many other) memories!

    • kyla says

      ALSO, we’ve been in our “firt love” home for just over 2 years. I finished painting the last bit of interior trim last month and finally took a deep breath. It feels like mine, er “ours”…haha…I’m usually loan wolf in the DIY at our place. I think I will officially be settled when we paint the exterior.

  12. says

    We moved into our home April 2nd of this year and those same feelings of, “this is our home?” sweep over us constantly. In an overwhelmingly good way and also in a doesn’t-quite-feel-like-home-yet way. We have been working on lots of projects, but I think until we have all the stenciled borders (in EVERY room) painted over, will it really start feeling comfortable.

    We are also working on a HUGE 8’x6′ painting together as a family to hang in our dining room that will SURELY help the home-sweet-home feeling.

    Chris Loves Julia

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