If 2020 has taught me anything—and God help us all if it hasn’t imprinted a laundry list of lessons onto our nervous systems—it’s a sense of impermanence.
Entire industries can implode. Two of them I worked in did. So can relationships. In mine, on a Tuesday we were planning details for a road trip to Montana—car ride snacks, an isolated wood cabin in the Crazy Mountains, days to do nothing but be together—and by Friday my future of promises and plans with my partner was gone. Most importantly though, the concept of life itself is proving itself, now more than ever, fragile. It’s easy, too easy, how quickly everything can be taken away. This awareness of impermanence has me desperate for something, anything I can cling to for comfort. So, perhaps like many of you, I’ve sought out refuge at home, my safe haven where I’ve been riding out these uncertain times.
My home isn’t my home, but somebody else’s home. When I moved in, I intended to stay for four months, a pit stop on my way to I didn’t know where. Five years later I’m still here, which I didn’t expect but am grateful for, entrusting that the universe will kick me out when the time is right. I thought I would have It All figured out by now, but it turns out while you’re waiting for life to happen, life is happening.
Which is why I’m not sure why I’ve lazily propped framed art on shelves instead of putting a nail in a wall. I truly can’t stand this rug, every day resenting it more, but I haven’t changed it. It took me five years of procrastinating and five minutes on eBay to finally buy a lamp to replace one I inherited and hate. The only things I’ve regretted in life are the things I didn’t do sooner, including making my (not-so) temporary space the best home I can make it.
The Benefits of Experimenting
Even if you’re not living in your forever house, and don’t know when or where you’ll be moving next, don’t you deserve the comfort of home, wherever that home is? Life is too short to live with that lumpy mattress, don’t you think? (I think.) That said, now likely isn’t the time to throw down thousands of dollars on decor. The good news is, you don’t have to. Small changes in your home can make big changes in your life. It’s not the things, but the feelings, which hopefully are brought out by the things.
Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.
Even if you’re not living in your forever house, and don’t know when or where you’ll be moving next, don’t you deserve the comfort of home, wherever that home is? Life is too short to live with that lumpy mattress, don’t you think? (I think.)
That said, now likely isn’t the time to throw down thousands of dollars on decor. The good news is, you don’t have to. Small changes in your home can make big changes in your life. It’s not the things, but the feelings, which hopefully are brought out by the things.
Here to help is Victoria Sass, founder and principal
“Home is more than housing,” Sass says. “It’s an extension of yourself, a place where you can truly be yourself. Home is also a state of mind. It could be a social place or a place of refuge; it might be a space that holds memories and/or allows you to grow.”
Exactly. Here are Sass’s top tips for making a temporary space feel like home.
Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in your design.
“If you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, think about the base two levels of your needs,” Sass says. Maslow breaks it down to the basics: air, water, food, shelter, security, and health. “You might be surprised how few spaces actually, truly, meet those needs. Think about how you eat, how you rest, what makes you feel healthy and safe.”
Take eating, for example. That could mean dedicating a space for dining, not the indent in the couch in front of your TV, or even simply reorganizing your refrigerator. Maybe you invest in kitchen tools that encourage you to cook or replace the harsh overhead light with a softer bulb. Think small and simple.