What’s The Meaning of “Home”? These Design Pros Weigh In
08/31/2023 | Marni Mervis |
With summer vacations in the rear view mirror and fall, with its visions of cozy times at home, nearly upon us, we got to thinking—what is the meaning of home? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “home” as ‘one's place of residence: domicile; a house.’ And while this straightforward definition may often be accurate, it hardly feels significant enough or all encompassing. For example, the pandemic saw an unprecedented number of people take to #vanlife or another similar type of nomadic existence. It is an existence without a house, which begs the question—are these individuals ever “at home?"
For others, “home” is, more of a feeling than a physical place, which makes home neither tangible nor simply defined. So to what is this feeling owed? Maybe home or the feeling of hominess is attributable to the place where one grew up. But many people may not live in the same town where they grew up, or the same state or even the same country, and yet they can still feel and be at home despite this. The feeling of home could be found in the people who surround us. The close presence of the family or friends with whom we feel most ourselves. Still, for others, home may be the difference between something owned versus rented. The definition of home seems as subjective and varied as there are people. The meaning of “home” may not be the same exact thing for any two people, and it’s this fact which makes good home design so important.
We asked four design pros to weigh in on what “home” means to them. Here’s what they had to say:
Arlyn Hernandez, Design Editor & Brand Specialist (Apartment Therapy, Emily Henderson, Apt2B)
I've moved several times in the last decade—both locally and cross-country—and every time, I struggled to feel established and rooted for months. The sofa that felt right in one apartment suddenly feels all wrong in another, and I get an unsettled feeling of needing to change something when that happens. In my last apartment, it took four years to get my bedroom to feel like "me," mostly because I was busy working on other spaces and, contrary to social media, it is not a fast process. It wasn't until I painted my walls (Dunn-Edwards English Scone (DE6108) which just emanates a sense of warmth and welcome to me), finished the gallery wall of personal images and art around my TV and cleaned out all the messy corners I had been hoarding things in that I could take a breath and feel a sense of ease in my sleep space.
In my new place, the first few months felt like I was staying in someone else's Airbnb, and it took hanging art and mirrors, styling surfaces with pretty and personal things, and making each room feel like it was moving in some design direction to get a sense of "home." Wallpaper is picked out for the powder bath, runner rugs have been ordered for the bathrooms, sconces are hung in the dining room, and it fills me with pride, comfort and excitement. It's a place I want to be now, and that is immensely important to me. It motivates me to keep things tidier, helps me feel creative in my work, and open to inviting guests over, which ultimately is the marker of home...wanting to share the roof over my head with those I care most about.
Susan Klimala, Owner & Creative Director of TKSDesignGroup
Having a space in my home where I can “cocoon” a little bit away from the rest of the world at the end of a busy week is what “home” means for me. Dunn-Edwards Shou Sugi Ban (DEGR48) on all the walls, ceiling, trim and cabinetry in a home office or family room would be my choice for creating a little respite from the stresses of the world.
Paul Heintz, Designer & Co-Owner of Local Studio
Home is wherever I’m with my family, our current home is in Upstate New York. Home is a place where you feel most comfortable, some place you can relax and truly be yourself. A home is filled with laughter, tears, joy and love. A place you can put on your favorite sweats, curl up on a sofa and watch movies with family.
I love my home the most in the late fall, when the weather is getting even cooler and the sun goes down earlier. The warm glow of the fireplace and candles truly make the house cozy. Painting our walls Historic White (DET653) and Mission White (DET673) offer that subtle warmth all year long.
Alice Chiu, Principal Designer of Miss Alice Designs
A home is a safe haven where you can feel relaxed, secure, and comfortable being your true authentic self. It’s a beautiful sanctuary where you can rejuvenate, refresh, and center yourself after a long day in the external world. Dunn-Edwards Graceful Green (DE6284) is the perfect color that exudes “home.” It provides the calm we need in a world full of chaos. This beautiful soothing green connects us to nature, which relaxes, yet uplifts and inspires, encouraging creative expression. It’s a peaceful and serene color, perfect for the home.
Want to feel at home in your home with any of the above paint colors? Use our Color Visualization Tool and simply upload a photo from your personal library, or one from ours, to give the space an instant, virtual paint job. Dunn-Edwards is committed to bringing you the highest-quality paint that is also trusted by both design experts and painting professionals. Don’t put your projects on hold any longer.