Just a quick search on Google can reveal thousands of the latest and greatest household products. Search “Kitchen Appliances” and you’ll see every type of kitchen appliance you can imagine; a refrigerator that keeps a running tab of products needed for the next grocery trip, a self-cleaning oven that includes dividers to allow you to cook at two different temperatures at the same time, the trendy $600 Ratio Eight Coffee Maker made with walnut wood and handblown glass, and the list goes on and on.
Type in “Bathroom” on Pinterest and you’ll soon be swept away by the most enchanting bathrooms you could ever imagine. Imported tiles from Thailand, waterfall shower heads, spa-like sunken tubs looking out over the tree line and rolling landscape of the Rocky Mountains; ideas for anything one could ever want in building or remodeling a house.
Search “Living Room Design” on Houzz and get thousands of design ideas, narrow your search by adding in your favorite style into the search terms and get even more inspiration from style-focused designers all over the country.
With these tools at our fingertips, it’s easy to get lost for days in countless searches, incredible photos, and helpful articles; all a unique inspiration that awakens our imagination with that highest ranking of human keywords… possibility.
It doesn’t take very long at all before you have pages and pages of saved articles, photos, pins; it’s amazing how quickly a simple internet search becomes an immense digital library of ideas.
For the past couple of years or so I’ve been collecting ideas for a minor remodel of my downtown bungalow; including adding a bathroom, converting a storage space into a sun room, and adding a second level bedroom. So far I have saved 1,492 ideas from shower head styles and placement to converting extra attic space to a secret library and reading nook.
There are thousands upon thousands of ideas out there and even more products to make them reality. After all, I’m starting to realize that 1,492 ideas may walk that fine line between very thorough and just completely overwhelming.
But what makes a house a home? It’s an age-old, often clichéd question, but becomes more than just a saying stitched on a pillow when you’re building, renovating, or decorating your long-term or forever home. We can integrate all the Pinterest pins and Houzz ideas we want but there is a piece of the ‘house to home’ question that no internet search can fulfill.
It’s the Story of Home.
It is in the elements of ourselves; our stories, our hopes, dreams, and inspiration that we build into a home. One of the most beautiful things about building a home is finding all the ways to integrate ourselves into it. Not just decorating using our treasured photos and displaying our mementos on the mantle, but truly integrating ourselves and our memories into it’s very structure.
There are some things to think about when planning a build or a remodel. What are the most important pieces of yourself? What stories define you? How can you translate those stories into your home?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this as I move toward the budgeting and design phase of my own remodel project.
I do not have a distinctive style that I follow in my home decorating. Instead, I like to display that which is most important to me. The walls are filled with paintings made by my mom, photography from my travels, and pictures of my daughter. My shelves are filled with my ceramic elephant collection (collected from all over the world, my favorite being a family of elephants linked trunk to trunk from India).
My bathroom is painted in deep blues and yellows- decorated with Talavera and tiled with tiles from my travels to Tijuana and Campeche, Mexico. It is also reminiscent of years spent traveling with my family to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
My home was built in 1908 and the original brick chimney (which runs up through the center of the house from the coal chute in the cellar) serves as the central focus of the home. Any structural changes that I’ve made throughout the years have been purposefully built to accent this chimney. Using brick in the structural elements of the home, not only accents the chimney but holds a very special meaning to me as well.
Growing up, my great-grandparents owned a small farm in Iowa. We would go there as children to work and play on the land. Their house was small but a quintessential farm house; warm and inviting, with vaulted ceilings and the most beautiful wood floors you’ve ever seen. The house was built with faded red bricks.
The memories of summers on the farm are ones of my most special, and when I step into my home that’s what I see. I see my great grandparents, my travels to Mexico and family vacations to New Mexico; I see my favorite elements of my life, my past, my family; they’re all right in front of me, for everyone to share in and enjoy.
Our homes are filled with wonderful products, ideas, and structural elements. Yet, what’s most important is the element of ourselves. Our homes are the piece of ourselves that we can share with our world and all the people in it. Not just now, but for our generations to come.
By Kate Young, Solid Rock Custom Homes
Solid Rock Custom Homes has been remodeling and building custom homes in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area and the surrounding El Paso, Douglas and Teller counties since 1995. We would love to sit down with you to discuss or dream with you about your custom home. Please contact us at 719-494-0932 or request a consultation here. Check out some of our beautiful projects athttp://www.houzz.com/pro/solid/solid-rock-custom-homes.