A Hunger for Homemaking
I have returned to the world of Pinterest, and immersed myself within its creativity of colors and dreams.
In my browsing I have no purpose except to find the beautiful. At this stage of life, I find myself fawning over intricate bookshelves, cozy but bright living rooms, expressive canvases and — most of all — Tiny Houses.
When I first learned about tiny houses, looking over the shoulder of my New Zealand boss’ new book purchase, I couldn’t see the appeal. She dreamed of owning a bit of property and living a sustainable life in tune with nature and free from the pull of commercialism. She wanted to use reclaimed wood, incorporate life with the outdoors, and lots of other details that would make her small dwelling a home.
It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the birthplace of my love for homemaking should lead me to a similar dream.
Now in Colorado, I currently live in a development of houses that all look very similar. They have a prominent garage that takes up much of the front of the house, with the front door tucked almost behind it. They sit tight in rows next to and behind each other, with fences separating their strips of land. Even though I live close to the river, a highway separates me on my walks, and I hate walking along the busy road or having to cross it.
|The National Monument|
So I dream. I dream about finding a plot of land away from everyone else, perhaps under the shadow of the National Monument or bordering the world-class Lunch Loops. There I would build my tiny house.
Except I have no delusions about how many pairs of shoes I have. To live tiny is to live simply. No, my tiny house would be my escape. My guest house. My Airbnb.
In essence, it would be my first real project in homemaking.
In my daydreaming I ask myself, how could I create a tiny home that would reflect the essence of “homey”? What is the spirit of making a place a home? I came up with a few ideas:
· Typing up a favorite recipe in stylish font—like Emma’s mocha chocolate cupcakes—and framing it to hang on the kitchen wall for easy access. Additionally, I’d have some of the dry ingredients kept on hand in case of a bout of baking spontaneity.
· A comfortable couch is a must. With an insanely soft blanket. Actually, all seating apparatus must be comfortable. On a trip to Denver’s Ikea, I took pictures of cute cushioned kitchen chairs that would work great at an island, but are a lot more comfortable than the typical wooden or metal stools you’ll typically see.
· Live plants. Which is a problem, because I don’t naturally have a green thumb. Or I will get a cute succulent, but then it grows and grows and it doesn’t stay teacup size or perfectly round anymore. But that’s okay, because any indoor plants make me happy. Perhaps one day I will get good at outdoor plants as well.
· More books than technology. Many Pinterest depictions of tiny homes revel in open shelving. My shelving and décor will most likely be filled with books. It’s the one area I refuse to downsize in. Ask my parents: I still keep shelves full of novels in New York, waiting until the day when I have more space, or simply install shelves in the room I’m currently renting.
· Artwork. I follow one Beverly-based artist with bright abstract paintings that I’m convinced I’ll buy from one day. Hopefully on a day before she gets super famous and I can’t afford her artwork. But I also have stumbled (thanks to Pinterest) upon an artist distributor called Displate that makes art out of metal (yay durability and saving the trees!). The whimsical nature scenes are sure to set the color scheme for a future room. Plus, I plan on framing postcards and small photography prints I’ve collected over the years as well.
· Family. In college, I picked out a few old-fashioned photos of my grandparents in their 20’s and young parenthood that I tacked on my dorm room wall. I have since returned them to my parents, but since they usually just sit in dusty photo albums, I hope to one day get them framed and hang them alongside current photos of our growing family (a cousin just had her first baby!)
· Faith. By this point I won’t have that much more room on the walls, but there are some verses, quotes and ideas that I would love to look at every day. In my room in New Zealand to my knowledge there are still statements there that I wrote down and taped around my bedroom—on my mirror, next to the toilet, on the desk—that asked questions such as, “What is God revealing to me today?” “Who does God want me to bless today?” “How can I further Christ’s kingdom?” I’ve gotten out of the habit of asking these questions, and I hope in my homes (both present and future) to reincorporate those reminders again.
In reviewing these bullet points, my dreams of homey-ness are not limited to tiny houses. Because in honesty, I simply miss the act of homemaking in general. It’s been years since I’ve felt I really got to practice it. However the idea of a tiny house currently appeals to me because it’s a more manageable size, and it is more adaptable to my gypsy lifestyle.
I don’t consider Grand Junction my permanent home, but I still desire to exercise homemaking. I’ve talked to several friends about this: the warring desires to go out and travel the world and continue to meet new people and have new experiences, versus the desire to stay and invest in a community and establish roots. Usually the former goes before the latter. But not always.
I will let you know how the journey goes. I hesitated at first to invest in this new community, comparing it to and missing my former one in New York, but with the new year it is finally time to put down some roots here, however temporary. Why miss out on all the unknown unknowns of friendship, adventure and fun that can happen here in Grand Junction?
Still, I hunger for homemaking.