Home stands for comfort; it should be a refuge, where you and your family can feel secure; it’s where you can share the important things in life: your happiness and sadness, your achievements and failures; it’s where you can help each other as a family.
For many of us, home is the house we grew up in – not where we live now. Recent research – published in the Independent – concludes that most of us think our current home lacks the magic of our childhood home. Certainly, my most profound memories centre on my childhood home, and include the view from my bedroom window, my mum’s cooking, and eating together as a family; I also remember the postcards and small objects collected by my parents on their trips abroad, our drawings and paintings on the walls. It’s often the small details that stay with us; it is the little quirks that really make a home – even after we have moved on we are likely to try to recreate a sense of nostalgia for our childhood home, whether knowingly or unconsciously.
One of the most creative things that anyone can do in this world is to turn a house into a home – a place for friends to meet, for food to be shared, for culture to happen. Needless to say, as an architect, I am completely invested in the idea of helping people unearth what it is that makes their home. But this is not about architectural advice. Instead, at a time when most of us will be spending time almost exclusively with our families, we would like to share some ideas for engaging creatively with your children to generate some new happy memories. As the saying goes,’if only these walls could talk, how many stories they could tell. . .’
Now is a good time to get stuck in to some home crafts: you could make paper bunting, paper flowers, hand knotted items, all sorts of things – the thing is to enjoy making them together. You could also give your children the opportunity to ‘curate’ their own shelf in the living room or kitchen (not just in their bedroom); encourage them to display their own little things, to rotate these according to what they want to see and share.
Remember, home is perhaps the most important repository of our memories. Let now be the time to generate your memories of the future!