• The 5 senses of making your House a Home

    Why do we love customizing a home?  More importantly, why should you?  Because it is an important part of the process of making a house a home.

    How do you go about making a house a home?  

    A simple question perhaps yet not so easy to answer.  To begin, there should be an emotional connection to the place we consider our personal space.  After all one definition of home is “a place where one likes to be; a restful or congenial place”.  Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos expressed it this way, ‘The notion of “home” is about the place you feel safe and where you feel connected to other people you like.  From an evolutionary point of view, it was about keeping warm and safe and having somewhere to gather and to bring up a family.  You can add to that the fact that we are so socialized into our expectations of what home means — many of our significant memories are now created around our homes.’


    For some, it means having a place where you can truly be yourself.  Cook naked if you like or bing watch back-to-back seasons of your favorite TV show.  It means a free pass to let down your guard and be vulnerable.   A judge free zone if you will.  Having such a place is not only good for your soul it is vital to your mental health.  Creating such a space for yourself is not about spending a lot of dollars.  It doesn’t have to be worthy of the pages of ELLE DECOR.  

    It just needs to be a reflection of you.  

    Yes, here is a time where the universe revolves around you.  Your home is the start and end of your day.  It’s your place to recharge and renew.  A place you should feel safe and it should bring you comfort.

    Let’s explore how connecting to your 5 senses:  taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing, play a part in making your house a home.


    TASTE:  The ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard.  Your first reaction may be the need to check off a pre-determined list of criteria that someone else established.  Such could be the case but remember, someone researched and experienced other cultures to come up with that list.  What they came up with was based on their perspective.  The more you explore the world around you, be that your local town or a trip abroad, the more you observe and learn.  Couple this with being selective in choosing components that you connect with equals your own unique “good taste”.   It comes down to taking care of the details.  


    SIGHT:  The literal reference is appearance and perception.  One way the dictionary defines sight is ‘the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.  A way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.’  Your home should allow you to mentally connect to yourself as well as the world around you; from bold colors that empower you to muted tones which ground you.  What you see around you effects your views and sets you in motion for the day.


    TOUCH:  To caress, hug.  That surge of feel-good hormones like oxytocin when we come in personal contact with another.  The human skin has a network of pressure centers called Pacinian that sense touch and, through the vagus nerve, connects our brain to our heart among a number of other organs.  The result is a feeling of belonging and thus a reduction of stress and an increase in mental wellbeing.  This feeling of belonging is how you should feel in your home.  That couch you sink into, the faux shearling rug that you squish your toes through, the 600 thread count sheets you slip into--all contribute to your sense of wellbeing.  Surrounding yourself with varying textures throughout your home engage you mentally even if it is on a subconscious level.  


    SMELL:  Aroma, essence.  I’ve said before that a smell can trigger a memory, take you back to a moment in time.  The right aroma can get your proverbial juices flowing and send you down path of discovery.  The essence of something wields that kind of power over your emotions.  


    HEARING:  Sound and by extension music, can also exert a strong force on us emotionally.  Don’t believe me?  Where to begin! Just play Neil Diamond’s ‘Coming to America’, ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel, or ‘The Music of the Night’ from The Phantom of the Opera.  Feel free to add your own to this list.  Each one strikes a different chord in us and elicits it’s own emotional response from quiet surrender to a dancing in the street kind of exuberance.  How does your home speak to you?  What does it say about you?  What emotion(s) does it stir?


    Tuning into your 5 senses are all pieces to the puzzle of who you are.  By paying attention to the details, surrounding yourself with what moves you, indulging yourself in textures and aromas that connect your mental and emotional self and, lastly, dancing to your own beat you will turn your house into your home.

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