Creating a home: Then & Now

We think a lot about personal, interior spaces here at Wildflower. We daily strive to create homes from houses, to create refuge in the midst of mere walls and roofs. We can't help but be fascinated by the interiors that humans have crafted over the years, ruminating on how much a home can speak of a person's life and how much those places can evolve over the years.

all vintage photos via shorpy / all current photos via the selby
 But what is it about our spaces that we so deeply feel the need to modify? The family above hangs their Dobro on the wall; the couple below strings paper flowers over the window. Why do we need to define ourselves through our space, to create a separate world that few will experience with us? 

Alain de Botton, a Swiss writer and philosopher, offers some explanation in his article, The Idea of Home:
"We depend on our surroundings obliquely to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould, to a helpful vision of ourselves."

"What we call a home is merely any place that succeeds in making more consistently available to us the important truths which the wider world ignores, or which our distracted and irresolute selves have trouble holding on to."

"...[At home], looking out of the hall window on to the garden and the gathering darkness, we can slowly resume contact with a more authentic self, who was there waiting in the wings for us to end our performance. Our submerged playful sides will derive encouragement from the painted flowers on either side of the door. The value of gentleness will be confirmed by the delicate folds of the curtains. Our interest in a modest, tender-hearted kind of happiness will be fostered by the unpretentious raw wooden floor boards. The materials around us will speak to us of the highest hopes we have for ourselves. In this setting, we can come close to a state of mind marked by integrity and vitality. We can feel inwardly liberated. We can, in a profound sense, return home."

Perhaps we create space, like de Botton says, to reflect some part of ourselves to the wider world. Perhaps we build rooms to remind us of our best qualities. Maybe our homes function as an escape from the rest of our daily lives. Whatever your reason for creating your perfect space, at Wildflower, we completely understand.