This is a very special place in our home. It's where our days begin and end, where we go for stories or to have a nice chat or a cuddle. The structure on the right is called "cozy house", but Ivo just calls it "home". It's a special refuge within the refuge of our home, and we spend many happy hours there just snuggling, relaxing, and reading side-by-side or together. Sometimes if Ivo is overcome by toddler frusteration, he makes a mad dash for "home" and just dives into the pillows. Other times it is the first place he wants Josh to go when he gets home from work. We have even been known to have popcorn parties in cozy house, where we stay up late listening to our favorite cds and goofing around. Then Ivo spends the next few days foraging for rogue popcorn kernals in the blankets of cozy house. He's his daddy's boy I guess. And here they are reading The Story of Babar together. Josh finds the whole premise of Babar highly objectionable, but reads it anyway because Ivo loves it so. What a guy.
There is a wonderful flickr group called corners of my home that I have been thinking of joining. The intention of the group is to share little places in our homes that evoke some type of emotional response--joy or peacefulness are the examples given. I love the idea of sharing the parts of our homes that speak to us spiritually and make the home feel like an extension of ourselves. Whether they are carefully cultivated or just sort of emerge organically, they are the places that make your heart just say "ahhhh . . . home sweet home." And I think it is such a warm gesture to share those special spots with others in the group, to inspire and to offer a peek into the endless variation on the theme of what makes a home feel so homey.
My only real problem is that we (or I) have moved eight times in the past ten years, which has not been very conducive to creating a homey atmosphere. Currently we are renting an apartment near the university that is spacious but lacking in those little architectural details that are so charming and homey-looking. What do they call it, character? The house I grew up in was chock-full of character and I took it for granted. Now it is the number-one thing I hope for in a house. Double-hung energy-saver windows? bah. A leaded-glass window? sold! Good thing we aren't house-shopping right now. But most of the time I focus on feeling beyond blessed by the home we do have, which is warm, safe, dry, and in good repair. And best of all it's filled with love and happy times.