* Truth? I’m having a lot of trouble writing about upgrading your home, eco or not, when many people in our country are still struggling with the devastation from Hurricane Irene. I don’t want to make light of the home rebuilding ahead, or to say how nice an eco-backsplash would be when so many folks are focusing on basics right now. I’m also reminded about how natural disasters such as this remind us of what really matters, and that, of course, is people.
* As I was sitting here staring at the computer screen, I got an email from my step-mom, who lives in a condo on Long Island and who lost electricity during the storm. She and my dad hung out with flashlights with their neighbors in the hallway, getting to know each other better, and eventually they all went to one of the condos with a wide selection of food from all their refrigerators. I often hear of streets where everyone pulls their grills out front and barbecues the meat in their freezers before it goes bad from the lack of electricity, or candle-lit dinners during blizzard blackouts (like the one pictured). These are nice stories. If I were going to start from scratch, I’d find ways to make my home more of a gathering place. I’d add that breakfast bar in the kitchen. I’d include a porch with comfy chairs. I’d make the dining room bigger. I’d designate one room as a guest room. I’d put in a pool. I’d get a ping pong table (gosh, I love those, but this one completely confuses me! Is that glass? Would that work?).
* You may be having a completely opposite reaction. You may be wanting your home to be more of a sanctuary, a place where you can escape the news of the day. You may be thinking soft blankets on a big bed, a spa tub, relaxing colors, and some soothing music from a built-in sound system. (More home sanctuary ideas? See here and here.)
If you realize there’s merit in keeping it simple, a decluttering may be all you need to make your home feel bigger, safer, and more accessible. It also makes it much easier to get your hands on vital papers if you have to evacuate for any reason. Find more “home comfort haven” ideas here, and use Kudzu to find service companies who can help you feel more prepared, more connected to those you love, and more pampered. Especially now, when we could all use a little more of that.