As I just returned from a visit to Florida, it got me thinking about “home.” Not my home in particular but the way each place we occupy becomes a home for us, regardless of the time we spend there. The shelter a home provides–a place to rest, to refresh and cleanse-these things create a home wherever we light. Of course, not every place is “homey” and I was reflecting on what made someplace so for me.
First stop on our trip was Fort Lauderdale where we spent a couple of nights in a 1970’s family hotel with a bedroom, efficiency kitchen and bath. The overall decor of the place was vegetation: you entered through an ivy covered arbor and fencing to pool and patio area, the sun shielded by swaying palm trees. But when you got the room, the plantlife was dusty, faded silk flowers in vases everywhere. Kitsch decor included wall art of celadon plates, sconces overflowing with silk ivy and god-awful motel style beach pictures.There was a couch but no place to sit because it was the only place to put suitcases. It wasn’t terrible but I found it oppressive to be in that room. It was only when I discovered my favorite place to sit that the place felt more like home. Under the outdoor canopy on the patio, there were two weathered rattan armchairs. Originally white, they were now a soft grey, time emphasizing their supportive weave, with cushions in a bright blue of the deep ocean, piped in pristine white. From there, I passed pleasant time reading, chatting, checking messages. It made that place a home.
On to Orlando for a convention that we attend each year and always stay in the wonderful apartments of the Royal Palms on the Marriott property. Each time, I wish I could take our digs and plunk them down in Manhattan, just the way they are (preferably with the daily housekeeping). Here too, I immediately staked out my favorite chair that became my “home spot.” Different from the other, it still cradled and comforted while providing a safe perch from which to survey the world. Unfortunately, the artwork here too, was pathetic palm tree pictures, the frames being the best part.
I don’t understand why well decorated hotels use such terrible art. They find one image (or group of images) and use it over and over in each room. I find it mind boggling when there are literally thousands of artists who would be happy to sell their work to hoteliers for a very fair price, making each room unique and personal, as well as beautiful. Let me go on record right now that I would be happy to let any hotel brighten their business with my artwork.
As for chairs, they have always represented home for me. Chairs evoke shelter and stability in a sometime precarious world. I love that protected perspective, being part of but, at the same time, away from, in order to keep my perception clear. Hence, my large, ongoing “Chair Series.”
What makes someplace home for you?