The home on the left is one of my all-time favorites. The owner had poured her heart and soul into making it uniquely her own. I was privileged to visit often, and I felt its magic every time. These are some of the elements that made it so feel so welcome:
1. The architecture: the house followed the contours of the hill on which it was situated. So moving from room to room seemed like an adventure. The soft edges of the adobe walls felt solid and sheltering. A fire often burned in the hearth, visually and physical warming the space.
2. The owner had filled the rooms with marvelous objects she'd collected from her many travels over a lifetime. They spoke of her curiosity and openness to adventure.
3. Visitors were always given food and drink. Typically, it was simply good cheese and bread.
4. Our hostess loved a good conversation and was always interested in learning more about her visitors. We felt she was glad we'd come to visit.
Obviously, our trying to replicate this home would be impossible. But there are deeper lessons to be learned here.
1. Soft edges mean comfort. Rounded arms on upholstered pieces, a soft throw, fuzzy pillows in warm colors, leafy plants---these kinds of details invite us to kick off our shoes and breathe a sigh of relaxation.
2. I object to clutter, but I love a certain amount of detail. Framed photos of special places, a small collection of meaningful objects displayed together, a shelf with favorite books---these tell me, as well as my visitors, something about who I am.
3. I once had a Swiss friend who always offered me a plate of leckerli (my favorite Swiss cookie) and a mug of good strong coffee whenever I visited. I love to entertain, but honestly, I could do better at welcoming impromptu guests with food as the homeowner and my friend did.
4. We can have all of the above in place, but if the personal touch is missing, our homes will always remain cold. It's the warmth of our hearts towards our family and our guests that truly makes a home.
From Home of the Heart, warmly yours,
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I loved writing about Meg Cary's interior design career in my romance, Home of the Heart. Meg worked on some pretty spectacular projects that I've only dreamed of. But my greatest pleasure has been exploring what's involved in creating one's personal Home of the Heart, both helping others as well as the evolution of my own home design. I'll be sharing with you what I've learned over the years as an interior designer.