Yesterday, as I was brainstorming ideas for this very post, I asked my son: “hey bud, what’s your favorite thing in this house?”
Without hesitating (though his nose was tucked in the latest Dogman book) he replied: “my family!”
And while my heart melted all over the floor, I realized of course that he was right. There’s not a single object or a room in this house that I love more than our family. We could have bare walls and not a stick of furniture, but as long as we were together, it would still be a home.
In every part of our home, I’ve worked to reflect that this is a haven for our family. I’ve filled our entryway with meaningful touches: wrapped canvases of family photos on the wall and vintage finds from our travels like those ceramic bingo balls in thrifted glass display boxes.
We have a bowl of quotes in an open bowl that invites you to stay awhile and read through them slowly.
Touches such as this vintage fishing float my aunt gifted me when they sold their beach house remind me of my favorite vacation spot.
And even the crayons strewn over the dining room table (and occasional rogue marker scribble too) remind me that it’s not expensive objects that make a house a home, it’s who’s inside and what we do within these four walls.
Because home equals safety. Security. A place to lay our heads at night, break bread together (and dishes too, accidentally, but that’s a story for another day.) A space to laugh, chat, and sometimes squabble. But at the end of the day, a home is our respite from the world.
Except, when it isn’t.
I’ve teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to spread awareness of the affordable housing crisis right here in our very own country. Because guess what? Owning a home simply isn’t affordable for many Americans. Right here in my area (the triangle area of North Carolina), home prices have skyrocketed to the point where many of the people who serve our community such as police officers and teachers can’t afford to live here. In fact, virtually nowhere in the U.S. can a full-time employee earning minimum wage afford a one-bedroom apartment. I was shocked to learn that even two jobs won’t earn enough income to rent a two-bedroom apartment in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
As someone who earns a living off of helping others create a home they love, this breaks my heart.
Because it turns out that one in four households in the U.S. pays more than 30 percent of income for housing and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food or clothing. Who can focus on decorating when they can’t even afford food for their family?
That’s where Habitat comes in. They are tackling the affordable housing crisis one home at a time. And we can help in three simple ways, just by visiting, shopping, and sharing!
If this message speaks to your heart, you can visit Habitat.org/key and make a donation.
Give back while you shop (bonus: these happen to be a few of my favorite stores and products!)
- At Home Stores: In addition to featuring Habitat as the register fundraiser throughout April, At Home will sell specialty patio umbrellas and spring coaster sets in store to give back to Habitat
- Chico’s: Every sale of the basic essential slub tee from April 1 – May31 will support Habitat
- White House Black Market: Proceeds from every Comfort Stretch Ankle Pant sold April 23-May 31 will go to Habitat
- Soma Intimates: From April 23-May 31, each Cool Night Pajama separate sold will support Habitat
- O’Cedar: From April 1 – May 31, O’Cedar will donate $1 to Habitat for Humanity for every ProMist® Max spray mop sold.
Nissan will donate $1 every time #HomeIsTheKey is shared on social media, (this is so so easy to do! You can even hit the ‘share’ buttons on this post and use that hashtag and Nissan will donate $1!)
Habitat is one of my very favorite organizations because they impact change by giving a hand up to those who need it. And we can help, simply by visiting, shopping, and sharing.
Even when I’m cleaning, dusting, and picking up endless Cheez-its from the floor, it’s a reminder to me that we have a home is a privilege. And I am excited to help others afford the same.
What makes your house a home? Is there a space your family always gathers, or a favorite spot that says ‘home’ to you?
Disclosure: Many thanks to Habitat for partnering for this post. As always, opinions are 100% my own.