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     Volume 6 Issue 28 | July 20, 2007 |

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Home is where the Heart is!

Syeda Shamin Mortada

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in, said Robert Frost. Everybody wants to own a house, a dream home where they will start their day from to seek fortune; and return to its comfort at the end of the day tired and weary. With the real estate trend of reconstruction and rebuilding going on in full swing at the moment, all aspiring homeowners think about are in terms of square footage and bigger houses. Gone are the days when home was considered sweet, safe and the centre of compassion.

Long ago, two Englishmen Ruskin and William Morris stated that the machine age could very well destroy the quality of life. They believed that life needed to be 're-humanised' and the place to start such an undertaking was the home.

Today we build houses to impress and overwhelm visitors, not to welcome them. We want houses with tall ceilings, cold marble floors, huge drawing rooms with an aura of an airport lounge, kitchens that remind you of garages and other superfluous rooms. Everyone has this deep urge to make bigger houses that can boost their egos. But is bigger always better? Drive around the city, the treeless sights; row after row of enormous structures blankly looking towards you, structures simply resemble storage containers filled with humans.

The funny thing is that houses are getting bigger while the sizes of families are getting smaller. Yet, each of us today is using up more resources, more land and more energy than our past generations, leaving behind nothing for the future. Buildings are sprouting like mushrooms and whilst buying them, people are only looking for quantity, i.e square footage with the number of beds and baths.

If you are not going to use each space every day then why build it? Maybe if we could start giving importance to quality over quantity and exchange space for soul, then we would be able to construct smaller saner dwellings with better interiors and some green space at the exteriors. A home should be an epitome of comfort. Therefore, rather than building impersonal oversized houses with no design merit, it would be better if we opted to create beautiful homes that reflect our personalities and values of life, a place where we will enjoy living in. After all, comfort is born of smaller scales and beautiful details. While building a home we need to think creatively and respond to our needs and wishes. We should give emphasis to the interior design ensuring soft lighting, beautiful doors and window sills with abundance of natural woodwork, bountiful builtins, proper furniture and strive to make each room special where one would want to spend time in. Children understand and enjoy the pleasures of a cosy nook; we grownups can learn something from them while we go about designing our homes. Besides, according to psychology, we humans tend to gravitate towards the corners in order to feel protected; we don't feel relaxed and comfy inside enormous rooms.

A home should be comfortable yet elegant, impressive yet modest, exciting yet delicate, private yet friendly, and most importantly welcoming. Beauty comes from careful crafting, and when an object is crafted well, the society and its people like it, remember it and help it to age gracefully. Remember what Albert Einstein said--Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.


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