Every home has space.
Space for a sofa. A chair. A table. A bed. Refrigerators and stoves and coffee makers. Showers and toilets and sinks.
Some homes are small and charming. Others, grand and expansive. Some are just good ‘ole track homes, blended into the context of a greater neighborhood.
Some of us, through our lives, move often. Some of us live in the same house for… forever.
As time progresses we can find ourselves in places that symbolize the past chapters of our life’s story…
This lane. That drive. The Boulevard. The hilltop. The flats. The village. The house that had the funny neighbors. The one with the great dog park down the street. The one with the celebrity living behind the towering stone walls.
The home at the beach. The home in the mountains. The one in the dessert.
With age… and maturity – sweetly funny things pop up from behind a garden gate.
I have found myself on a home tour this past week. Not the one we share with our different Realtor affiliate groups in each of our regional markets. No. Nothing that can be summed up in Tuesday morning run arounds, passing out business cards and catching up on friendly conversations. No. This is a home tour of my life.
Like so many wonderful homes, with so many wonderful memories. I have found myself on my latest adventure reconnecting with… so many wonderful boyfriends. Yep.
I’m glad I’m 53 today. Not 21. Or 23. Or 24. Or 26. Or 30. Or 31. Or 34. Or 40. Or 44. Or 51.
Like addresses… 21 Chino Street. 23 Laguna Street. 30 Ortega Ridge Road. 34 Arriba Way… each year… each address… every boyfriend – holds a foundational frame. A frame that contains so much… joy. Heartache and struggle too. Sure. Of course. But so much joy… in hindsight.
This past week I’ve said to myself time and time again – what my 53 year-old self could tell my… 26 year old self… my 30 year old self… my 44 year old self… Oh man. If I only knew then what I know now.
The overwhelming takeaway of what I’d tell myself…?
Just hold his hand.
I think I’d like to build a new home soon.
Nothing crazy. Today, right now, its just me, my son, and two hysterically sweet dogs. So… 3 bedrooms would be great. 3 ½ bathrooms is more than enough. A large living room to gather. A cozy dining room to share meals. A garage to pack in all the toys both necessary and utterly discretionary. And instead of classic room titles, I’ll name them…
Randy Room – this will be my son’s room. A room filled with playfulness and humor. Smiles and silly behavior. Books that unfold to share deeply compelling narratives and plot twists. A space that never settles and is always inspiring a growing mind to think bigger, reach broader… and laugh.
Christopher Room – this will be the meditation room / fitness space. The place where we focus on inner health and work, calmly, with purpose, to honor our core and develop it to its greatest health. Turning around when we’re done to open the door we had closed to find solace, and re-engage with a world that often doesn’t make sense.
Fernando Room – this will be the formal dining room. Though I hate formal dining rooms. And in fairness, this can be a formal dining room where even the stuffiest guests can get shit-faced drunk, not have to worry themselves with the shrimp fork or the caviar spoon, accidentally fart, and still maintain some modicum of heir-apparent decorum. All with a devilish grin against chintz wallpaper lit with warm candlelight.
Edward Rom – the library. No question. With velvet wallpapered walls. And rich bookshelves made of carefully crafted hardwoods. Volumes of books, expertly cared for, many celebrating the arts and architecture and all the greatest creatives in humanity in one place where you wear a soft, embracing chenille bathrobe and slippery soft warm slippers stitched with your monogram in gold thread, and calmly indulge in reflection.
Kyle Room – the office. Where strategies are forged. And paths are planned. And magic is considered. And relationships are built. And kinships and cross-paths are crafted amongst different bands and groups of people. And laughter and play and unabashed celebration embody every step with a wry sense of how the world really works… and what is really important.
Will Room – a game room… a place that is crafty and smart. With a chess board. And a pool table. The room where gamesmanship and smarts are the purpose of space and time. And where sex appeal is a crafty diversion to the stakes in hand.
James Room – the stuffy living room. The one with the ornate fireplace surround and the antique oriental rug. Formal upright, but sloppily stuffed sofas. The finest crystal cut barware to hold the finest scotch and whiskey and prosecco. A space, through it all, where even the room often sits back and laughs at itself on just how wonderfully pretentious it is… and how it loves every single detail of it all.
Todd Room – the kitchen. No question. Where somehow, as if by wizardry rights, the simplest, most nourishing meals come together with ease and love. From a warm oven. Over a flickering stovetop. On simple clean plates. In simple clear glassware. With whole juices and organic dairy. And when the meal is complete, the space just sighs… the happiest sigh of contentment and love for life.
Dana Room – could be in so many spaces. Each small and intimate. Slightly shadowy, but always lit as if by stars from above. Pantry? Butler’s kitchen? Powder room? Wardrobe? … I’m not sure just yet. But I do know it will be one of the tiniest and most nurturing spaces in the house.
… God, what a beautiful home.
As I’m in a space of restoration… not a space of remodel… I’m reflecting right now. On just how much touch-up paint is needed to bring up some of the luster. Where I can find the fabrics to update some of the window coverings. Who I’ll use to restore a couple of the furnishings. Do I or don’t I replace the cabinets… I say no. I’m just going to fine tune them and clean them up a bit. Maybe some new handles. And I hate all the new light bulb technology… this is a place of deep warmth. So all the new lightbulbs are going to carry that certain, romantic, ambient warm yellow glow.
When I’m done… with utter selfish abandon… I’m going to walk around this… restored home. My home.
I’m going to smile.
And I’m going to laugh.
I’ll probably shed a couple tears… Its what I do.
And whether I could tell my younger self all the things I wish I knew when I was a certain age, or not, it just won’t matter… the age I was, when the rooms were first built, was the age and the maturity I needed to be, to find myself in this place, today… where I look at this house I’m remodeling… and feel… nothing…
but extraordinary love,
and extraordinary peace.
Welcome to RandyChristiopherFernandoEdwardKyleWillJamesToddDana House, at 21232426303134404451 ChinoLagunaOrtegaRidgeArriba StreetRoadWay.
The most incredible restoration project I could never have imagined being awarded.