Pink Fire Pointer A Welcoming Kind of House

A Welcoming Kind of House

"Cecilia's and Emmeline's house was in Oudernarde Road, which runs quietly down into Abbey Road, funnel of traffic and buses. It had big windows, arched stairs and wrought-iron steps at the back leading down to a small garden. Cecilia, hesitant over the agent's order, looking about at the temptingly sunny spaces of floor, had remarked: 'It's a long way from everybody we know...' But Emmeline said: 'We never know whom we are going to meet.' From the first glance the house had smiled at them and was their own. So here they had settled." 

--  from "To The North" by Elizabeth Bowen


I have always loved this quote from To the North by Elizabeth Bowen. It is a poignant book about two young women in their twenties living together in London and finding their place in the world. One is an orphan and the other is newly widowed. Finding the right house is of paramount importance to their sense of safety and stability. The idea that "the house had smiled at them and was their own" struck me as so true. It made think about the elements that go into making a house a welcoming kind of place, a house that smiles at us and shelters us from the storm. A house that we love and and want to make our own. Of course it is different for everyone, but here are some ingredients that I think make a house a haven.

A cheerful front door

A cozy sitting room 

A fireplace

Window panes to look through on a rainy day

A sunny kitchen

Blue and white crockery

 A room with a view

A snug bedroom

A touch of tartan

A smattering of red

A room to call our own

Books and flowers

 A writing desk

A reading nook


Outdoor seating

Climbing roses

And last but not least, there is a certain something, a quality that is hard to define. It could be the lighting at dusk, the patina of the bricks or the fragrance of the garden. We may sense past generations who have lived there and we feel a connection. The emotion is strong, even mysterious. We are at home.

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Last image from Howards End