I have yet to occupy any one place that truly felt like the one. Of the ten places I have lived since moving out of my parents house at 18, I have always known, on the day I moved in, that I would also move out — even here, in my grandma's house, a place that Mark and I effusively call Home. But it does not stop us nesters from painting the walls and putting dishes in their rightful places. My mom and I once stayed up all night to wallpaper the kitchen of my first college apartment (and no, we did not ask the landlord). Possessing a certain amount of awareness that This (Place) Too Shall Pass has never hindered my willingness to find, or create, the Home in the house. And the method is simple: carve out a space that evokes calm.
It is in our calmest states that Mark and I are able to communicate well, parent genuinely, and pray uninterruptedly. I suspect the same will be true for our child. A calm home environment relaxes her faster than any lullaby, car ride, or bath. (While I have no proof, I believe she is most calmed in our bedroom, in part, because it's where she was born, and where our family spent nearly every hour for the first weeks of her life.) For us, calm looks like pale walls, natural materials—wood and wool, especially, and a soft place to land. I love a lot of pattern on the floors by way of rugs. For you, calm might be tangerine walls and a freshly mopped kitchen floor. Keep the lights dim, stack your books in every nook and cranny, keep four cups of water on your nightstand (once guilty, now reformed), play the music you want to hear. . . whatever calms you — truly calms you —, hone in on it, and work for it. Carve it out of nothing if you have to. A calmed spirit is an open spirit, and openness begets most good things.
I'd love to know, what does calm look like for you?