The Soul of Your Home

February 12th, 2010

"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul." -Jean Cocteau

I've always loved that quote. I adore my kitties and do feel like the bring so much life to the home the hubster and I share. We've got 4 (yes, 4!) cats and they never fail to make me smile every day. Love em.

But this quote also had me thinking about what makes up the soul of a home. I think a big part of it is the people, the hearts there, that make up its soul. But there's also the life we bring into it, with our creations, the little nooks and crannies filled with the things we love, the ways that we represent who we are with our space.

I love seeing those little nooks in the homes of others, little altars (intentional or otherwise) filled with photos of family, sweet smelling candles, favorite books, bowls of sea glass. And even the messy stuff can say so much, the magazines mixed with a random sock, a cat toy, and a purple pen. Yes, I think there's soul in the mess!

What is the soul of your home?

Before we moved into our first home this fall, the hubster and I were in a run-down, rented apartment. I think we both were hesitant to put much too much work into the place because it wasn't ours, but even so, when we did make the effort in some areas, it felt great. In our home now, everything feels like a big, blank slate. At first it felt like we were house-sitting for someone else. But little by little, as we put up pictures, made cozy places to rest in, and just lived there, it began to feel like home, like a place with soul.

If you feel like your home isn't representing you, what are some simple ways you can bring its heart back?

You might try starting in one room, in one small area. You could clear off a surface (like a bookshelf) and while looking at each item, ask yourself, "Do I love this?" Keep the items that say "Yes!" And release (throw out, give away, donate, or sell) the items that don't. Perhaps frame a favorite piece of art and put it up somewhere that will bring you joy and inspiration every day. Simple, small shifts can make a huge difference in how your space feels. And that can radiate out into how you feel in your home and then how you feel all day.

Beyond the appearance of things, I think one of the biggest places I feel the soul of my home is in the laughter. the silly dances in the kitchen, the snuggles. It's also in the creativity, the love, and home-cooked meals. And yes, in our four fuzzy kitties, which I enjoyed drawing in little houses. How about you? Where does the soul in your home reside? Where does it show up? How can you bring more of your heart and soul into your space?

22 Responses

For me, the soul of the house is family–my husband coming through the door with the chill of winter still on his coat, my son laughing hysterically for no real reason, me walking around in elastic waist pants and no makeup and no one minding at all.

But I have been thinking this month about ways to make the house more me. I feel that my home should look more like an artist lives here, and I’m not sure that it does. I struggle with finding time and energy just keeping the household chores done. The house does reflect me with all of its bright and bold colors. I constantly search to find a balance between wanting perfection and not driving myself crazy trying make everything look like a magazine at the expense of all else.

You have some great suggestions that I’ll try out.

love this leah!

when i was studying interior design i created a concept called “visual affirmations” – using how you want to feel as the base of creating the design. the all things – colour, patten, texture, style – are supporting you in feeling how you want to feel in your home.

i experimented a lot with visual affirmations in my home and i really love how i feel here – supported, nurtured and loved. my home is my cocoon filled with positivity and dreams.

Yes, pets do bring soul to our home. Books too. We’ve got books all over. My spouse guy playing guitar and a good meal. Daily pleasures as opposed to big events so far hold more weight…

I would agree with all points that everyone has made. Definately the Lil’ Luna, my beloved kitty, makes my home my home. The clutter, the catch-baskets, the art on the walls, my studio “area” in the kitchen, J playing the guitar and working on his music (I call it his sketching)-it all comes together. We’ve even given our condo the name the “Allston Sky Box” as we are on the top floor over looking the Boston skyline.

Although I must admit, I love getting out of the Box for a while and getting into the woods. New England is my Home and I can’t imagine my life anywhere else.

Kitties! Love the kitties in the houses…the soul, for sure…the love and playfulness…and my dog is also saying hello, here! She always wants to be sure to be recognized for her contribution to the animal love in our home…:)

The counter between the kitchen stove and the dining room where we always gather as a family and as a couple.

The soul of our home is represented in the name we have given it. Our home was carefully chosen and then it waited a year and half in a hot market for us to be ready to purchase it. We live in a work of art that feels like it was created just for us. I’ve promised myself this for this month’s theme of “home” I will create a special page on my blog just for our home – la casa de inspiracion – In the meantime, here is a link to a photo slide show that was put together by the cob and strawbale builders, Cobworks Enjoy!

This is a beautiful post, Leah. Great thing to reflect on this valentine’s weekend! Today marks the last day of my ecourse so I’m celebrating and resting this weekend. I’m plan to honor and bless my home with some much needed deep cleaning!

Ahhh…home…mine is called “Edgewoods” because I am an incurable romantic and feel that your house/home should have a real name. And inside, a cozy fire in winter, loads of books, decor that reflects who we are, and in the heart of it all are the two fur faces, Maggie & Fergus to great us with their happy wagging tails whenever we walk through the door!

LOVE LOVE LOVE your post. Today in Texas we’ve had the most snow EVER on record. So, I’ve been home-bound for the last couple of days — relishing in seeing my kitties all curled up together, my dog snoozing in her beloved bed, my husband working away in his music room. I feel that the soul of my home is the love and appreciation I feel for it. Even though I have a list of projects to make my beloved home even better, I LOVE it right now, too. It is my sanctuary and haven. One way to honor the soul of my home is by clearing away clutter — free up the energy — make it beautiful. Well, I’m rambling on and on… You get the idea!

I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on your beautiful blog before. How funny that as I type I see that my creative-cohort Expressive Hart has just commented above! :I would say our big old wooden, scratched, solid dining room table is the heart of our home. We play music there. We play games there. We eat good food (if I do say so myself) there. Art projects, school projects, Christmas wrapping…all takes place at this table. It helps that the dining room is open to the kitchen, living room and den and the walls are a warm gold that seems to hug you. I can see my most favorite artwork, my piano and my guitar from here, as well as our beautiful (snow covered today!) backyard out lots and lots of windows. I am suddenly very grateful for and appreciative of this special room – this heart of our home. Thanks for the reminder!

I have to echo Jill above -this is a beautiful blog. The heart of my home is its bright sunlight and openness to the outdoors. Big windows, no curtains, tucked in the forest. I love it. And I love that I know all the people who helped build it. That’s what makes it so very special.

The soul of our home is probably the couch and kitchen table which are a couple feet apart. We share meals and eat together and snuggle on the couch with our dog and daughters (sorry kitties!) I really need to work on the decluttering issue. I have thought about moving a lot of stuff to the garage and then seeing if we miss it and moving only the stuff we use back in. :)

My dogs certainly give me a feeling of home (right now they are both sleeping in front of the heater, tail-to-tail). I also get a feeling of home from seeing books that I love stacked up on my coffee table, the live bamboo plants that I have scattered throughout the house, and the pictures of my friends and family on display in my bathroom. Yes, in my bathroom. That way, when I’m getting ready in the morning I can look over and see them. It’s a good start to my day.

It’s strange that home is this months theme. My son left yesterday to live in Austin and my home feels empty. I still have all the comforts I’ve built in, but there is a void. I have been thinking about what to do with his room. I think I’m going to make it into a garden room and reading room. Hopefully the sad feelings of loss will ease with time.

For me, love is the heart of the home. It is the history of the place, the laughter and love shared in the home, the joys and the sorrows. It is the feeling of being so comfortable in your own space, complete with that love, the joy of children and grandchildren playing within these four walls, the friends that become like family, the art and books and nick nacks that have special meaning to only us. And so much more. It is the knowledge that God is all around us and within us, especially “in the heart of the home”. It is the “blessed” place where our lives are shared by the ones we love most.

The soul of my home is my art, my dogs,music and when friends come to visit ~ I bought this house about 1 1/2 yrs ago ~ it is my dream house (could be warmer at times ~ New England is cold!)& I decided I needed some color above the windows (blinds were white & wallswhite) and raked my brain until I realized I had painted & collaged 5″x5″ canvases and still had some that hadnt sold~ so up they went & now I feel surrounded by my own creations and that is warming to me ~ warms and delights my soul ~ thanks, Carol (armusedog)

Susan ~ just wanted to give you a big hug ~ I remember when my only child, Sean went off to college ~ I been a widow when he was 2 1/2 & didn’t remarry until he was nine ~ so our relationship had been close ~ I started creating more (as well as teaching)then & then when his step dad died several years later ~ once again it was my art/creating that filled and healed my soul ~ Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you & you will do fine ~ one day at atime .
Hugs & namaste, Carol (artmusedog)

I’d have to say the soul of our home is all around,the photos of our childrens childhood and their wedding
pictures,photos of family and friends.My hubby sitting by the fire watching a western,his garden in the summer as it produces fresh food.Our dog Bailey as she constantly wants to play.The big tree in the backyard where the graduations took place and many barbecues.My craft room where I can express my thoughts and ideas.And the kitchen where many meals have been eaten together.I feel there’s a little bit of soul scattered here and there all around our home.

HEY YOU SWEETIE-PANTS… please go here


I loved reading this, Leah, and I agree absolutely. I spend a lot of time thinking about the heart and soul of our home; and passing on / recycling stuff that is no longer right for us is a big part of that. This month I’ve been focusing more on the kitchen as the heart of the home and hope to link through a post about that and where it has taken me next week.

@ susan I just posted an entry of Healing the heart/break.. and it mentions a child going away from Home. My aedm entry is about Heart healing as Home is where the Heart is .. and if you have the greatest house or great creative space and a sad heart you will never feel at home. However i agree filling your home/heart with things you love brings much recovery.


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