My house sings. It's a love song with a melody so strong that some mornings it makes me weep with happiness. It has been three years in the making. Brick by brick, stone by chiseled stone, I've watched my house take shape.
I decided early on not to fret over how much time it would take, or about missed deadlines. My bathroom sink and faucets still aren't in, and I'm brushing my teeth at the bidet. So what? Eventually, I'll have a proper sink. In the meantime, I marvel at every part of the process—at every carpenter, electrician, painter, tile layer, and workman who's given his skill and energy to create this space I now call home.
A home is a precious gift you give to yourself. And it gives back daily. What can be more important than the space where you live and breathe and thrive, surrounded by memories and treasures that fill you up?
My home is my refuge and restoration. I can get a little thrill just by glancing at a book from my childhood on a shelf of famous first editions I collect, reminding me of how far I've come since I first read Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, or by stopping to take a whiff of the small bouquet of lilies of the valley in the green vase by my bed.
The other morning, I was standing at the kitchen sink rinsing a cup, and I looked out at the trees in my front yard. It was an overwhelmingly joyful and calming moment. I felt the strangest sensation: déjà vu. I remembered being in Home Ec. class, fantasizing about the kind of house I'd someday own. I wanted a kitchen with a window facing trees. For the first time in all the places I've lived, I'm living my dream.
That's my greatest desire for you—I hope you create something dreamy for yourself—a home that is an artistic expression of who you are in the world, what your family represents, the life you've lived, and what inspires you. Take ideas from us. Make up some of your own. Surround yourself with beautiful things. We're here to help you create a home that says, "I'm here for you. Come. Sit down. Enjoy me."
For my money, there's no better investment than in the place where you physically and emotionally reside. I know for sure Dorothy [in The Wizard of Oz] had it right: "There is no place like home."
From the Spring 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!