When we compare our first “real” home to our first time living alone, the differences tend to be drastic. Here’s what you can expect from your “adult” home.
While I sing the praise of minimalism, there’s no shortage of the love I have for quality purchases.
Most of us know the experience of owning a hand-me-down sofa, scouring thrift stores for odds and ends, and throwing some concert posters on the wall as makeshift art. It’s called “being in your ’20s.” I have much love for the crappy futon I was so proud to own at 21, or the sponge-painted weird coffee table I bought for $30, the top of which hangs as “art” in a friend’s basement even today.
But when you’re officially Growing Up (read: nearing 30), it’s time to get serious about your home, and the first signs you’ve done so might just include some of these things.
1. Your sofa has support, style, and a good frame
A quality sofa is a big deal. Anyone over 30 needs to get rid of the crap sofas and fast. The worst choice I ever made was buying the $189 brand-new budget sofa from a big retailer, because its support was shot in a few months and within a year, I blew out my back. I was 35. Don’t be like me — learn from my sofa-buying tips here.
Good sofa-makers will guarantee their frame for a decade or more. Mine now has a lifetime warranty. A great sofa won’t just look good, it’ll feel good, and it won’t be found for cheap. It really is one of those things you get what you pay for.
Heck, growing up means all your chairs are getting pretty good for support!
2. You have tools
When a picture needs hanging, you’re not using a stapler to hammer a nail in a wall. No. You, my friend, you own a hammer. A proper weighted, good-gripping hammer.
In fact, you’re evolved beyond the WD40/duct tape ethos of home maintenance that you now have multi-tools, maybe a screwdriver set. Perhaps — gasp! — you even have some power tools. I love me some electric drills.
3. You have at least one piece of actual art
Maybe you bought your friend’s watercolor. Perhaps you were at a gallery and fell in love with an 11×14 black-and-white photograph. Perhaps you joined a pottery class and learned how to use a wheel and a kiln, and now the artsy spoils are displayed on your shelves.
However you attain unique, not-mass-produced art, it’s all a part of growing up and really caring about the space you live in.
4. Your bed gets some love
Not only have you gone big and bought a real mattress that comes with a multi-year warranty and a big price tag, maybe even a box set and mattress cover, but you’ve also fallen in love with actual sleep now that you’ve got a real job, real stress, and real responsibilities.
You’ve splurged on good bedding, you’ve gotten the nice linens, and you have zero guilt when you get the rare, but wonderful, chance to sleep in and enjoy it.
5. When you go away, you need a friend to check in
When we’re younger, home is a place we crash in between being social and working our tails off to get through school or whatever else it takes. As we age and discover the joys of what “home” can mean, we accumulate more meaningful things. Maybe we buy plants that we love, we get a fish, we have pets, or we invest in valuable things we want to protect.
Whatever the case, you know you’re growing up when going away for a week or two means more prep than just cleaning out the fridge — it means getting someone to come over and tend to your home. Maybe, just maybe, you’re even buying timers to put on your lights and TV, or doing these other smart home security ideas before travelling. Oh, you crazy adult, you!
Home becomes where your heart is
There’s something great about when you’re young and you don’t really care where you live. Like everything else about youth, it’s a free and whimsical time.
But then there’s something more amazing about finding a home you love and turning it into a space where you really feel comfortable, safe, and happy. It’s hard to pinpoint when that happens, or how it does, but it’s one of life’s great rites of passage — that first home you truly love to call “home”.
If you notice yourself suddenly becoming more of a homebody and enjoying your Friday nights in, don’t worry — you’re not getting old. You’ve just finally got a home.