Spaces for Life

The ReTouch Home Improvement blog



Spaces for Life: Why you should be living in a blanket fort

By Lance McCarthy

Remember the feeling you had as a child when you crawled into one? Remember the blanket fort?

I remember exactly. These words weren’t in my 5-year-old vocabulary but it was a mix of safety (my brother can’t get me), adventure (uh, it is a fort after all), ownership (this is my space), and scale (this is just my size).

They aren’t complicated feelings. They are simple, and powerful, even elemental, yet so easy to overlook. Simon Sinek has a great Ted Talk about how great leaders inspire action. This may not seem related, but he talks about how successful leaders always pursue a deep, even primal need in their call to action. If the need is difficult to put into words, it is probably starting to get to the right level.

I think about blanket forts a lot. I don’t think we ever get a more perfect feeling of home than that. It is the ideal, and the rest of our lives we are struggling to recapture those feelings in our homes.

So why don’t more people live in “blanket forts”? I think it is easy to get distracted by other goals that are easier to put into words.

Have you ever made a list of what you want to change about your house? Does it look like this?

  • Add a bathroom
  • Finish the basement
  • Update the kitchen
  • Redo that nasty tile in the entry

This list is in danger of going after the wrong goal. A desire for “bigger” without reflecting on why. Or “newer” or something “trending”.

Those things aren’t bad. ReTouch does plenty of bigger, newer, trending. But when you are wanting to improve your home, or thinking about moving, you should be thinking about the deeper, more elemental needs that you have in a home.

What if your list of changes were something like this?

  • Create a feeling of peace in the master suite
  • Help the kitchen inspire more creativity and connection
  • Change the entry to make it more inviting

Your realtor or designer might think you are crazy, but ask yourself “will this feel like a blanket fort?” Out loud. Over and over. (Ok, not out loud. That would be weird.)

Earlier this week one of our clients cried when we showed her a design for her house. (Don’t worry, they were tears of joy.) I thought to myself, we must have drawn something like a blanket fort for her. Tears of joy don’t usually come from seeing a great tile pattern or a cool faucet (sorry Kohler). Tears of joy come from some deep need that gets filled.

So, when you are thinking or talking about your house and considering a change, pause and think about the blanket fort. Ask yourself, “am I getting closer to that feeling?”

Need help? Call me. I’m an expert blanket fort builder.

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