An AirBnb experience

I’ve toyed with the idea of home for a while now and every time I seem to think I have a definition my mind quietly brainstorms other creative ways I could define it. So I’ve finally settled on this one and hopefully, you won’t be too disappointed. Home is purely subjective. It’s a term that’s so entrenched within the personal experience that I can’t seem to see it any other way. It draws upon the intricate details of life within the four walls of a home. Some decide to furnish the inside of their home with vibrant colours sparkling from the floorboards to the multi coloured wallpapers whilst others opt for a more minimalistic touch. ‘A hint of beige or white will do just fine Freddy’, says Freddy’s enthusiastic interior design wife as he gets too carried away with the selection of bright Dulux paint pots dotted in every aisle leading to the checkout in B&Q.

Just as Freddy realised that he couldn’t go home with all the paint pots no matter how much he tried, I too have come to realise that the idea of home goes further than the furnishings, embellishments or the tiny details within a home. For me, home is a mental space. It’s a personal feeling I get when I know I’m where I need to be at that specific moment in time. I’m home when I’m reading my favourite novel or writing a story I’ve let brew in my mind for way too long. I’m home when I finally have the courage to share a piece of myself with the people I love.

Photoshoot 'Home' at Brixton loft space

Photoshoot 'Home' at Brixton loft space

For me, the idea of home stretches beyond the physical space. It’s more than a nostalgic feeling I get from walking inside my childhood home. Instead, it’s somehow knowing that all is good and I’m ultimately at peace with myself. Even if I’ve just gone ahead and spent an unjustifiable amount of money on random stuff I can’t really account for. I have to remember to be kind, forgive and build my internal home day by day, I say to myself in a low whisper of a tone whilst wearing gym leggings, sitting on an exercise mat and cautiously sipping my hot green tea.

Being at home with oneself brings about moments of clarity. Moments carved out just for oneself. Candid moments I call them. There’s something beautiful about being able to walk inside a space and feel an authentic energy swirl through the atmosphere, feel a sense of peace as you read an all time favourite classic novel like Harper Lee’s ‘To kill a mockingbird’ whilst swinging in the hammock. Or exploring the wooden spiralled staircase that adds a hint of authenticity and a fair bit of character to a Brixton street corner. This Brixton loft was a true delight. It was a space where I  could freely let the true colours of my quirkiness splatter through the floorboards.

Floorboards similar to the ones I had growing up as a young kid where I fell in love with fictional tales. Fiction tales that would later become a metaphor for my idea of home. At age 7 reading stories and writing little anecdotes of tales that could capture one’s attention and linger there for a decade or two was home for me. It’s funny after all this time but my feelings haven’t changed one little bit. The feeling of being able to listen to Maya Angelou say ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’ and then trying to write down those stories I had kept inside for so long was a moment of true revelation. What a homecoming.

So now I’ve come to realise that I’ll only get to see the unfiltered version of myself the moment I find freedom in letting my writer’s pen glide across the pages of my thoughts. That’s the moment I’ll know what it means to sketch the outlines of my portrait and like an artist keep refining the sketch until it becomes a masterpiece in my own eyes.

Photoshoot 'Home' at Brixton loft space

Because in life one should always see value in themselves before the world even takes claim to that. That’s what it means to be home.

Photoshoot 'Home' at Brixton loft space

Inspiration behind ‘Home’

I was inspired to do this post because of my recent trip to an AirBnb space I stayed in for a couple of days whilst shooting in London. Whilst browsing through different spaces I saw this Brixton loft and the pictures of the space gave me an idea to write this post. I thought about what my ideal space would look like and then I began to question what ideas and thoughts come to mind when thinking of home. I’ve always thought of home as a mental space that allows you to fall deeper into yourself.

Photoshoot 'Home' at Brixton loft space

After exploring that idea a little more I began exploring other ideas. I let those ideas simmer and marinate together which gave me an idea to explore the various and interconnected parts we find in our selves as well as the external spaces around us. I then found a way to fuse those ideas together  in a unique way that would talk about the internal spaces within us and our connection with the external spaces we find ourselves exploring on a daily basis. All in all I hope this piece inspires you to think about home in a whole new light and also sparks self reflection and thought.