When you’re in the business of renovating homes, it comes as no surprise that you spend a lot of time thinking about the home. The Bolster team springs from a diverse set of backgrounds and disciplines. We count among our brood an anthropology major, a mathematician, a critical theorist and even a former physicist. Take a stroll around our offices and you might overhear the typical reno talk about money, timelines, materials and even appliances. But you’re also just as likely to stumble upon a heated debate on how building homes helped humans evolve; to become more human. Yes, we talk about these things. And consider them quite seriously when approaching our homeowners and their renovations.
So, what is it about the home that fundamentally shapes the human condition?
A quick search of Merriam Webster’s for the word “home” will get you a smattering of about 7 definitions. Among them are these two:
: a place of origin.
: the objective in various games.
At first glance these definitions seem to contradict each other. The latter implies home is a destination; a place or condition to be strived for; an objective to be won. The former implies that home is where we begin or start. The crux of the implication being that we are already home; quite literally it is the place of origin.
Interestingly, the one thing that you won’t find in Merriam Webster is home defined as four walls and a roof, or a collection of rooms connected by wires and plumbing. But I digress.
A closer look at the two definitions reveals a natural continuum that humans and some animals innately understand. Hardwired in our genetic code is the need for food, shelter and safety. These are the critical conditions for life to thrive. So it is obvious to us from our very first breaths that the place we start (home) by necessity has met all of these crucial factors for life. The place we start; our origin is the perfect home, after all it produced us.
Then as we grow and outgrow this perfect home, we go out into the world and seek to recreate it. We endeavor to make the perfect home again. The objective or destination becomes the home; this perfect place that provides food, shelter and safety, that life may happen again.
So, does the human make the home or does the home make the human? The answer is resoundingly YES.
Now its 2018, and we’ve come a long way from the home being a dry place to eat without being chased by predators. Uber gets us around town without an umbrella just fine. Seamless and Blue Apron provides our food fully cooked or almost cooked. And my iPhone can broadcast my safety or call the police if I need them. So why do we still carry this prehistoric need to build, own, personalize and renovate our homes? The simple answer is that now with all of our practical needs met, our evolved selves need space to think, rest and to create.
Most renovation firms are adept at tackling the practical aspects of your renovation. Their minds can easily focus on the logical, tactical, and financial aspects of what it means to deliver a project to completion. The results of which, for the most part, are walls and a sturdy roof, creating functional spaces connected by wiring and plumbing. That’s the easy part. The hard work for any renovation firm worth its salt is the ability to produce a HOME; a place that is both familiar and new; your origin and your goal. A place that moves the mind to think, the body to rest and the soul to create. This is the goal of the Bolster team.
While we have had many successes there is still work to be done and conversations to be had. We invite you to give us a call or come take a stroll down our halls. You’ll overhear many conversations, and most of them will be about you.