This photo of our home was taken by Bjorn Wallander for Country Living.
The Place I Call Home
by Charlotte Hughes
The house on Estes street hides behind the unruly bushes. The broad black drive slides up to the large garage that still has a strobe light that goes off when the doors slam. Up the stairs past the wall of letters you reach the small yellow room that connects the two parts of the house. It is not in the middle of the house, that’s the front hall, but it is too pretentious so we come in the back. The front hall is for running through when you realize you’ve forgotten something. It is for rolling up the rug and sliding across in your socks. It is for walking past the living room, the one no one really lives in until Christmastime. Past the front hall is my favorite hall, the hall with the magic window and tall shelves full of old leather books from centuries past. It leads to the bedrooms, all but one and a half of them. Each bedroom is different. My parents’ bedroom is cream with a massive wooden bed that is always warm and soft, no matter what. My sisters’ room is pink, crammed full of blue sleigh beds and scattered with clothes. Sophie’s room is snowy white and immaculate: the sharp edges softened with fluffy comforters and small sheepskin rugs. Underneath the house there are more rooms and more hallways. There is a soft cream room with a house and a secret garden to play in, and a hard grey room with washing machines and a projector. It is where we watch car chases and bank heists and love stories and battles. Hidden in the corner of this room, behind old garage doors is a bed. It is a half room, just a bed and a closet. This is where my brother stays when he is home from school. On the other side of the house, on the other side of the yellow room is the kitchen. It is a big room, it has to be. It is where we spend our time: where we bake cookies for school and make bread for lunches, where we eat spaghetti and hamburgers and sit and read by the fire. We eat around its round wooden table and curl up in its massive white couch: a couch where there is no uncomfortable way to sit. Right off of that room, the room we truly live in, is my room. My room is a deep blue sea, changing colors with the light, anchored by the rust red couch and soft white island where I sleep. It is an unfinished room for sure, but no room is ever truly finished. The empty expanses of wall are places to plan and dream and think about, places that are not truly empty, just waiting. It is where I go to escape the loud noises of my younger siblings and think for myself. It is where I go to escape in dreams so realistic I wonder if they actually happened. In my room I can be my own person and think my own thoughts. But it is only one room in many. The hallways sprawl to other rooms with pianos and coloring tables and shell cabinets and guitars. Rooms that I do not visit except on occasion, rooms that are pushed from my mind because even it cannot keep up with the daily changing attitude of my house.