The Privacy of Home Life

Library of Congress: Cornelia Horsford House, 1915 New York.

I used to walk past historic homes in the suburbs of Boston on my way home as a child.  There were large old Estates with beautiful fences and pretty gates to close in the private grounds.  The landscapes were lovely in spring and summer months as all the flowers were in bloom.  There was such a sense of rest and peace in those properties.

I love houses that are set back away from the road.  They are more private and quiet. I also love to see a variety of rooms in a home.  There is more peace when you can go from room to room. I see many homes of today with an open feel to them, as one enormous room is designed to hold the kitchen, dining and living areas.  It seems so busy and there seems to be a lack of privacy.  It reminds me of a studio apartment where there is not enough money to have more than one room. It is also similar to the one - room houses of Pilgrim days, where the sleeping area was right next to the kitchen table. It was one room for all things. 

I prefer to have a real dining room, a formal living room, and a separate kitchen.  I would love a room for a library with large windows to look at the grounds of a humble estate to see wildflowers and hear birds chirping in the trees.  I love the peace and respite of a large old home with many rooms.  I love the beautiful grounds set away from a busy street. It is a place of privacy and a respite from the busy world. 

Home should be a restful retreat where the family and their visitors can have places of comfort and quiet.  It would be lovely if cameras were rare and not pulled out to snap photographs every few minutes to share with the world.  Home should be a place of privacy.

It used to be that we had to buy film for our cameras. We could only take so many pictures at a time. We reserved them for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, with occasional photographs of daily life.  Then we had to wait for the film to be developed before we could share the pictures with others.  This was part of keeping things private.  Our family photos were shared only with family.  We would share only a select few with close friends or guests when they visited.  We are losing part of our privacy when we share every aspect of our lives with the public.  This is taking away some of our peace and our rest.

Home and family used to be a special thing that we wanted to protect.  We wanted to maintain that quiet and that happiness of rest from anxiety, busy-ness, and stress. Home was where Mother and Father were keeping the hearth cozy and the dinner warm in the kitchen. It was a quiet place we felt loved and safe.  It was a place of privacy.  This was where you could tend the gardens, maintain the homestead, and enjoy the family while shutting out the world for a time. 

Even in city apartments there are often many rooms where you can find peace and rest.  There are often window boxes for flowers, and little balconies for plants.  When the door of that city home is closed, there is a private world for just family and home life.  It is a place of peace and quiet from the hectic world.

Oh how nice it would be to cultivate a private home in today's world.  We can recreate that old time feel by setting up our rooms and yards in a way that has some separation from the public.  This would be such a happy place where one can rest a weary heart from the anxiety of life.  This is where one could rest and recover before going back out to do one's necessary work in the world.


From the Archives -

It doesn't have to be Difficult - "Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking."

When there are no Words - "Prayers Which Cannot Be Uttered."

Taking Care of - "My Husband's Money."

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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