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A lifetime of home creation
Renee Corbin

by Renee Corbin

Growing up in northern Wisconsin my family had a two-room shed out back. We called it the "playhouse." I spent endless energy collecting hand-me-down furniture, curtains, knickknacks, pots and pans, anything that would make the "playhouse" into my house, my "home."

When I left home to attend the University of Minnesota the excitement of having my own apartment consumed me. I lay awake at night arranging the furniture over and over in my head. During the day I hunted in thrift shops and spent hours painting an old steel bed yellow. This to me was adventure!

The adventure continued when I married my high school sweetheart and joyfully created our "home" in several apartments.

Our first house was small and we thought it was perfect. But soon after we moved in, I fell true to my nature, and reworked the space using color, finishes and furnishings that expressed my own sense of comfort and beauty. After four years of sweat equity, the house was ours. When twin girls arrived, along with two of everything, in no time the small house was bursting at the seams. Our "real home" had become "un-home-like." With glee, I searched for a new home.


For 24 years we've spent countless hours enjoying all this home has to offer: crackling fires in its stone fireplace, wooded views in the quiet of early morning, its open-hearted kitchen. Ten years ago our daughters moved on to homes of their own. They left home together, just as they arrived-in one fell swoop. Their rooms have since been quietly re-purposed.

We still love this place, but my heart whispers of a next home; a smaller, simpler place that speaks to who I am today. A home where time is everything and a deep sense of being becomes my most prized possession. As of now, I am not sure where or what this "next home" will be, but I am certain of one thing ... when I follow my heart, I always find myself at "home."

Renee Corbin is an interior designer and has worked in the design field for over 30 years. She lives in Minnetonka.

Renee Corbin suggests these books for inspiration for home creation:

The Comforts of Home by Carolyn Clifton Mogg

Design*Sponge At Home by Grace Bonney

More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home by Sarah Susanka

The Right Color by Eve Ashcraft

A Home of Her Own by Nancy R. Hiller

Tales of a Female Nomad-Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman

What's on your bookshelf?
Send us 450 words about your booklife, plus your list of four to five related books by women authors, to editor@womenspress.com

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