Judge for yourself! 

This is very simple. You don’t need anyone to tell you whether or not you’re managing your home well. You already know.

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Open the door, observe and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you and your partner form a solid, respectful union, apart from the inevitable bickering that most couples succumb to? Are you capable of solving the day to day problems that arise in the home and tackling together the more serious issues?
  2. Do you both share the responsibilities and household tasks? The amount you each do doesn’t necessarily have to be equal in percentage terms but simply the distribution of tasks that best work for you in your home.
  3. Does communication flow well between all the members of the household?
  4. What is not working? Think about it without kidding yourself. Can you solve those problems with the participation and collaboration of your children? Don’t forget that the home belongs to all those who inhabit it, although adults have more responsibilities than younger members of the household. Remember that teamwork is always the best solution!
  5. As parents, and remembering yourselves as children, do you feel that your children are growing up in a true home?
  6. Is there anything in your home that you think could be improved? It doesn’t consist in thinking of an idyllic home as an example, because all of us would want a bigger or better-located house, with more light, more rooms or a larger kitchen or with a butler to serve us! Simply think of your home –  is that the place where all its members (parents, children, grandparents) are loved for what they are and receive the necessary and basic attention to grow and develop as human beings?
  7. Finally, do you think that your home is that place you always look forward to returning to?

If the answer to this last question is yes, congratulations. You’re building that home that everybody deserves and many don’t have.

If the answer is no, don’t feel overwhelmed, everything has a solution, it’s just looking for someone to guide us in what we are not good at and trying to improve it. There are no magic formulas, those tips that work in some houses, might not work in others. The key is to detect and recognise that something is wrong and get the proper diagnosis.

After all, the home is the first community we belong to and the most important company of our life. Let’s take good care of it!

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Creating Home Away from Home: Home Renaissance Foundation at the Ritz London

On Saturday September 28th 2013, the HRF Research Coordinator and Research Intern were invited to dinner at The Ritz London, a long-time favorite of Royalty, aristocracy and celebrities, to learn more about their Happy Families accommodation programme. It is encouraging that the hotel that for over a century has been the benchmark by which other hotels are measured also claims to be “the most family-oriented of London’s luxury hotels”. The key to the Ritz’s approach is an emphasis on facilitating a family atmosphere by creating a congenial and welcoming environment, where service to the person is given utmost priority.  TheRitzarticle-1

The Ritz claims to design its guest services in a manner that allows families to create moments that will be remembered for a lifetime, rather than merely providing a distraction for children when travelling away from home. This emphasis on facilitating family interactions and traditions is of great interest to the Home Renaissance Foundation.

But how, in particular, does the Ritz London create home away from home? First and foremost, the hotel is a plaTheRitzarticle-2ce where no detail is overlooked; even before you have entered the building, you feel the staff treat people with warmth and familiarity. One of the best features for families are the interconnecting rooms for parents and children, creating a social space that facilitates family interactions. Children can also enjoy the selection of age-appropriate children’s books and DVDs in-room, as well as an assortment of bathroom amenities that youngsters are sure to love

These efforts to live excellence in the home – even away from home- show us that training and precision go into creating excellent home atmosphere, and that hospitality and domestic work are not merely a collection of services such as laundry, cleaning, and cooking. They are truly a value system in which science, art, psychology, culture, skills and an aptitude for management all play a crucial part.

Have you ever been somewhere far away that felt just like home? What made you feel this way? Was it the food? The sheets? Or the flowers in the bathroom? Share your thoughts with us, and let us know where we can find a special home away from home!