Want a tattoo that’s a tad more surprising than roses, barbed wire, or fairies? Look no further than your own cherished abode! If the latest photos on Instagram are to be believed, the hippest new way to express your love of home is to get it permanently emblazoned on your body.
Curious about what’s behind this trend, we asked some people to show off their ink and share the stories behind them. Prepare for house love on a whole new level.
‘I am … reminded of what I’ve left behind’
Alex Escaja-Heiss of South Burlington, VT, is leaving for college soon, and his family home is also being sold. So he decided to commemorate this transition by having a shop, Quatre Tattoo, render his home based off an old photo.
“I have called this place my home for 18 years,” he says. “This tattoo captures not only my personal history, but a pivotal time of change that we all experience—growing up and leaving childhood behind.”
Even the tattoo’s placement—on the back of his shoulder—was chosen to further symbolize the idea that his past is literally behind him.
“It’s not a tattoo I see every day,” he says. “I appreciate this because when I do notice it, I am instantly reminded of what I’ve left behind, and where I am now.”
‘When I’m there, I feel safe’
In the backyard of his grandfather’s house on his 80th birthday, Daniel Urquizo of Merced, CA, decided on this tattoo.
“I thought how this house contained so many memories and means so much to me,” Urquizo says. “When I’m there, I feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. The tattoo gives me a sense of comfort and sanity, because on the other side of the tracks, where I now live, every day isn’t a good day.”
Urquizo’s tattoo, which spans his lower back, was inked by his cousin Bobby Salinas at Restless Valley Ink.
“If someone were to point anywhere on this tattoo, there would be a story to it,” Urquizo says.
A Montreal house ‘to take with me wherever I go’
When Nikki Chamberlain moved from New Zealand to Montreal on a work visa, she fell in love with the place, including its iconic architecture.
“The houses here were the first reason I fell in love with this city,” she says of the statuesque, two-story townhouses with their spiral staircases out front.
So now that her work visa is near its end, she brought pictures of these houses to tattoo artist Mirabolle and asked for a rendering on her calf.
“What better tattoo than of a typical Montreal house?” asks Chamberlain. “I’m proud to have one of my own to take with me wherever I go.”
‘The house is … my life and who I am’
Jaycie Morin of Oregon City, OR, who suffered abuse as a child, decided to get a tattoo to remind her that she could triumph over adversity. With the help of tattoo artist Risa Stevens at Aardvark Tattoo Co., she settled on a depiction of a whimsical cottage—”like Hansel and Gretel. A cozy, welcoming, and accepting place,” Morin says.
Yet it’s the foundation under this house that has special meaning.
“Each stone represents a negative thing that happened to me, but they are building the foundation under the house,” Morin explains. “The house is a representation of my life and who I am: me, starting from scratch, starting my life.”
‘I am my home’
Izzy Ioffreda of New York City moved around a lot as a child, and even now, in her 20s, she finds it challenging to put down roots. This is why she recently decided to get this tattoo—inked by artist Hanna Stebbins—as a reminder that home is wherever she is right now.
“I wanted a reminder of this time in my life when I am growing, changing, becoming independent, and having amazing experiences,” she says. “When I chose to get this tattoo, I really wanted a reminder that I am my home … and I need to treat [myself] like it.”
Hadn’t had enough yet? Feast your eyes on more house tattoos below.
A midcentury vision
It’s all in the details
Old meets new
A family memento
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