What Makes a House a Home?

Houses are defined as a buildings for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people. They provide us with shelter from the elements and a place to store our personal belongings- and a place to eat, sleep, get ready for work, relax after a hard day, and even celebrate all the little events of life. Indeed, we do so much under their roofs… Yet sometimes we tend to forget just how important they actually are; how much they provide us with, and how much their environment impacts us during the day-to-day of our lives.

Our houses are easily one of the most important parts of our lives and every day routines…  But a simple house is so much different than a Home– and creating a Home is something that is important to all of us. What is it, though, that takes a house and transforms it in such a manner?

For many people, their Home centers around the items which they accumulate; clothes, cookware, furniture, decorations, and so on. However, these items do not a Home make. While they certainly play an important role in the process overall, on their own they are simply nothing more than furnishings meant to fill up space within a house- and usually provide it with some increased functionality or purpose.

Still, the answer to what transforms a simple house into a Home is less concrete than one can possibly imagine; if you ask every one of your friends, you will likely get very different answers from each one of them… After all, the concept of Home means something different to everyone; each person will have those unique little ideas and quirks concerning what makes a place worthy of being called their Home.

Despite the variation of answers, though, one thing rings true: “Home is where the Heart is”. Joseph C. Neal wrote that as part of a story published in Graham’s Magazine in 1847. It was true in the context of the story in which it was published back then, but it is just as true in the modern age today; our Homes are indeed where our hearts are. This is because if we wish to make a home, we cannot be separate from the house we wish to make it in; we must poor our heart and soul into them.

In other words, making a house into a Home requires you to fill it in such a way that it makes it yours; allowing it to become that extension of and reflection of yourself in every single way. When this happens, a house becomes more than simply a place you eat, bathe, watch tv, or sleep… It becomes a safe haven; somewhere that you have a positive emotional response to.

Therefore what truly transforms a simple house into our Home boils down the emotional connection that we share with our living environments; the fondness we hold in our hearts for them, and the joy that fills us when we think of being there. This emotional connection to our Homes is dependent on our overall happiness and comfort within this environment- and this emotional connection itself is made up of several parts.

The first part of creating that emotional connection is largely often done through decorating it to our tastes and preferences. Enjoying the space is integral to that connection- and creating a visually appealing space that is functional to our interests and needs as individuals therefore plays an equally integral role in the creation of a genuine Home.

Yet this is only a scratch in the surface of the process; there is much more to creating that emotional connection to our environment than simply filling it with stuff. It is not only includes our responses to the people we share this space with- either temporarily as guests, permanently as lovers, or anything in between… But also our experiences with our residence and the memories it contains for us.

You cannot often step into a house, decorate it, and feel like it is your Home just yet. That is because the largest part of this transformation develops on its own over time- and it is developed through the active use of this space; through the active use of our houses we create Daily Rituals and Traditions associated with it, and (most importantly) Memories surrounding it. These are the things that ultimately create a stronger connection to our environment than simply decorating it can possibly achieve.

In other words, those places that we make our Home are an extension of us as the individuals residing within them. Without realizing it, they tell a story to all who enter them about who we are, what we believe, what we are feeling, what we want from life, and so much more. They are a reflection of us as individuals- and they are reflections of not only our physical selves, but of our emotional selves as well.

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