Houses are defined as a buildings for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people. But one of the largest tasks of any Homemaker goes well beyond keeping a clean living environment: Transforming their beloved dwelling from a simple house to a real home.
Houses are wonderful things. They provide us with shelter from the elements, act as a place to store our personal belongings, and are the central area form which we live out our lives; they’re 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 that they’re easily one of the most important parts of our lives.
Despite their integral place in our lives, however, sometimes we tend to forget just how important they actually are to them; how much they provide us with- and how important having a place to call home can be to us. A simple house is so much different than a home, though.
But what exactly is it? What makes it?
For many people, their house 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- providing it with some form of increased functionality, interest, or purpose.
In reality, 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 fictional 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 remains just as true in the modern age today; our homes are indeed where our hearts are- and if we wish to make a home, we cannot be separate from the houses in which we seek to make them. We must poor our heart and soul into them instead.
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 an extension, 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 that we seek to foster, in itself, is made up of several parts of its own.
The first part of it is arguably done through decorating it to our tastes and preferences. Enjoying the space, after all, is integral to that connection. Creating a visually appealing space with aesthetic and functional value 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.
You cannot often step into a house, decorate it, and feel like it is your home just yet. That transformation truly develops on its own over time- and it is developed through the active use of this space. This 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 within our residence: The daily rituals, traditions, 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. And it is that connection to our houses that truly transforms them into homes.