A house, bungalow or apartment is essentially a pile of bricks, mortar and roof tile. So what makes a home, other than it’s where you happen to live? Here’s a list of the top ten things we feel contribute to turning that pile of bricks in to a treasured home…
Your ‘nearest and dearest’ – As my daughter would say, let’s get the ‘cringey’ bit out the way first. This is of course what lays at the heart of the home…the people you share it with. Coming home to them and sharing experiences, hopefully positive, sometimes negative, but always together. This is really where a home begins and ends.
The ‘key and coin drop’ – I think it’s fair to assume we all have one of these…admittedly some are better organised than others. A temporary (or perhaps more permanent) home for your keys, coins, post, phone, hair bands, reading glasses and so on! The real trick here is to keep the area from expanding and conquering other parts of the room or home!
The aroma of home cooked food – OK this might be a bit of a cliché, and the appeal of such can be strongly linked to the culinary prowess (or otherwise) of the residents, however it is undoubtedly one of the things that contributes to making a house feel like a home. After all, where else can you authentically experience the smell of home cooked food?
‘Breaking bread’ together – Dinner time; it’s when we sit down, discuss the day’s events, put the world to rights…on occasion argue, or ignore each other, but it’s special because in these busy times it can often be the only time the household are all in the same place at the same time.
Your ‘safe place’ and shelter – It’s where you can shut the door and immediately feel more relaxed, comfortable and safe. The satisfying contentment of getting through the door on a dark, wet, wintry night; Or putting your feet up after a particularly hard day at work. It’s yours and your family’s domain, no-one else’s…and that is a wonderful thing.
Making a house your own – Some choose to redecorate from top to bottom, add extentions and completely remodel the property to suit their and their loved ones’ needs. Others might painstakingly handpick items of furniture, art, souvenirs from travels abroad. All these things can help make a house feel like a home, but more importantly they can reflect your personality, express your creativity…or to really overstate it, your home can be a showroom to your soul! (sorry about that!)
Connections to the past – Where you live is also where you keep those family heirlooms, photographs and home videos; it’s where you collect and catalogue your family memories, links to ancestors and where you can surround yourself with items that signify where you and your family come from and how you have developed over the years.
‘Lounge pant’ luxury – Your home is the place in which you can wear clothes you wouldn’t be seen dead in outside the house - tatty dressing gowns, PJs, onesies and those much loved lounge pants and fluffy slippers. Basically it’s where you can slob out without anyone judging you. The ‘lounge-pant look’ is a style which should stay firmly behind closed doors…unless you’re one of the brave parents who like to take on the school run in that state!
The sound and chaos of life – A home is not only about relaxation of course. It is often where the chaos happens! The toy drum kit that someone who doesn’t like you very much bought for your child, the flat screen telly that’s always on too loud, kids attempting to throttle each other, dogs barking, cats meowing, the drilling of the next DIY disaster, the mowing of the lawn, the chatter, and the laughter which comes with watching the latest celebrity having to eat bugs or the debate over whose showstopper is the most impressive. The noise of family life…it’s yours and it’s locked in to your home.
Family habits – The traditions you create for yourselves. These can be as common as the Sunday Roast, or takeaway/movie night, reading your children a bedtime story – things that other people do but they are individually special to you in your home, they are often mundane but all contribute to your sense of homeliness.
So you may not agree with all our picks; some you may not relate to, or you may think I left some big ones out…but hopefully you will agree with some of the above.
It all goes to illustrate that it is us who make the house a home. The building is a building, it’s what we do in it and what we fill it with that elevates it from bricks and mortar to something much more valuable.