Is a House Always a Home?
It's an interesting question that makes you want to stop and consider just WHAT comes to mind when you think of "home" - is it a structure that you occupy, or a haven from the world? Is a house also a home, or are the two completely different?
Home is Where Your Heart is
Many people I know have an abode where they may eat and sleep, but it's not where they spend most of their time. They are too busy worrying about work or whatever else preoccupies their time, rather than investing in making their space inviting even to themselves. If you ask them about "home", they don't consider their "house" a "home" at all - home to them may be where they lived as children, nothing at all like where they currently are.
Others I know are homebodies in the truest sense; they enjoy spending time at home, and you know without a doubt that they really are comfortable there. It is their sanctuary where they can retreat from the rest of the world and just relax.
Transitioning Your House to Home
It's understandable for a young adult moving into an apartment for the first time, or for a couple moving in together to find it easy to just make room for the basics to be available - after all, as long as you have a bed, tv, stocked fridge, and access to music, what more do you need?
But living like that tends to keep you in the mindset of transition, rather than putting down your roots. Relaxing is hard when all you are thinking about is where you'll move next, or where else you can go to "get out of the house" to unwind. It will also interfere with your relationships, entertaining, and personal growth. Why? Because where you LIVE is strongly linked with your identity and how you feel about yourself.
Unless your existing dwelling is broken-down or uninhabitable, here are some tips on making the best of where you live so that it can be transformed from a house into a place you can call home:
- Be "scents-able." What smells soothe, invigorate, or motivate you? Whatever your favorite smells are, invest in some candles, room sprays, potpourri jars, or reed diffusers and place them in each room, or in a central location where you can enjoy their aromas from multiple points.
- Make your mark...add some décor. Nothing says boring like bare-white walls in a room filled with echoes. Don't like to paint? That's ok, because you can hang up framed photographs, paintings, and posters, or decorate shelves with your knick-knacks just as easily as papering or painting the walls. While you're at it, don't leave tables or book cases bare. If you're out of ideas on how to arrange pictures or stack books, simply browse online for some style how-to's until you find ones that suit your tastes.
- Organize and make your hobby area(s) accessible. Creating a "home" feeling can't happen unless the very things you love are fairly visible. Whether you're a craft enthusiast, a musician, or a photographer, your interests have to live somewhere. Just don't keep it cluttered, or else you will defeat the purpose!
- Add the coziness factor. A plush throw or shaggy carpet in the living room or den, a set of towels to accessorize with the bathroom shower curtain, a bolster pillow or bedspread on your bed...I hope you get the idea here. The point is to find something about each room in your dwelling that could make it that much more comfortable, enjoyable, or even luxurious (no matter your budget).
What many people miss out on when living in a place they don't consider "home" is that they fail to make memories right where they are. What's stopping you from staying in to read a book? Or trying a new recipe? Or listening to music? Or...? Figure out what's missing, and what would complete what you need, then make it happen! You will begin to find that by customizing your house and actually LIVING in it, it will magically start to transform into a home right before your eyes as your mindset shifts from "blah" to "ahhh!"