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Making a House a Home

May 16, 2012

by Caleb Gardner handmade and vintage goods

As I previously mentioned, 2012 is the year we make a new addition to our family. As if that weren’t enough transition, this year we’ve also decided to take the big leap to becoming homeowners. Doubling the amount of children in our home was a big part of that decision.

We wanted more space, of course, but we also wanted all the amenities of the typical suburban home: a yard, a white picket fence, the ability to walk across the floor without hearing your neighbors’ kids screaming downstairs. These all seemed like the types of things that would be helpful to support a growing family.

Being a hardcore urbanite, it took me a while to get comfortable with the idea of moving out of the city. Many families are raised within the confined spaces of Chicago, and I had always assumed ours would be as well. But when we reviewed what we wanted for our kids – especially our overactive three-year-old son – a yard space to play safely was on top of the list, and that is a precious commodity within city limits.

I’ve come to a place of being okay with being a suburbanite. Part of that is because the city will literally be blocks away. But a big part of it is something that my wife sold me on early: we’ll be able to transform our new house into an actual home.

There’s just something about having a pile of bricks and a roof to call your own. Lately, my wife and I have been devouring all kinds of home improvement and design resources, from This Old House to HGTV, from Dwell to Apartment Therapy. (The irony of the last one is not lost on me.) We’re seeking out tips with a desperate passion that equals the weight of responsibility we feel towards our new home.

All of this reading and preparing has me questioning: what is the tipping point when a house becomes a home? It’s has to be more than a coat of paint, or certain furniture, or feng shui. The aesthetics are important, but so is the cumulative effort of the relationships progressing under its roof. It’s some combination of the lives lived and the environment the lives are lived in.

I want to hear from you guys about how you went through this process. How did you make your space a home? What made it more than walls and paint?

Sears Tower Chicago Dictionary art vintage building architecture on Upcycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 7.75x11
Sears Tower Chicago Dictionary art vintage building architecture on Upcycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 7.75x11
$10.00 USD
Chicago, United States, 1960's, Vintage, Skyline, City, Colortone, Retro, Set of  5 Postcards, History, Collectible
Chicago, United States, 1960's, Vintage, Skyline, City, Colortone, Retro, Set of 5 Postcards, History, Collectible
Vintage Sterling Silver State of Illinois Charm for Bracelet - Souvenir
Vintage Sterling Silver State of Illinois Charm for Bracelet - Souvenir
New Home Card - House Card - Greeting Card - Housewarming Gift - Moving Card - Blank Card - Pack of Cards - Beach Hut Card - Stationery
New Home Card - House Card - Greeting Card - Housewarming Gift - Moving Card - Blank Card - Pack of Cards - Beach Hut Card - Stationery
$4.06 USD


  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 4 years ago

    Thats really frekin cool!

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 4 years ago

    As someone who moved many times as a child, I would suggest including your children in some of the process of making your house a home. They could help you pick paint colors, help plant a new garden, or start handmade murals in their rooms. The personalizing of your space becomes an opportunity for making family memories. To me, at least, your family's involvement is what makes your house feel like home.

  • beakr

    beakr said 4 years ago

    I reckon a house can't become a home instantly and that it will always be an organic process. Happiness and personality through personal aesthetic choice is the making of a home...personal touches and physical possessions that hold stories make a place alive with homey goodness and genuine origin stories. History in the making! You reminded me of a documentary series by Steuwart Brand, How Buldings Learn:

  • emmashepard

    Emma Shepard from SewWonderfullyMade6 said 4 years ago

    A home is where your loved ones are! The bricks don't make it a home; it's the love in it and eventually the great memories. :)

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny said 4 years ago

    I'll be doing just that in about 5 months! I'm looking forward to making the space "ours" as opposed to our landlord's. I'll be able to paint the walls my own colors, hang as many pictures and pieces of artwork as I want, and can choose the types of floor covering we'll have in every space. Not to mention the gardening capabilities... from day 1 of the buying process, I've told everyone I know that I want a butterfly garden... and now all of Etsy knows too :)

  • yourauntiespanties

    Genevieve F from YourAuntiesPanties said 4 years ago

    Congrats! I reckon it's all about personalization, and try not to take on too much at once!! :)

  • gardenmis

    Priscilla from Gardenmis said 4 years ago

    Our house became our home from the first decision to purchase and each renovation up to the current restructuring of our yard, we have tackled together. Our home holds memories and our personality and although I would love to move further out into the country someday, we love it. You are about to embark on a fun adventure! :)

  • clothscapes

    Chantelle from clothscapes said 4 years ago

    It is amazing how different a house feels when you walk into it and see it empty for the first time. Our home was full of the former owners furniture and it was difficult to imagine it as our own. But we could see it had good bones, and moved ahead with the purchase. But the day we took possession and saw it empty it was like looking at a blank canvas. The first thing we did was tear up the old carpet and linoleum, and dived into making it our own. We did a lot of the work ourselves, and I think that made it easier to claim, but anyway by the time we moved in a few weeks later the space was so different that it already felt like it was our home.

  • justbuyin

    Michelle said 4 years ago

    All of those things may 'grease the wheel', but they don't make a home. Put YOUR things in your new place and live in it. It will become your home.

  • LoopySheep

    Lidar from LoopySheep said 4 years ago

    what made my place a home was the same as with any relationship: the Change over time. the three years it took me to understand this wall should be green, and then painting it myself; the cyclamen and sweetpeas that are growing in numbers over time, as i collect the flowers and seeds when the bloom cycles are over and replant them the next year; Things that i got from friends, things that friends made for me with their own hands; learning to know which tile creaks when you step on it and how to avoid it at night... all the ways we respond to It and It responds to us.

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery said 4 years ago

    I live in the Northern Chicago suburbs now, and I love the area! But, I too am ready for a "pile of bricks" to call my own! Good luck!

  • KKSimpleRegalJewelry

    Krista from TheBeadtriss said 4 years ago

    Sounds exciting!!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    I feel its all the love in the home and all of the memories that are made there. My parents still live in the house that I was brought home from the hospital in when I was born. Even though I have moved out I still feel that its my "home". So many good times that I will always carry with me. My husband and I are hoping to move into a house within the next two years. We have two children and want one more and I want to be able to give them what I had growing up so hopefully the cycle continues.

  • laralewis

    Laurie Lewis from ShopHedgerowRose said 4 years ago

    We moved into our current home literally sight unseen but from that first moment it felt like "home" to us--it had everything we wanted (albeit an ugly kitchen.) Yet, over the past few years, that attachment has deepened as we have created many important memories here, including having our wedding reception in our backyard. Also I agree with everything Lidar said and especially as a gardener, I started to feel more in tune with our home over the growing seasons. Congratulations on your new addition to your family and your new homeownership!

  • MissTessaMelissa

    MissTessaMelissa from MissTessaMelissa said 4 years ago

    When I had my son, we lived in a tiny house in central Austin next to some not so great areas. Fine if you are an urbanite couple, but not so great for a family. We moved to a big house in the suburbs. Four years later, I wanted to pull my hair out I hated suburban living so much! My husband and I both just craved the city life, and even though we lived close, it was not close enough. Last summer, we bought another tiny house back in the city! Adjusting to the small space has been hard, but we are so much happier here. We have cool neighbors, live walking distance from the school, have a better backyard, and we have a house with character and history. For us, city life, especially this spot of city life we found, was the place for us.

  • ItchinStitchin

    Amanda Wytas-Ackermann from ItchinStitchin said 4 years ago

    We are currently looking for homes and I find the process daunting. While it looks like so much fun on TV shows, it's stressful. Sometimes you find a perfect home, put in your top offer, to only be let down (even in a buyers market). I've come to realize that the reason my hopes get dashed is because I can picture the house a home. I can picture holidays or my kids playing or even what family dinners will look like. What makes a home a home is the memories you fill the walls with.

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie said 4 years ago

    We moved to's a nice mix of city and suburb. My kids went to the Lab schools, and thank me all the time for raising them is such a great community. Best to you.

  • livfortoday

    Liv Gabel from MansionHouseRoad said 4 years ago

    The transition from a house to a home has to do with the emotional attachment you feel for the space. By working in and designing your new house you will begin to develop that attachment and it definitely is easier to fall in love with a space that you find visually attractive. But it will really be home when you start to make good growing family memories there. I live in a house now that I did not like at all when I moved in, but after a lot of painting and scooting furniture around and bringing a little baby home into it, I now feel a little sad at the idea of selling it someday.

  • eyeluvbooks59

    Jeanette Barney from eyeluvbooks59 said 4 years ago

    Although we have been married for thirty years, my husband and I are planning to buy our first house together this summer. We have been separated by work for over two years and are going to move to a bigger city. I am excited and feel like we are starting our married life all over again. I plan to take a lot of my plants and flowers from the yard and really make it feel like home.

  • TheHickoryTree

    Linda from TheHickoryTree said 4 years ago

    For me it has always taken the two year mark to make a house my home. We moved quite a bit due to job transfers so I've been blessed with the task of making our house a home 7 times in the last 28 years. The house I now live in has been our home for 8 years, so we have a lot of good memories from my daughter's orange bedroom walls to my son's hidden bedroom closet behind the bookcase. A home is where your loved ones are.

  • JohannesFranciscus

    Merel from JohannesFranciscus said 4 years ago

    Memories and hard work make a home. We got our house when I was 4 months pregnant and we moved in when I was 7 months pregnant (with twins). We did a lot of the work ourselves and that feels very good! Then we had our girls and last week we celebrated our own 'handmade wedding' with a long dining table in our living room and 30 of our closest family and friends!

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    Annette from TheLeveretsNest said 4 years ago

    congratulations Caleb on your new addition, and getting your new home! For me, there are 2 things that make a house a home. First and foremost is my heart - where ever my heart is, will be my home because I am truly grateful to have my own place and it is my own little nest. And secondly is being surrounded by the things I love. As long as I have my beautiful things all around me, on view, I am blissfully happy - every second, every day. For me it all comes down to gratitude and love :)

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 4 years ago

    I think just the ability to so what you want with the space can make something more like a home. That and the familiarity of it. A new, unfamiliar place never feels like home to me, but after awhile it becomes more familiar. It just takes some time for me. Familiar is good in my opinion, especially when it is something that you go back to every day after work or school. Making the space your own can really help as well though. If you have the ability to paint or decorate the space really becomes your own and you define it. Right now I live in a house with many roommates, and despite living here for half a year, it does not feel like a home. We are not allowed to paint the walls or organize things in the kitchen the way we would like, and our roommates do not keep communal areas clean. The two people who are renting to own the house pretty much get to decide everything, which includes painting the walls where I live in the basement an ugly orange and white. I am slowly making it my own though. Adding some of my art to the wall or an article really makes me feel better, like I live here too. Soon the walls will be fuller with more posters and art and I hope to never see an orange wall again. It is cliche but home is what you make it.

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits said 4 years ago

    Interesting. I guess it's what's important to you that makes it feel like home. Location can make a difference too. I don't want to deal with the city hassles, but despite being in the suburbs for 15 years I can't say it feels like home yet.

  • fineartstoneware

    fineartstoneware from fineartstoneware said 4 years ago

    Good luck to you. We moved into our current house one year ago- an 1860 farmhouse needing quite a bit of work. Takes time, but it's worth it!

  • archivioGotico

    Fabiola D'Antuono from archivioGotico said 4 years ago

    If you think about it making a house a home is a difficult job. You have to learn how to 'project' yourself out of your body and if you suffer from serious inferiority complex, this becomes particularly tricky. I haven't got a house of my own but the place where I live looks a lot like me and my children (messy). One day we will work it out and it will be great.

  • coalchild

    coalchild from coalchild said 4 years ago

    what made my new house a home was the experiences that pile up over time, the rocks in the garden that my husband and i handpicked from the empy lot down the street,the gardens we put in,and the bbqs,lightening storms from our garage and my bsmt workshop. all these little things over an amazingly short time add up to wishes for you and your family.

  • BlackStar

    Katie McClanahan from WearYourWild said 4 years ago

    That old saying "home is where the heart is" is so true. I am just as much at home camping out on our land, living in a tent, than I am at our 'house' home. Congrats on the growing family and the leap into home ownership! And get ready to work. It seems like there's never a dull moment around here. Something always has to be done, even on new homes.

  • JulieMeyer

    Julie Meyer from JulieMeyer said 4 years ago

    The first days after the stomach flu has gone through your house and you're disinfecting every square inch - then it's home! Fortunately it's only happened once in our first home and only once in this home. I know gross, but it's the good and the bad that make it home.

  • jenpanek

    Jennifer Panek said 4 years ago

    You have to buy a house that suits the kind of aesthetic you're going to move into it. I love my vintage, mismatched, wabi-sabi collection of furniture, rugs, art, linens, etc., and when I was looking to buy a house, I passed up anything that had been renovated (even just parts of it) to some kind of glossy-magazine ideal. Moving my things into it and decorating it the way I liked would make me feel like someone camping out in a rich person's house. We settled on a 1930s semi-detached with worn hardwood floors and a clawfoot tub that had been left despite a cheap 80s reno to the rest of the bathroom. It's easier (mentally) to tear out a cheap old reno and replace it with what you like--which we eventually did with the bathroom--than it is to look at someone's brand new expensive oak kitchen cabinetry and sparkling granite counters which you're paying a premium for, and think "hmm, I guess we could paint these white and install some butcher block instead."

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 4 years ago

    Being together makes it more a home than a house ~ things and furnishings are is forever.

  • KPlager

    Kate Plager from BombyxBotanica said 4 years ago

    We've moved in the past year. It really started to feel like home when I put all of the odds and ends I had on my old refrigerator on the new one.

  • KarisGypsy

    KarisGypsy from KarisGypsy said 4 years ago

    I bought my house 2 years ago, and only have a couple of rooms that are decorated. People probably think I am a minimalist who likes beige and grey, but that's far from the truth! I finally made a big step and painted my bedroom turquoise and upcycled an old wooden barn door (now painted red) for a headboard. Then I started buying things at thrift stores and Etsy, which is more cost effective and unique. My advice is to add little by little-each item or project that you do with your family will make a memory, and you will have plenty of time for each one.

  • susanadrt

    Susana Duarte from mrspepper said 4 years ago

    Well, my house is my home and my kingdom. I don't really know when did it happen, we have spent countless hours improving "her" and we feel that this is our space in the world and when it was built (in the 40's) it was indeed built so we could come and live here so many years later. I strongly believe that :-)

  • lilpotatohead

    Anne King said 4 years ago

    A house is just that, a house made of sticks, bricks, and landscape. It's the family inside that makes it a home. As you paint, put up the swing set, have a BBQ, the kids coming down the stair Christmas morning or just opening a garage door for the kids to roll out a bicycle, it's all memories you make while in the home that matter.

  • DowntownDame

    Kelly Deneen said 4 years ago

    My husband and I are also moving into our first non-rented home. It's exciting, and definitely a little scary at the same time. While the place we have rented for the last few years was definitely "home" to us, it was really only because we were there together. Me, him, the cats and our dog. I relish the idea of making changes to our new place (it needs LOTS of updates, and we both love that kind of work), but I really don't believe the decorations, remodels or tidbits that we move with us will be what make it our home. Creating our routines, bringing out our community of friends and loving each other in this place will be what truly makes it home. Congratulations, and good luck!

  • staceyarm

    staceyarm said 4 years ago

    This is the first spring in our home, a 1950s cape code. I feel connected to the past owners by what plants came up (more bulbs than I ever thought). I've watched the plants bloom, not knowing what colors they woud be. Putting in new plants makes me feel a link to the past and future.

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    We moved 17 times in 4 country for my hubby job . And since three years we are living in our home , we do it lots of things together , kids too :). We painted together , kitchen , bathroom , Still we need painting, decoration etc but i dont think more because first time we stay in one country long time :)). And our small aparment was 50m2 , now we are living 100 m2 :))So we are happy ! But with my handmadework like an atelier , everywhere fabric etc :)) If you are sleeping well and happy , yes this is your home. . Good luck ;)

  • whyte

    Pat from whyte said 4 years ago

    I agree with those who say memories make it home. I've moved enough times to believe this. I've lived in our current home for 20's not home. My heart is too tied to where I grew up, where my children grew up; and now that I'm an empty nester who moved in with the love of my life, it was his home and I've never quite been able to make it mine. It's not working. And I've painted walls, changed flooring, created my own art studio, moved in my antiques, my dog........everything that should make it "home". It's not working. The property is in the woods, beautiful land, peaceful and restful to come home to after work, we love staying home on the weekends, it's a comfortable shelter. It's not working. It's me, not him. It's a mental state.

  • FreshFromtheFlame

    FreshFromtheFlame from FreshFromtheFlame said 4 years ago

    I agree with the "the house is a home because your loved ones are there." We built our current home but would move in a heartbeat. I moved a lot as a child and learned not to get attached to anything or anyone. As an adult I am only attached to my family. BUT, enjoy your making a house a home process as it is yours so go crazy. Paint each wall a different colour, heck let the kids draw on the walls. Just don't be too mature about having a house, it should be fun.

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy from worksofwhimsy said 4 years ago

    Yup, it's the memories that make it a home. And marking your kids' height in a door frame helps.

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    Comfortable, decorated, yet functional spaces, room for boardgames, tumbling about, & doing projects together, personalized areas, pictures of course, & having fun while doing it. I think these things are inmportant in making a home.

  • woolnimals

    Abby Emerson from Woolnimals said 4 years ago

    My husband and I just bought our first home...we haven't moved in yet, but we already love it like it's a member of our family. Since the idea of "home," for me, is a sense of self, love, togetherness, peace, security, and hope radiating outward from the individuals who inhabit a space...I can't help but think a home begins the moment it becomes part of someone's life. I consider the house I just purchased my home - because my love and intent spreads out to it already. When we move in, the sense of place and home will only be stronger with every passing moment - with every breath of life we exhale into it. Great article, thanks for posting this. :)

  • rachelungerjewelry

    Rachel Unger from RachelUngerJewelry said 4 years ago

    I purchased my first home two years ago. It felt like home almost immediately simply because it was mine...all mine! But, the traces of ugliness left by the previous owners needed to be stripped away (or in my case, painted over). I bought and planted the plants I wanted, painted the walls colors I love, and hung artwork I had collected over the years. Take your time. I have been acquiring furniture and other decor for 7 years, one piece at a time. Never buy anything you don't absolutely love! And have fun!

  • bbbavy1976

    Monica said 4 years ago

    My husband and I closed on our house the day after we returned from our Honeymoon. The realization that it was ours really hit us, when we had some major financial blows with things that we had to fix. We had an inspection, but sometimes things just happen. We were use to calling somebody else to deal with problems like the Landlord. We had to deal with it, and it was ours to deal with. Now we have totally changed the entire house, I wish I could invite the old owners over to see how we interpreted the house. I think that is when it really feels like your own when it is comfortable to you. My Mom tells me she always dreamed of owning a house like ours. My parents never owned a home, and we moved constantly. I plan in living in this house for at least the next 30 years. There is no place like home!

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 4 years ago

    even though I own my home with my husband and little still never feels like home when I walk thru the door. I still dream of that home I grew up in...far down in Southern Illinois Having it yanked out from under me as a kid thru a messy divorce. Nothing has ever felt like home since, don't guess it ever will. Good luck with making your home something special.

  • CarpetShopPrincess

    Katie Koshy from carpetshopprincess said 4 years ago

    I have a framed embroidery piece that my late grandmother gave me when I moved into my first apartment years ago. It says, "Loving Hearts Make a House a Home." As soon as I hang that up, then I call my house "home." Congratulations to you!!

  • BCtwo

    Katrina Balling from BCtwo said 4 years ago

    we just moved into our new house 3 months ago, unpacking my husband's art & hanging some paitnings has done wonders! And weeding out side....

  • vjeash

    Victoria Ashmore said 4 years ago

    My brothers and sister and I are spread out all over the place. Our mom always told us "home is where you make it".

  • oinest

    Telia from KatiesWildflowers said 4 years ago

    Thank you for your sweet article. My husband and I have thought about your question a lot lately. When we moved into our townhouse cul-de-sac 6 years ago as newlyweds we expected we'd be here 5-7 years then move on. Well, 2 kids later and a poor Seattle housing market we are staying and for who knows how long! So, we decided to work with it and enjoy the benefits of living in the city like the great parks, libraries and restaurants. My husband put in a playset in our little yard and a small storage shed behind the house. We've been doing more decorating like painting and putting family photos up. We are always trying to get rid of things to keep our small place less cluttered. I'm really happy where we are and feel blessed to have a great community to live. So I think it's all in your attitude.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 from breadandroses2 said 4 years ago

    Loving hearts do indeed make a house a home. The rest is frosting on the cake. Make sure you like the feel of the house and check out the neighborhood at various hours of the day & weekends. Don't rush; if you don't find the right place before baby #2 arrives it's ok to wait a bit longer until you find what feels right. Waiting another 1/2 year or even a year isn't a big deal in the larger scheme of your life. It may save you from choosing the wrong place under pressure to 'get settled' pre-baby. Plant lots of flowers and small garden asap. Your son can help. Congrats and best wishes!

  • AlliesAdornments

    Allie C. from AlliesAdornments said 4 years ago

    More than the structure, its the people within the structure that make it home.

  • BlueBrocade

    BlueBrocade from BlueBrocade said 4 years ago

    Slowly accumulating items and decor--I find that if we bought too many new items from shops, they felt like mere objects, sterile. They looked nice, but lacked a lived in, emotional feeling. And so, we have slowed down, and really only spend time buying (and making!) objects and decor items that we really love, that we really feel happy living with. It might mean its a slow process to 'finish' each room, but when you look around your space and truly love every thing and every one, when the objects and people are in synch, it feels more personal to me. We love a mix of new and old vintage items, and love spending time window shopping or etsy searching. We also collected images from Apartment Therapy that were rooms we loved, to really deconstruct what it was about those styles we loved and what elements we might incorporate into our home. It became a wonderful experience to really searching, formulating and exploring our personal decor styles and tastes. But really, home will be the feeling that comes when memories start being made in those walls, and when your children's artwork and family photos surround you. Taking time to nest and decorate together instead of looking to trends will ensure that your home is a reflection of your family and not a designer's formula. After a few weeks, things will settle in and it will feel great :)

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 4 years ago

    I don't think that any of the 'design' really makes a house a home. And I design buildings for a living... But it is what you put in there. It is what is yours and only yours. That is what makes it a home. If it is the werid art that hangs on your wall, that is completely you. Or if it is colors that you choose to decorate with. But as long as the design is what you want, and the things are what you like. That is what makes the house a home.

  • LoveFateJewelry

    Zurien Onn from LoveFateJewelry said 4 years ago

    It's been two years since my husband and I bought and lived in our townhouse, and we're still in the process of turning it into the perfect home - still no art on the walls, lots of cement surfaces that need to be tiled, all table tops need to be cleared of junk to make way for well-curated vignettes, cheapo IKEA clocks need to be replaced with the perfect timeteller that will fit each room - but we'll get there someday.... we will!

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 4 years ago

    Love this post!

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio said 4 years ago

    Good times and memories make a house a home - interacting with family and friends in the space and sharing experiences along the way ---- though incorporating paint changes, well-placed furniture and accent pieces, and a well-loved garden all are part of the process too ----- how you live in the space will make it yours.

  • popkingarb

    Ea Senga from lamerdereve said 4 years ago

    congratulations on the new addition to your family! for me a home is a place where you feel loved and somewhere you can always return to. it also has a certain look and feel which you cannot find anywhere else. some personalized accessories/accents can turn your home unique and make it feel ÿours.

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice said 4 years ago

    Great post! A house becomes a home when it feels like home - lived in, comfortable, and a sanctuary from the rest of the world. Design is only part of it, and of itself doesn't make a house a home - a designer look can feel sterile without people, memories and mementos. Home is where the heart is, as they say!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    For me a house starts being a home when it stops feeling like someone elses house! That its a place your staying in rather than just being a part of, it just happens over time. One day you find yourself calling it 'home' rather than just 'the house'

  • mingtaphotography

    Mingta Li from mingtaphotography said 4 years ago

    Great blog! All we need is LOVE to turn it HOME!

  • SalvatoCollection

    Amanda from SalvatoCollection said 4 years ago

    Oh my golly, we are looking for a house right now. This was such a great blog to read. And congrats on all the wonderful blessings. A Home and a Family are just amazing amazing gifts.

  • kellyemeraldhart

    kellyemeraldhart from kellyemeraldhart said 4 years ago

    The point when my new house (4 years ago now) stopped feeling like a vacation rental and started feeling like our real home took some time. Some of this time is the period in which you are moving in. And truly being moved in can take quite a while..but its important to mention that the entire process is very exciting and I wouldn't be in a rush to get through any stage quicker then it is intended. To sum it up I think our house became our home after these few things... 1. We had to clean. 2. we had a few home cooked meals. 3. It had been LIVED in. This in it self takes a couple of weeks.. and created a bit of a mess. 4.Fully decorating our home and hanging up family photos also helped. Making it your own, and admiring your work within the home. Feeling a since of accomplishment when you look around and finally .. thoroughly relaxing. This i when our house felt like home to us.

  • davis798

    Hannah Davis said 4 years ago

    Such a great blog, it helped me really think, and to think I was only browing

  • THREEerincadigan

    Erin Cadigan from THREEerincadigan said 4 years ago

    We are right there with you! We actually own our building in Bushwick Brooklyn. Three years it's been a great home with mild annoyances, the neighbors are partiers whose wall is very thin, the kids around here can't seem to get their pants above their butts, grown men throw garbage on the streets. All stuff that has never bothered me through the past 20 years of living in cities, stuff I guess I used to romanticize even perhaps. Now with a kid on the way, two large dogs, a crazy cat, two adults running their own businesses, my heart is crying out for space. We have a bid in on a place up in Woodstock. Aim is to get it, rent it and go there next summer when the coming Rose is about 1 years old. As a current home owner and like minded individual my advice is this: 1) Write a list of things that are mildly annoying for you to live with (say no closet space), realize like any relationship the mildly annoying can get glaringly overwhelming when you've committed long term. 2) Write down necessary (I need art studio space) make sure you get your necessary as it will make you very happy to have! 3) Do as much as possible design wise BEFORE moving in. IE: painting the kitchen later when you have a bit more money may never happen because you have the money but now not the time to move all the crap out of the way. 4) Same as above kind of , work on the inside before the outside. 5) Before you buy make sure you know all the taxes, bills and hidden costs and figure them into monthly budget, making sure you have reserve for repairs. 6) Choose a place to buy wisely!!!! I'm not sure we would be moving out of the city if we didn't somewhat hate our hood. Theres really very few amenities that make us want to live in the city here. I wish we had maybe scrimped and saved a bit more and tried to get a place in a neighborhood that really works with our likes and dislikes. With all the space we need and animals we own etc we just can't afford to A) buy a second city building B) rent in a better hood. So we decided to look outside the city but we were VERY specific this time. Our parents think we are crazy but our list of must haves were 1) music venue 2) happening art scene 3) extreme liberal community 4) good restaurants and farm fresh food availability. Now try to find that place around NYC. We'll be sacrificing the 2 hour ride for the community we really want. Anyway good luck. theres nothing like owning your own place, it rocks! E

  • BirdEnergy

    Genise Park from GeniseParkArts said 4 years ago

    I have to say that what makes my house a home is not so much the building but what is on the outside (landscaping) and what is on the inside (design and decoration). For me it speaks of the spiritual essence of the ones who live there, regarding their outer and inner life, what ever that is. I love that everyone is different and what is important for one is not for the other. Enjoy your quest to discover what you love.

  • PinesVintageClothing

    Pine from GoodOldVintageOnline said 4 years ago

    I am making a conscious effort to eliminate things in my home that I have no or very little affinity for. I want to walk into any room and see only things that make me happy. My white curtains blowing in the breeze make me feel lighter, the ceramic pots and cast iron trivets that decorate my kitchen make me feel grounded. I love my plants on the porch that welcome me home and the ottoman in the living room that says 'put your feet up and relax'. I move frequently and sympathize with anyone attempting to make a comfortable space. If I were to advise on the basics, I would say that most every room needs an area rug, a lamp, houseplants and something charming to grace the walls.

  • coley616

    Nicole DeChristopher said 4 years ago

    Turning a house into a home is a lifelong labor of love! Ok let's be serious, sometimes it's a labor of [insert choice explicative here]... I've found that the #1 way to stay sane and enjoy it is to think about 1 room at a time. By the time you get through all your "rooms", you'll be back at the beginning of the cycle and can bring in more ideas, inspiration, and things to make it YOUR home. I try to capture this essence on my blog!

  • JollyPollyPickins

    Lindsey from JollyPollyPickins said 4 years ago

    I bought a foreclosure house 6 years ago that was in horrible condition. The day I got the keys, I literally had to boot out a squatter (not the legal owner) and all his accumulated junk. It was a foreshadowing of the weeks to come that were so rife with dramatic house issues that I cried myself to sleep every night and I was convinced I had made the worst decision of my life. As a single, first time home owner, with low funds and zero experience, I was not prepared for the extremes of this purchase and I definitely got myself into a situation over my head. As an example in the first week alone I removed 8 tons of garbage from the house and yard and that was the easiest tasks I faced! The whole experience was very surreal, but at some point in that first month my twisted sense of humor kicked in and I began to see the comedic aspects of this ongoing nightmare. I think the rotting defrosted turkey locked in my garage for 2 weeks, was the real turning point from tragedy to comedy – thanks for that one squatter! I remember exactly the moment when the building became a home. Two months into ownership, I was living out of one room, the rest of the house was now entirely empty, I owned no furniture, there were holes in the walls, layers of tobacco stains 2 inches thick and the kitchen was entirely gutted with a skylight into my bathroom above! It was about as bad as bad could be. But despite all the craziness, or maybe because of it, I had fallen in love and so far it’s been the craziest relationship of my life, but also the best one. 6 years later I am still working on this house gradually turning it into an extension of my creative self and even now I still go through periods where I question if the work is all worth it? Again, it’s like a classic relationship, every once and awhile you examine, evaluate and decide whether it’s still a relationship you want to commit to. So I definitely agree, paint, wallpaper and throw pillows don’t make a home, a home truly is where your heart is. There is a certain level of pride I have every time I finish a project and this place becomes a little more like the imagined version of my home in my head. I have taken lots of pictures at all the various phases of conversion and whenever I feel overwhelmed, I pull out my little scrap book and look back on what it was like in those first few weeks. All my pictures from that period are slightly blurry because I was crying and shaking as I took them, that alone makes me laugh and love my home all the more.

  • 5gardenias

    kathi roussel from 5gardenias said 4 years ago

    Home and happiness can be had most anywhere-- it really depends on perspective. I've been just as happy staying in a cabin with minimal facilities and few possessions as I've been living in the various dwellings I've lived in throughout my life with all my worldly goods. It really strikes me that homes are just resting places -- stops along the way as we progress through our lives. Some we stay longer in and put more of our hearts into-- some just serve a short term need-- layovers. We never really own them or anything for that matter... they're all just things that trickle through our hands like sand. We hold onto to things and then inevitably we have to let go. Life calls for change all the time- or our perspectives change as we grow older. We need and want less. The home I'm in right now has been a happy place-- my son was born here.. My husband and I renovated it-- he did the majority of the hard labor with a small crew..The upper floor where we live once housed 6 small apartments -- it was gutted and opened up. Two years of solid labor. I was 9 months pregnant while we were still finishing the space-- building walls, painting, tiling, putting up wall board. Now 12 years later this is home. We sometimes contemplate leaving and look at other places, but the ones we can afford never really stack up to all the heart and love and uniqueness of the place we made together. It's really a testament to love and life! Who knows where we might wind up next.

  • hennyseashell

    Henny Augustien from hennyseashell said 4 years ago

    If you have (and feel) a special connection between you and your it's time for you to call it HOME :)

  • hennyseashell

    Henny Augustien from hennyseashell said 4 years ago

    If you have (and feel) a special connection between you and your house, that's the time you call it a HOME :)

  • MagpieQuilts

    Ann from MagpieQuilts said 4 years ago

    After years of renting and living in company houses, we finally moved into "our" house 10 years ago. We were finally able to put our own colors on the walls and as the kids were a little older, accessories no longer had to be unbreakable. I knew we had done it right when a visitor told our son, "Your parent's place is somewhere I feel like I can just relax!"

  • solocosmo

    Jessica Grundy from solocosmo said 4 years ago

    This past Feb. My family of four moved from San Diego to Huntsville, TX to build our own home with the Phoenix Commotion. They build houses of of 100% reclaimed/recycled materials. Every house is different and is constructed based on the available materials. My husband has gone to work for the crew and I am running my etsy shop. They very task of building our own home is daunting...where to begin. First our land! Then the house! We have been struggling for the past few months to save our down payment for our land (and struggling also with unexpected car troubles which is sucking away all of our funding of course). Nevertheless...we remain bright eyed and excited to build!!!! We moved away from friends and family to a town we have never been to just for the opportunity to build our own home, to have something of our own, something our kids (4 and 18 months) can call theirs forever!! So excited! It will be ours from the bottom up, we will be right there building it, framing it, running wires, everything. And when it is done...home....PS - congrats on your new one!

  • martket

    gmArt from mARTket said 4 years ago

    Time.. and patience.. finding the right place for everything.. decorating, knowing the place in the house that is best for you to relax and feel safe.. and the most important, making memories inside the house.. that's what makes it a home.. Good luck! ;))

  • exclusivelyhannah

    Hannah Strong from exclusivelyhannah said 4 years ago

    Include your children, hang their artwork, let them help choose furniture (at least for their room) it will make them feel apart of the process and excited for each new change you guys make. They will appreciate that you value their opinion. You are right, the people that live and come through your space make that space special. Memories will build up and it will make your house into a treasured home.

  • coffcat

    coffcat said 4 years ago

    It's usually a slow process making a house a home. There's the moving in, unpacking, deciding where everything goes and then changing it all again cause you're not happy with it. Then there's the painting and the new furniture buying. And then the last you start filling your rooms with those little things that define you as individuals. Favorite books, art work, comfortable throw blankets, a cup of tea. That's usually the time that I start to relax and to feel a connection to where I live. I reach that point where I feel the house is an extension of myself. That's when I relax and feel that bliss of being in the right place and belonging-of being home.

  • NannyMadeandfound

    Melinda from sixtybeansVntg said 4 years ago

    We have been in the same house for 25 years, moving in when our youngest was 18 months. They all (4 girls) still live locally and we have regular family gatherings here. We now have grandchildren.... and they add a new dimension to this "home". I have had my daughters friends say that we can NEVER sell this house, as it is home to them as well. It's in the walls and the floors and the general feel of the house, and the decor that has stayed somewhat the same, and has also changed. I do believe that the way you place things, the way the things in the home reflect something of you, and the love with which you build that look/feel are very important. As you live there, it all melds together to become home.

  • beepobjects

    beepobjects from beepobjects said 4 years ago

    Hey, what an exciting time! A valuable thing to do is it move in and live in the place for a little while before committing to major changes - see how sunlight works in the house, how the place feels during the different seasons, what aspects of the house surprise you with their charm that you couldn't see when you first inspected the property! Once you start to know the place well is when it can start truly becoming your home because you begin to understand its bones and can work within its fabric. Good luck with your move!

  • spiderbunny

    Jessa Cady from Spiderbunny said 4 years ago

    Good luck with your transition, you posted a lovely article! I think love is all that it takes to make any place a home ^ . ^

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