What Makes a House a “Home”: Decor Tips for a Homey House

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There’s certainly no shortage of interior décor items to choose from when it comes to styling your home. And it’s easy to think that you need lots of things to make your house a home. But are material objects really what you need to create a cozy home? Maybe yes, and maybe no. But we’ll let you decide for yourself.

The emergence of “home” departments

Fashion mega-houses, such as H&M and Zara, now offer much more than trendy clothing and accessories. Now, H&M Home and Zara Home serve up a fresh batch of merchandise regularly.

Mid- to high-end brands, like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn, never leave you wanting when it comes to items to fill every nook and cranny of your home.

Influencers, creatives, bloggers, and celebrities promote and endorse these items. And with all of this peer pressure, it’s easy to feel like your home isn’t a home without them.

But is that true? Because even after you fill your shopping cart with all the latest prints, marble tables, botanical prints and so much more, your house might feel more like an Instagram feed rather than your home.

So, what’s missing?

What are the essential items necessary to make your house a home?

Maybe before we ask the question, “What are the essential items necessary to make your house a home?”, we should first ask, “What are the essential elements of a home – even if they’re not material things?”

And to answer that, let’s rewind and just talk about houses for a minute.

The setting can make your house a home

At the bare minimum, homes are structures to provide shelter from the natural elements. But a house is an object that you can feel connected to.

This can depend on where it’s situated. For example, you can find houses in cities, suburban settings, along the beach, in a deep forest, or in a peaceful countryside. But which setting resonates the most with you?

That might be the first way to make your house a home. The more you connect with it, the more it will feel like a home, and not just a house.

Building materials

The materials used to build and design the house also play a role in how you connect to it. A house with a brick exterior might beckon to you more than one with siding. Stone homes or log cabins also evoke different feelings in different individuals.

And all of these factors can make your place feel like a house or a home. It all depends on you.

Why do these material elements matter so much? You could argue that these material characteristics help to transform your house from being a strictly functional shelter to something much more.

You see, your house is a shelter, but it’s not just a physical shelter. It’s a space that keeps you and your emotional wellbeing safe. It’s a safe haven for your material things and the immaterial things that aren’t objects – things like you, your heart, your emotions, and you.

Your home is your space. It’s where you feel comfortable. But what do you need to feel that way? Apart from the type of house, and the materials used, along with the house setting, what else do you need?

It’s a subjective topic, but here are some ideas to ponder:

  • You need items that represent you, your style and your personal preferences. So, look for pieces that mean something to you, even if they’re not “trendy”, “vintage” or “high quality”. Together, these things unite to make your house your home – a place marked with your own, unique style.
  • Remnants of your travels and experiences, such as souvenirs and photographs, act like your own personal trophies, showing off your adventures and expeditions. They help to transform your house into a home.
  • Your home will have its own unique smell. That will all depend on what you fill your space with. So, from houseplants, flowers, candles, home cooking and baked treats, your home will smell a certain way.
  • Heirlooms passed down through the years, also make your home special and individual. That’s because apart from having any financial value, they have a deep personal meaning, reminding you of your history and roots, no matter where your “house” is.
  • What makes your house a home is the daily habits and rituals that you fill it with. It’s where memories are made and where tears of joy and sorrow fall. Your home is the silent witness to everything you experience in it.
  • A house becomes a home thanks to the people and pets that share the space with you. The voices, characters, laughter, and presence of others make a big impact on the living space. These people and animals give your home a sense of life and warmth.
  • An unloading spot is something you can create intentionally or something that emerges organically. It’s where you leave your bag as soon as you walk in the door. It’s where you leave your keys, and kick off your shoes.
  • Your home is the one and only place where you can boycott clothes whenever you want. It’s where you can take off your bra as soon as you come home from work. Home is where you can wear pajamas all day. You can wear your birthday suit if you want. At home, you run the roost and set your own rules.

Shopping for your home

When you’re out shopping, you might want to tap into all the latest trends and bring home lots of fun new décor pieces. But before you purchase anything, ask yourself why you want and/or need that piece.

Does it make you happy? Does it fit in with the rest of your home? What’s your motivation for picking up that particular object? Maybe it reminds you of yourself, your grandmother or your best friend.

At the end of the day, the items in your home are only part of what makes your house a home. The truth is, you’re the one who makes your house a home – you, with your own spirit and style.

When you fill your home, not only with things but with people and pets – who fill you with joy – your place becomes a home and not just a house.

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