Making this House a Home

Do you ever feel like your house isn’t your own? That there is still so much to do to get it perfect? That the list of tasks grows as quick as it lessens?

As much as I’m not a very “hands-on” kind of person, I’ve never been crafty, strong, or dexterous with my hands, I’m currently spending the week away from work purely doing DIY. It’s soon to have been a year since Kirsty and I moved into our house, and yet no room is 100% done exactly how we want it. In truth, we haven’t even touched the majority of the rooms, having only made a bit of effort in the lounge sometime last year. We have plenty of excuses, we had an extra person(s) living with us for the first half of our stay, we’ve had hectic work patterns, family weddings, and depletion of funds. Really though, the main excuse is we just kept putting things off when we should have set some time to getting stuff right. That’s what this week is for, apparently, and that’s why I’ll be laying laminate flooring for, what will seem, the rest of my lfie.

All of this is in the pursuit of making our house ‘ours. It seems funny to say, being as we own the house (well, through lifelong mortgage to the bank of our choice), and no-one else lives there (bar Toby, but he doesn’t particularly mind what the place looks like as long as there’s a good cushion on offer). Yet, when you walk around a place that still has the scars of its past owners, their choice in carpets and wallpaper, it sometimes grates a little that the place you’re in isn’t truly ‘yours‘, or that you haven’t really left your ‘mark‘ on it yet.

That said, I’m also a big believer that your house is your home through other, less material means. I think a place can be yours through the memories, rather than the marks, that you make there. Sure, you can furnish your home and make it very ‘you’, I see this more and more now friends own houses, you see how their decor represents them as people, but all that is outward appearance. You may want your home to be cozy, or you may want it to be clinical, it may be vibrant and colourful, or it might be modern and muted. Whilst this may well be a metaphor for who you are, what you want to represent or what your intentions are, it still requires a bit more than that to give it a feeling of being a home.

To me, you can make anywhere a home just by being there. Ok, anywhere might be an exaggeration, I just mean… you don’t need to own a house, you don’t need to have broken away from your parents or friends. It doesn’t require these big steps. A home is somewhere you feel safe, whether that’s alone or with someone else, it’s a place that is your sanctuary, whether you own that place or rent it. It’s the smaller touches to a place, it’s the memories you make there and the time you spend there.

It reminds me of a song Kirsty introduced me to, by Holley Maher, I couldn’t find a YouTube version to link to, so I’ll paste the lyrics below:

Favorite books and woolen blankets
Shoes kicked off and records on
Stayin’ up late and friendly faces
That’s what makes this house a home

The screen door is crooked and it needs replacing
The garden is always a bit overgrown
But we built our love on a strong foundation
That’s what makes this house a home
That’s what makes this house a home

It’s hearing “good morning” or “how’s your day been?”
“Dinner’s ready” or “coffee’s done”
It’s loving you and this life we’re shaping
That’s what makes this house a home
That’s what makes this house a home
That’s what makes this house a home

I love this song, and not just because Kirsty found it. I love the sentiment behind it, especially the middle verse. It shows that the flaws in our homes, the imperfections, don’t lessen our homes but, in fact, make them more unique to us; especially when the home itself is built on a foundation of love. There’s a level of appreciation we should have for our homes little attributes. After all, if our homes really are a reflection of us as people, shouldn’t we love them as we love ourselves, flaws and all?

What makes your house a home? Is there a certain element that makes your house your sanctuary? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “Making this House a Home

  1. My parents had to leave their forever home too, it was my Moms dream house and I grew up hearing stories of how they survived off tins of beans just to afford to live there… Financial troubles hit, they had to sell and move, but now I can’t even imagine them in that old house as their current one is so perfectly suited! I think the wonderful thing about humans is we adapt, life throws things our way, but we adapt… Making a home is just one of those ways we survive 🙂 Sorry for the late reply, for some reason you got hit by my spam filter! All approved now 🙂

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  2. ButterflyinRemission

    Great post…I think a house/home evolves and grows over time…We had to leave our forever home for financial reasons to a smaller one but them I was diagnosed with Leukaemia and I love our little home as actually we can afford to do more and its our little sanctuary…sometimes things happen for a reason but at the time you just can’t see it!

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  3. Our mortgage is finished now, a great feeling I can tell you. But still my hubby keeps on top of it, the upkeep has to continue. this week we’re having the suffits and external woods replaced with PVC, and this year Phil’s decorated rooms, got carpets cleaned, laid laminate flooring in 2 rooms, it never really ends! next year it’ll be time to renew the kitchen, can’t wait for that! (oh the mess it will be 😦 ) but we love our little refuge from the world, and you’re right it IS the memories that make it home.

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    1. I definitely can see how it never ends! Just as you think one task is done, you have another ten lying in wait! Still, it feels nice to make a difference, even if it is a lot of work, but as long as we don’t become so concerned with the material nature of the house and forget the memories we make there 🙂

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  4. Wow! I love this post coz I agree cent per cent with it. Having stayed for a majority of my life in rented apartments, I know exactly how irksome it can be when you would like to have you house look a different way, but can’t because of, like you said, paucity of time, or in my case, coz the house didn’t belong to me. But you make a house a home by living, loving and making memories in me. Beautiful post! And happy DIYing 😊

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    1. I spent the last 10 years in rented houses/apartments… moving almost once a year… so it definitely feels good to finally have some place I can adapt to my own 🙂 But I definitely agree, it’s the living there that makes the difference!

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