We often take for granted where we live. We know if we like or don’t like it. But we don’t often think about whether we consider it home or just a house where we stay. But what is the difference and does it matter?
NOUN the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household and as an ADJECTIVE relates to the place where one lives.
NOUN a building for human habitation, especially one that consists of a ground floor and one or more upper storeys or place of residence, habitation, a roof over one’s head, a building in which people meet for a particular activity and as a VERB simply speaks of providing with shelter or accommodation viz the solid materials, movable and immovable kept.
What does a ‘home’ mean?
In a physical sense, a home is a house – solid and material. It provides shelter, a place to store our physical belongings and a place for a family or people to come together.
Having a house that is a home is more than just accommodation. It is the heartbeat of a sanctuary that welcomes your tired body, your aching feet, your busy mind and holds your heart and those that inhabit this space with you. “Be it ever so humble, it’s more than just a place. It is also an idea—one where the heart is” according to the Smithsonian Magazine. It is a place of belonging, something that feels familiar and welcoming. It is a place where one feels safe and secure. A place that ideally provides inner peace and time to replenish our souls.
Is your place a house or a home?
Love lockdown or hate it, but over the past few months, our homes have become our cocoons. Sheltering most of us from a stormy world and protecting us from a virus that has thrown the world as we know it into disarray. It is the constant in an ever-increasingly threatening world.
But did it feel more like a home than before or was it getting too tight and claustrophobic? A 2018 study of British homeowners showed that 66 per cent defined their place as a home, while the remainder said the place they live in is just a house, made of bricks and mortar.
What makes a house a home?
At SpaceSave, what piqued our interest was that according to the same study, people said that these 15 things defined if their house was their home:
- Happiness – 57%
- Love – 51%
- Security and safety – 50%
- The sound of laughter – 44%
- Meals with family and friends – 43%
- The smell of good food cooking – 43%
- A comfy sofa – 42%
- A bath AND a shower – 40%
- Freshly laundered sheets each week – 39%
- A well-stocked fridge – 39%
- Framed pictures of family and friends – 39%
- Pets – 36%
- Children – 32%
- Sunday roasts – 32%
- Summer BBQs in the garden – 32%
It is interesting to note that the top 4 items on the list are emotionally driven with more rational, material items listed further down.
Our surroundings are what impact our psyche most dramatically. This brings me to a concept called “embodied cognition” introduced by the Sarah Williams Goldhagen, wherein she describes that ‘’the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body” and speaks of the significance that our surroundings have an impact on the functioning of mind and soul (relating to the architecture specifically and more subtly to the design of the space we live in).
What is it for me?
As having a home has a profound impact on our psyche and wellbeing, it is interesting to spend some time to ask ourselves.
- Am I at home or just living in a house?
- What makes it or would make it a home for me?
- Has Covid19 and the lockdown changed my view in any way?
- How well does it function?
- Function or form or functional form?
- What makes it or would make it a home for me and/or my family?
- What would I need to do to make this space a home?
- If this is the space that my mind, body and spirit functions in daily (or that of the people that matter to me) how can I make it work better for me?
Have we triggered a thought process that leaves you wanting more, let’s engage? Tell us what you think and sign up for our newsletter for great ideas, tips and discussions in and around our homes, the meaning and importance of the space around us and living better with less.