Making a house a home: A while back, I revisited my childhood home. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the place, it remained the same, Ixora trees and freshly cut elephant grass.
A glance around the neighborhood showed me everything else was different. The house seemed to be the same, but I knew it wasn’t.
I walked down the streets, looking for old landmarks that connected with certain events in my life. Events that told stories of a time long gone. I looked across the street and saw a middle-aged lady ushering her two bubbly kids inside.
I said my greetings and she turned to wave. She looked tired but no sign of recognition lit up her face. That was Esther’s house.
It wasn’t long before I realized all the people I knew were gone, and my friends were gone too. Most of the older houses were torn down and new ones built.
These new homeowners may never know the secrets once kept within the walls of their houses. not theirs—the many joys shared, or the waves of laughter from the family night of a family.
How about tears, grief, or Comfort? They would never know that I almost shared my first kiss behind the passage door, but for the untimely interruption of my mom.
I quickly took a left turn to visit “Mango Tree”. We are the children’s favorite hangout spot. While walking down, a small smile played on my lips.
My first mother’s role in a play happened there. What could I possibly have known about being a mother? but I sure didn’t let my imaginary children starve.
I fed them a detectable concoction of yellow leaves mixed with sand, and I made sure to sprinkle Ixora berries for added effect. So much for healthy eating.
These memories flooded my heart and I was almost brought to tears as I saw our beloved ‘mango tree’. Stubborn grass had grown all around it and it had been abandoned. The absolute silence was louder than ever.
Children no longer visited it to create new friendships and end old rivalries. This was a place where pacts were formed and forever promises were made.
It had now been abandoned, even forsaken. The only evidence of its existence was the memory stored on the shelves of our hearts.
I couldn’t help but think that this place was home! I may not live here anymore, but in my heart, this will always be my home.
A place to wander in my heart for comforting memories of innocence, love, selflessness, and hope. This was beyond the structures or buildings.
As necessary as it is to have well-trimmed lawns and freshly painted houses, they mean nothing compared to the bonds formed in a place and the memories made to fill up the space.
We all want peace and quiet, a place to feel comfortable, and a place to get away from life for a while. Somewhere that goes beyond a physical location to deeper connectivity. A place to feel safe. That is exactly what home is.
Your house could be a small apartment, a townhouse, or a villa. The little things you do transform it from a cold structure to something you can cherish and make your own. The tweaks you make to personalize a place.
If you have ever wondered how to, this article will teach you five things you can do to make your house a home. Whether you’re just starting out in life, single, married, or with a family. There is something for you to learn.
Firstly, let’s see what differentiates a house from a home
A house typically refers to a building or structure meant for living. The primary function of a house is shelter.
It usually only refers to the structure and not to the overall condition of the place. A house could come in various shapes and sizes and there are various types of houses: Bungalows, Duplexes, Apartments, penthouses, villas, mansions, tiny houses, mobile houses, etc.
The word “house” comes from the old English word “hus” which means “dwelling” or “shelter”. It is derived from the proto-Germanic word “husan” which is connected to the root word of the word.”hide”.
A home is often used to describe the connectivity one can have with a place. It is not bound to just a physical location. It is your place of comfort.
A home goes beyond the building structure, or physical location to the feelings we can derive from those places.
Phrases like “I feel at home with you” further show that home doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical place but a state where one finds peace and feels at ease.
“Home” is where one feels like one belongs. A place where you can be your exact self, feel safe, and create memories.
5 Must-Dos to Make Your House a Home
For most people, their house serves as a shelter, and what better way to make your house a home? A house can be made into a home, and the following things can show you how.
1. Personal Touches
First, what is your style? What makes you calm? It could be a particular color or colors, a wallpaper pattern, comforting scents, lighting, a comfortable couch, certain kinds of kitchenware, paintings, fresh flowers, etc.
You could buy things in particular color shades. These all add a cozy feel to your house and make it feel homey.
Also, adding objects with sentimental value to your house, makes it more alive to you. Simply because these pieces tell your story.
The beautiful thing about adding personal touches like this is their inexpensive nature. It doesn’t cost a lot, but the impact on your mood and the overall feel of your home could be tremendous.
Mind you, personal touches can be added to any house size (big or small).
2. Connecting With Neighbors
Spending time with neighbors gives a sense of belonging and community. Neighbors are often your first contact when moving to a community, and connecting with them is the first step to joining the larger community.
Being friendly, helpful, mature, trustworthy, respectful, and thoughtful are often qualities seen in good neighbours.
3. Get Involved In Your Community
Being part of a community makes it possible to make friends, find people who share similar views as you, and create roots in a place.
It could be as easy as joining pet owners’ weekly walks, volunteering for the local church groups, or school boards, or helping to build something in the community. All these help form bonds that could potentially last for years.
You might just find your ideal tribe among people with whom you share common interests. Although, you have to be tactical when going about this because, in every human gathering, there are bound to be disagreements, being thoughtful often helps to smooth out tensions and prevent conflicts.
Regardless, know when to set limits.
4. Create Memories In Places Around Your House
You could create memories by having game nights with friends and family in your home. Having a special place for you to paint, knit, play the instruments, read a book, or write your stories.
Create special places within your house where you can always go for solace. It could be sitting by your bookshelf or in your library, lying on a particular couch, or just a teeny tiny place for you to be alone.
If you enjoy gardening, you could go all out by planting your favorite flowers, fruits, and vegetables, depending on what can grow in the area. You could spend time pruning or hedging.
I will never forget my first planting. It was a Pythanga cherry. I look back with a child’s eye on the days I spent watering it and praying it would grow.
Well, it’s been over 12 years now and the cherries are as delicious as ever. And as weird as it sounds, I feel proud of myself for planting it and it seems like part of history.
5. Attitude At Home
It’s essential to promote character traits like openness, mutual respect, calmness, acceptance, and love within your home.
Aside from these, learn to declutter your mind. Evaluate yourself to see what thoughts are relevant to making you who you wish to be. Then, do away with the ones that don’t. And watch yourself feel lighter and more at peace with yourself, and with your home.
You don’t always have to be the bubbly person or the life of the party, but do your best to maintain a positive attitude within your home, as this reflects in how you treat your home and those who live in it.
We all want to be better versions of ourselves, and for us to truly improve, we have to be intentional about it.
New seasons of our lives require new versions of us. What better way to start than by creating an environment for new beginnings? A refresh of our personal spaces could be the first step to achieving that.
It is often said that the state of our personal space reflects the state of our mind. Finally, I would say “best of luck.”