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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Question for You

Hi girls! Kimba from A Soft Place to Land here. I'm so honored that Sarah Mae asked me to be a guest blogger for her today. I've enjoyed reading Like a Warm Cup of Coffee since she began this blog and I love the insight and wisdom that she shares on a regular basis.

I'm going to take a little break from unpacking boxes and spray painting anything that doesn't run away from me to ask you a question.

What makes a house a home?

I believe I mentioned that my family moved into a new house a week or so ago. ;-) It's a lovely home that we built. I got to make lots of choices about its structure and contents but it doesn't feel like home yet. It feels like we're living in someone else's house.

What does it take for a house to begin to feel like home? Is it when you get your family pictures on the walls? Or when you start having friends over for dinner? Or when your kids start denting the walls and staining the carpet? There's no right or wrong answer here. I imagine that everyone will have a different answer.

So there's the question. This topic has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I would love it if you would all share your thoughts.

37 comments:

Mrs. Trixi said...

Yeah, Kimba!! I'm so glad to see you here. Like you, I love like a warm cup of coffee, so inspiring.

As for your question, this is a great topic.

I think for me the actual structure of a house has nothing to do with the home! We have lived in custom built houses, rental houses and now our most recent house. They are all just that houses. However, what makes them our home is the lives that are led inside the structure. This new home feels like home because it's where I watch my children play, laugh, and love. It's the place where I train my children in the way they should go and it's the place where my husband and I love our family unconditionally. I think a home is made by the people in it.
Sorry for the book here but this is a passionate topic.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I think making a house a home is when you really start living in it and making memories...whether it is fixed up or not!
That was what was so hard for me when we moved...we has so many memories of our other home! This one is prettier, and newer, but it does take a little time to make memories.
That's what is so good about digital photography...you can capture all those little moments with your camera! The mess and the beauty!
Just my opinion.
Kimba this is very sweet of you to help your friend out!
Diane

Erin said...

I don't know what makes a house feel like home? We moved in our house two weeks after our son was born and it felt like home from the first night. We just felt like we belong here. This house is by FAR not my dream house but it works and feels cozy. I know it has nothing to do with pictures on the walls because we've been living here for 3.5 years and I've JUST got around to pictures, I don't think for us it had anything to do with dents in the walls (although we have plenty! or stains on the carpet which we have plenty of as well). I'm thinking that this is where our family really started.

Julie said...

What a great question. I think what makes a house a home is the warmth your family brings to it. Every family has their own vibe, their own special warmth that others can feel when they come into your home. When does it start? I guess right when you are there, unpacking, getting settled, your family is there. Invite someone over and test my theory.

Kimba said...

These are some great thoughts!Love them! More! More! More!

Priscilla said...

When we moved into our home, it felt like home immediately because our children could finally be themselves (noisy little kids) without a grumpy downstairs neighbor calling constantly to complain. (she even complained when they were singing and splashing in the bathtub!)

Of course I agree with all the other comments. It is all the love shared within the walls that makes it home.

Heather said...

I think a house feels like a home the moment a memory is made there. It's the little things that are remembered long after time has passed. For us stripping the awful wall paper 7 years ago, coming downstairs one morning to find a bottle of maple syrup had leaked and was running down the cabinets, or rocking my babies to sleep.

Homesteader in Training said...

Hi Kimba,
I guess for me it's the minute you start making memories in your house. Which doesn't take to long. The more memories made the more homey your home becomes. When we tried to sell our home not to long ago the realization that we would be leaving saddened me, but this structure is just a shell to house all the memories made and those I would take with me. But I don't have to worry about that right now because we are still here and making more memories each day.
Blessings to you and yours.
Kim

Christy said...

Kimba~ We have lived in our new house for almost a year now. To be honest, it's just now beginning to feel like home. We had major remodeling done so I know that didn't help with us settling in. Now, I love it! You can check out my new kitchen on my blog:)
Anyway, getting family pictures on the walls helped a lot. I know this is home because we've already made special memories here just in the past year... birthdays, Christmas, and we've had friends here a lot. Nothing makes a house feel like a home the way family and friends do.

Sarah said...

Hi Kimba! We moved into our house about 3 months ago and it is just now starting to feel like home--now that paint is on the walls and our furniture is in place. I think it started feeling that way once we started making memories there and putting big time sweat equity into it! There is such an emotional investment when you move into a new home, excited about the things to come, the holidays, the parties, friends and family coming to visit. Home is where memories are made!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Hi, Kimba! This is a great question! I've moved 8 times in 11 years, and have lived in apartments and different size/condition houses. A house/apartment is just a shelter--4 walls & a roof--but "home" happens when your family makes memories. Some places feel like home right away maybe because we're excited for a new phase to begin, or sometimes a house really does just feel comfy at first. Sometimes it takes longer if the previous place was dear to you for whatever reason, or you've got to put your family stamp on it. Ask the fam what would make it feel like home to them. Do a special new or old tradition. Work on projects together. Unpack your pretties. Pray. It won't take long, and you'll have many new wonderful memories to share!
I'm actually posting on Creating a Welcoming Home tomm. :)
Blessings, Stacey

Kimba said...

There are some wonderfully wise women out there in bloggy-land. I am loving all of these comments...The intangibles - making memories, loving the family, creating traditions. The practical - painting the rooms (I've got some work to do here), hanging photos and pray, pray, pray.

Mary said...

Our family has moved many times over the years.It's "Home" when we forget to keep track of the number of nights we have slept in the new house. Usually less than two weeks.

Katharyn said...

My mother doesn't feel like she she lives somewhere until she has washed all of the floors. - I think there is something about cleaning up your mess in a space, that makes it your own.

angie said...

I think it's when the "heart" arrives (that would be the family). :)

Kimba said...

This might sound dumb but things started to feel a little more homey around here yesterday when we hung blinds on the bedroom windows. For the past week, I had been slinking around avoiding the windows at nightime so that I didn't give the cows a peep show. When the blinds went up in the bedroom, I felt a little more comfortable.

Leah said...

I always feel like I'm "home" when I can find the forks and work the light switches!

Lori said...

Hi Kimba! I had this knack (from being a military wife) a making my house a home in pretty much less than two weeks. People would always marvel at what I did, and you know, as a professional photographer I am iclined to think that a lot of it has to do with my pictures of family hanging EVERYWHERE!! Seriously, I often feel that if I took every single frame down from each wall, and each stand, I would be left with nothing..lol Even when I was in base housing an couldn't paint a wall, I relied on my pictures, colorful pillows, throws, and a nice scent all lead to a nice cozy home... I am not down playing the relational aspect that goes into making a house a home, it is true, without the warmth and love of a family you are left with nothing more than a nice place to display all your "stuff". :)

Kathy C. said...

Hi Kimba, what a neat question, and all the answers here are so personal and unique. What makes a house a home to me is the love inside, the memories that are embedded into each room, each photo on the wall, each plant in the garden or branch on the tree. Memories that are made each day and the love of those inside, that's what makes a house a home. :)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

My house feels like home once I've created a space where all my friends, their animals and my animals feel like they can relax.

Gray Matters said...

I agree with all those who think when you start making memories you make a home. We had our first extended family dinner in our new home last weekend. As I sit in the house now, I can see in my mind's eye my family gathered around the table enjoying a good meal together.

It does also help when things get hung and walls get painted colors you pick out yourself.

Susie Harris said...

First of all .. Hi Sarah Mae! I pray you feel better really soon and take care of yourself and that sweet little package you are holding :)
Miss Kimba and Sarah Mae what makes my house feel like a home is when I think back to all of the warm memories that it holds. Many people have blessed my doors and made my home special. My dear Brother Wesley that went home to be with the Lord made the first stain on my carpet. I smile about it now. He bent over to give my brand new baby a kiss on the head and spilled his drink. Those memories and stains to me are what make my house a home. We no longer have the carpet, wood floors now. But the memories will forever be there. So just remember next time a loved one spills.... just smile and clean it up.

nikkicrumpet said...

Hi Kimba...

I think for me what makes a house a home is when it's filled with people you love. We bought our new home a little over 3 years ago. It is my DREAM HOME and I love it with all my heart. Since I live so far away from my family it didn't fell like "home home". The day my mom and 2 of my kids came to visit...and it was filled with laughing and noise and messes...THEN it felt like home! Now that we made memories together here..it's like the house breathed a big happy "sigh" and it truly became MINE.

Linds said...

Great question, but I'm going to answer it a little differently. (I know breaking the rules :)
Instead of what makes a house a home? What makes a home?

I really feel like the whole idea of home can reach far outside the structure of our house. At least I hope so. I see home and I pray my home is a feeling of belonging, being loved and a prayer that God will love those who are touched by our home see Him through us.

I hope that taking treats to our neighbors makes them feel at home. Sending a special letter and coloring page to our Compassion child makes them feel at home.

Home is a good thing and something that I so desperately wanted while growing up. I pray that my house is a home and that wherever I go it spreads along with me.

Strawberry Blonde said...

Sarah Mae, I hope you feel better soon. Growing a kid is tough work.

Kimba, how great that you were asked to post here. You're so cool.

To make a house a home, I would think that the first order of business would be to unpack everything. Find places for your things, if you don't love it, leave it until everything is done. Once there are no extra boxes in your home, then I think you can start to live in it. Now, there is the overwhelming pile of boxes that need attention. Instead of creating wonderful memories for your kids, you're unpacking boxes. When everything is out, then you can play with your pretties and find new homes for them.

So, stop spray painting and unpack already! The cows brought you bread, how much more at home can you get?? :)

I'm sure that you have made amazing progress in your home. It will feel like you've always been there in no time. Maybe once the driveway is down you'll feel better.

Tracy P. said...

That's a great question! I think it's the attitude of planting yourself there. Having dreams for the future that revolve around this place. My husband owned our first home before we got married, and it was never going to be the place we would raise a family (although it was home enough for the time). My husband says I never "moved in"--which in the sense of decorating according to my taste, etc., is true. The home we are in now, well, it was sort of home before we ever saw it, because we knew it held the dreams that would become our most precious memories. On a more practical note, it's getting the boxes out of sight!

Glad I popped in today. Hope you get some relief soon, Sarah Mae, and that you're able to focus on the dreams coming true in your home when you're weary.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

We are living in what used to belong to my IL's...for the last year we have been slowly getting rid of "them" and brining in Us. So I think it really becomes a home when you feel comfortable, and surround yourself with what you love.

HeathahLee said...

Since I just returned from the Dr. having had a sinus cocktail shot, I do not have the brain to read all the comments, but I do want to add my two cents...I think a house is a home when it's lived in. My stepmother (before she had grandkids) used to come behind us and clean up every crumb or water ring when my sister and I would come over to her and Daddy's house. It was very stark and unwelcoming and I was always nervous about doing something wrong. Enter grandkids. She quickly realized that having a perfect house wasn't going to happen when you have a Tasmanian Devilina for a grandaughter. As she loosened up, so did I. Now her home is spotless again (grandkids are grown now) but it is so much more homey.

Having said all that, let me say that anyone who comes to my house would never for a moment think it wasn't "lived in!" HA!

HeathahLee said...

By the way, Sarah Mae, I sure hope you get to feeling better SOON! I think about you every day!

Anonymous said...

We move frequently. I always feel like I'm ready to leave a home when all of my pictures are off the wall and my pretty favorites are pieces are in boxes.
I feel like a place is home when curtains are hung. It softens any room. Since we move frequently, I take yards of fabric, trim the edges and hang them on basic curtain rings. Easy, cheap and fits various windows.

Hope your pregnancy is easy!
Amanda

Marcella<3 said...

I'm sure once you have your lovely family over, grass in your yard, a concrete driveway, and a big swimming pool your house will feel like home.

Kris said...

I like how Susie said it - a house becomes a home when you LIVE in it. Create memories as well as marks.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I think it becomes home faster when you all spend time together in it praying, laughing, working, etc. And it always helps me to have some pics up on the wall...

Angela said...

Home is when cooking dinner is second nature...I can compose my latest blog post, chat with my husband, give math problems to my son, or sing along to the music playing without giving a second thought to where my pots are, where the rice is in the pantry, where my spoons are. I just know from habit and can do it almost mechanically--in a comfortable kind of way.

Home is habit, comfort, predictability with the people you love most.

Shelia said...

Hi, Kimba! There you are and how nice of you to hold down the fort for this little sick as any animal one!

You know, I don't think the house is really what makes the feeling! I love my 'house' but it is home because I have my family with me. Well, my children are both married and live far from us, but it's the comfortable feeling we have knowing that God put us here and we're so blessed! Hallelujah!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Blissful Nikki said...

Hey Kimba! So good to see you here! :) I definatly think making a house a home is about creating memories there that you will remember forever! :)

Kristi said...

This may sound cliche' or redundant....and I know I've heard a quote, but can't remember how it goes, but I think it's simply Love that makes a "house" a home.