What makes a house a home?

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I’ve always prided myself on being able to make a house a home; adding those finishing touches that make it feel like your own personal sanctuary. So when we moved into our new place in January I was excited for the new challenge.

On paper, the new house was everything we were looking for.  Being recently married we’ve been thinking about the possibility of starting a family in the near future, so considering we lived in a pokey 2 bed terrace (which in reality was more like a 1 bed and a large wardrobe), we wanted somewhere with a bit more space.  This house came up in a lovely village location, with views of rolling hills from the bedroom windows, large bright rooms, 4 bedrooms, clean, neutral and a generous sized garden.  Everything you could possibly want from a rented house… right?

So how come after just 4 months we’re looking to move again?  The simple answer: we’re just not ‘feeling’ it.  You know that feeling that makes you all warm inside when you step through the threshold of your front door and instantly feel a wave a calm wash over you?  You’re home, you’re safe. Here you can relax, be who you want to be and do what you want to do.  Yeh that feeling – we ain’t got it.

So this has got me to thinking: what exactly is it that makes a house a home?

When we first moved in I had created mood boards for each of the rooms, and added finishing touches to create the themes and colour schemes we wanted.  From the rustic country-style living room to our ‘honeymoon inspired’ New York bedroom – something’s still missing.

Country-Living-Room

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Andy wonders if a house can hold onto happiness.  Albeit a tiny house with some questionable interior decor and a limiting backyard that could just about fit a bistro style table, our previous house seemed like a happy house when we first viewed.  And it was.  We settled in straight away, almost immediately feeling right at home, and we made some great memories there.  The house just had good vibes about it.

Here – I’m not so sure.  It could be the sterile nature of the neutral decor.  Or perhaps it’s the large, emptiness of a house of this size with just 2 residents (and 3 furry ones).  One of the neighbours mentioned in passing that married couples don’t tend to stay in this house for long- perhaps they felt it too? A lack of soul, I’m coming to wonder.

Or perhaps it’s a much more ‘bricks and mortar’ matter than all that.  The house was originally built as a bungalow, which over time has been extended upon (or rather mutated as I see it).  The rooms are odd shapes and sizes and there’s a strange layout to the first floor.  For instance, there’s a corridor which leads to 2 bedrooms – sounds fine, I hear you say, but you can only see 1 of the bedrooms and the other is somewhat hidden behind a 90 degree corner.  Even now it still takes me by surprise.  So much so that I’ve even hung fairy lights to try to illuminate and soften the area.

hallway

Whatever it is, we’ve made up our minds.  It just isn’t for us.  So as we embark on yet another round of house viewings, what should we be looking for?  Is there a single formula that can make a house a home?  Can every house become the right home to everyone with a little more hard work?  And at what point do you give up and accept defeat?

Is any of this familiar to anyone?  Have you come up against a house you just couldn’t call home?  I’d love to hear about it, whether you stuck at it or called it quits.  Leave me a comment or tweet me @LoveInMindBlog

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