What Makes The Difference Between a House and a Home?

Artwork by Tishk Barzanji.

Ever wondered? Ever asked yourself?

Well… YOU. 

You, my dear star dust, you will make that difference.

How? One might ask while reading this string of words.

The answer to this rather simple question is going to pop in your mind in the moment when you will take some time to figure who you are.

Now, let me ask you, when did you last take some time for yourself? When was the last time you just laid in your favorite spot and asked yourself “What do I like? What do I need? What makes me smile?” Knowing the answers to these questions makes the difference between a “house” and a “home.”

When I finished high school and enrolled in the university, I had to fly out from my parents’ nest, and oh boy, how little did I know.  Despite the fact that everything that I was accustomed with vanished in 2.5 seconds, I found myself in an empty average sized apartment. The transition between having just a bedroom to owning an entire house was, let’s say, exhausting. I did not know where to start, how to start, and with what to start first, and I just wanted everything to be done ASAP. Unfortunately, I did not make the most of that experience, and I regret it now.

When buying or renting long term an apartment or a house, as a student or at any stage of your life, take your time to “talk” to yourself to understand your needs in order to fulfill all your desires and meet your expectations regarding your future home.

If you are an avid reader, create the perfect spot with a comfortable armchair and a side lamp near your library. You’ll laugh and say “Who has space for that in these days?” yes…but that doesn’t mean you can’t put that perfect armchair with a cozy blanket next to the night stand made out of your favorite books on top of which you have your kindle, laptop, tablet, or phone where you’re reading from.  

It is just about what you want and enjoy doing; life finds a way, and so will your pleasures. I often find myself sitting at the kitchen table doing my research papers or just reading a book while drinking coffee. Now, after some years in the academic field I understood that I desperately need an office…

No one tells you what and how to do it, and I learned that from my mistakes and after spending some time in an apartment that I did not invest enough time or energy in fixing it up properly. I understood some ergonomic notions too late, and despite the fact that I am studying a health related subject, I choose to ignore some aspects regarding my well-being in a house; and yes, I used house and not home, because it’s not fulfilling neither me nor my needs.

In this post, I am encouraging you, ardent reader, to just take some time, listen to your thoughts, needs and pleasures, and give them a chance to emerge. Create that cozy reading spot, a little spa treatment with a little bit of help of that never before seen corner of your bathroom, take advantage of that sill that lays empty and transform it in your natural lighted office.

The possibilities are truly endless.

Goodnight or may your coffee be strong.

88 thoughts on “What Makes The Difference Between a House and a Home?

    1. Life changes. As the Doctor once said, “we’re all different people, all through our lives.” I think the message here is that we have to build a safe place for ourselves. Somewhere we can retreat to after enduring the real world for a day. The real world is dirty, and we need a place to be ourselves. Find that place. Build it. Nurture it. Let it nurture you. Or else that what we revere most of our character, our core of who we are, get lost in the motions of daily life.

  1. This post brings back so many memories of when I moved into my own home, in my own for the first time, everything being mine and mine alone, of finding the perfect chair to place in a corner and create a little haven for myself to read and blog from! Xxx

  2. Hi Cosmina…I have to furnish apartments for my job so I love it when I see that I’ve got it right and the occupiers are using things as I intended. One should absolutely take time to think it through, as you say.

    1. I would love to have your job. Searching, viewing and choosing different kinds of furniture for different kinds of people with different lives. So many variables and yet so beautiful.
      Thank you for reading!

  3. I am especially fond of the bedroom in my home. Its not just a place for sleeping but contains a tall pine bookcase containing my favourite books. I always feel calm and relaxed in that room, likewise my living room which has rather old comfortable chairs, an old chiming clock and another bookcase. You are right, there is a difference between a house and a home, Kevin

  4. I had a similar experience when I moved out of my parents house, despite the fact that I thought I was pretty independent. It’s a lot harder when you’re the one making the decisions and doing everything. We built a new house a few years ago so we were able to customize a lot of things. Thankfully we had taken the time to do exactly what you suggest: we learned what we liked and didn’t like. There are still minor things we would change about our house, but it’s mostly decor that can easily be changed. Otherwise, we love it. Your post is a wonderful definition of the difference between house and home.

    1. Building a house gives you the opportunity to customize everything, from the size of the rooms to the placement of the toothbrush. What I find most appealing about living in a house (as opposed to, say, a flat) is the roof, specifically the skylights.
      For me, they’re like magical portals. Thank you for reading.

  5. You pierced my heart))) Seriously, it’s been my dream for a while to create a reading/knitting corner. I think it is very important to have this personal space that no troubles of the day can penetrate, a place that makes one feel cozy and safe.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment.

      And, yes, I agree with you. Having a personal space within a house turns it into a home.

    1. If the cats are all grown up, you have zero chances to teach them to stop destroying the garden. And what do you mean by “destroy”?

      I also have a cat, but mine chooses to spend more time in my neighbor’s garden.

      1. She’s a kitten! There’s still hope! She loves to dig up dirt and knock things over, because she can.

        She causes the plants to wilt/die due to the shock/damage. All our cats are indoor, unless they get outside.

      2. 2 lemon trees and a poinsettia. The strange thing is whatever I put next to the poinsettia, it dies, maybe it doesn’t like new neighbors :)).

  6. A thought provoking piece. I left home to move into an apartment with three to five roommates. Then I hitchhiked 3,000 miles across the country to meet the love of my life. Then we slowly created a home together.

    1. I stayed once in a dorm with a lot of roommates and it was nice. There I found out how many things you can do with a small place.
      Thank you for reading!

  7. Great article! I have moved often and living in various configurations, including dorm rooms while raising my son alone, a one person tent for 3 months, apartments, houses and since being on the road for 7 years now, in and out of hotel rooms and rooms in other people’s homes. Since home is important to me, I make a point to have a few things that are important to me to put on the wall (or set in my tent), a cozy afghan, etc. so that no mater where I am, I can feel a sense of home.

    1. I also have few things in my house that I am going to take them with me wherever I’ll move, inanimate objects at first glance, but the more I look at them, the more they flood me with heartwarming memories.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  8. I enjoyed reading this post. There is a Daschund in the painting, which is adorable.

    Also, I like the vibe of your writing. Clear. And it’s concise: Clarity.

    “If you are an avid reader, create the perfect spot with a comfortable armchair and a side lamp near your library. You’ll laugh and say “Who has space for that in these days?”

    – the less we have – the more we have.

    1. Disconnect yourself, forget you’re home, don’t restrain your mind by thinking that in your house you just rest. What do you want to do? Work at the computer but not having a proper desk? Fear not, take a seat at the kitchen table, and there you are: at your working place, you have your laptop, your cup of coffee/tea and focus, for as long as you can, some days it might be for a few minutes, other days, hours. Maybe some sports? This is my favorite one, I always move the furniture around the house to do some stretching.
      In my opinion, motivation and imagination go hand in hand.
      Thank you for reading and for any questions I am more than happy to help.

  9. A very inspiring article. I am constantly frustrated by the clutter in my house and long to make it a calm, happy place to be, like it was when I first moved in. I can’t move to a bigger, newer house so I need to make this house as nice as I can, despite all the little things that need fixing. I have started with the garden and like you suggested, I need to make some happy little nooks to feel more at home.

    1. All the little fixings can be very frustrating, especially when one might think everything’s done, but it’s not. On the other hand, all these problems and their fixings taught me at what to look when buying or moving or decorating a house/apartment.
      Creating little nooks is for the soul, but good plumbing puts your mind at ease.
      Thank you for reading!

  10. Thank you for leaving your “calling card” at JanBeek so I could find you. I enjoyed your posts and all the various comments by your readers. I was especially drawn to the conclusion: “The possibilities are truly endless.” Yes, they are! I have an upstairs 12×12 “sanctuary” where I spend the first hour every morning. It’s that nook you were talking about. Additionally, my home is filed with memorabilia from our great grandparents, grandparents, and parents. We were the fortunate recipients of many heirlooms that carry with them the “homey feeling” of generations past. We feel blessed and surrounded by a beautiful heritage. Thanks for your post. Good Morning! “And may your coffee be strong.” (It is!) ❤

  11. Such wonderful thoughts!. A reading corner is so needed in many lives. Continue to make your house, a home. Especially a home where friends and family enjoy visiting.
    Continue the good work. Hope you come see me again.

    1. A reading corner and a little place to gather friends and family to play board games. Stay tuned, I am going to write about this soon!
      Thank you for your comment, it really was an inspiration!

  12. Very good advice for readers and writers. Start with a few special trinkets and a soft afghan. i bought a very large plastic decoy crow from a hunting/fishing/sport shop. i placed him atop a lampshade and he dominates the space, casting his shadow. I like to think of him as Poe’s Raven. Very inspiring!

  13. I want to sit in that chair and read those books.
    And then take a nice long nap.
    And then read some more.
    And then nap again….

    1. Indeed, I love when I have some days off to do exactly those things in that order. Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy my post!

  14. Having just bought a new house I’m finding the challenge of decorating with old and new pieces and finding the right pieces to put in the right places. Fun but also challenging. Welcome to that little voice and thank you for following my blog.

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