What is the difference between a house and a home? Is it the building, the people inside or the memories? Or is it even just the decor, the photographs, the loved knickknacks? Or is a house and a home the same thing?
The ever informative Dictionary.reference.com describes a house as:
[n., adj. hous; v. houz]
a building in which people live; residence for human beings.
So, mainly a building, a structure, whose main usage is as a residence. I suppose the word “house” always conjures up images of bricks, mortar, windows, doors and cute little shutters for me. It’s generic and sort of cold and really doesn’t bring up any feelings of the life or people inside. The only thing that really differentiates it from other types of buildings is the fact that it is used as a residence. But residences can be temporary – just somewhere to spend a few nights, simply for shelter.
Whereas a home is described as:
[n., adj., adv., vb. hohm]
the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
Domestic. Affections. Very different words to building and structure. They conjure up feelings of warmth, family and safeness. Of course, the word “domestic” always makes me think of chores and cleaning, and mess and crankiness, but when it is paired with “affections” it’s not so bad. Affections is such a lovely would that it could make anything better. Well, almost anything.
~ Just as a side note, my parents’ home phone number is still put as “home” in my contacts. (We don’t have a land line). Make of that what you will. ~
For me, my home is where my little family is and it’s where our memories are. We’ve been renting our current home for just over four years now. When we first moved in we were newly engaged and it was our first time out of “home”. We got our first cat, Mikka, and brought him home to this house. Around a year later we got married and came home from our wonderful honeymoon to this house. Around a year later I fell pregnant and spent weeks laying on the couch in the heat and lumbering up and down the stairs. In February last year our little Lily was born and we carried her in the front door to spend her first night at home. She’s spent the last 15 months learning to sit, to crawl, to walk and to run around the tiles and the carpet in our home.
This home is full of memories and full of all of our stuff. There’s our photos, many ones that I took of Lily in her first few months. There is the blown up versions of our wedding photos. There is my camera, our laptops, Mr Monkey’s golf clubs. I would be hard pressed to find an item in our home that does not have a memory attached to it. There’s the kitchen where countless meals have been cooked, by myself recently and by Mr Monkey. It is the place where we spent the first few days after Lily came home – it was warm and closest to the bathroom and bedroom. There’s the bedroom with Lily’s cot (where she sleeps sometimes) and our bed (where she sleeps most of the time).
It is a home that we have made together. Unfortunately, it is not our house and it is likely we will outgrow it at some stage but it is our home for the present. It is where Mr Monkey comes home to after work and it is at that front door that Lily waits for him.
I asked some of my Facebook friend’s for their thoughts and got some great responses:
“Perhaps, for me (living in a share house) I would say the decor; the little things that I have brought to the house that are expressions of myself.”
“the people, my beautiful beautiful husband and my four little girlie pearlies – oh the decor makes it comfortable but…. but… its the people that make it home!”
“A home is where the heart is. Some homes feel very comfortable and homely, some are too clinical. I am glad all of ours are very comfy.”
By doing my morning and evening routines, and working on my zones I am helping to create a home for our family.
So, what do you think makes your house a home? Is it the people, the memories or the decor? Or all of it?