Because there’s no place like home.

What exactly makes a house a home? This appears to be a simple question, but home often means different things to different people. For the practical, a home is a place that provides a roof over our heads and holds our possessions. For others, it is a place where we can retreat from the chaos of life and take refuge. Some would say their home is where they grew up; while others see home as a crucial stage in independence, reflecting on when they purchased their first property in their name. A home is built over time, and it is far more than just a house.

So, perhaps the answer to this simple question is far more complex. And perhaps all these ideas of what makes a house our home can all be a part of that complex answer. As humans, we are driven to form connections with places. In psychology, this bond is referred to by a number of names, including “Topophilia,” and “Rootedness.” It is instinctive for us to find a sense of place.

When we find a place that meets our needs and captures who we are, we have found something truly special.

We look for a home to fulfill our needs, but our needs vary from person to person. While creating our homes, we may take into consideration how we want to engage with and experience our space. We may need enough rooms for a growing family or an ideal location for our work commutes. A house becomes a home when it first meets our individualized needs. 

But what truly captures the essence of a home can be found in its authenticity, in how it genuinely reflects the person or the family that lives there. This is why many of us aspire to create a home that embodies who we are. Over time, how we see ourselves and the lives we live evolve, and it is often depicted through our homes.

So since our sense of place is also closely tied to our sense of who we are, we must also take into consideration some other important questions, too. What does our home mean to us? How do we want to feel in it? What do we value?

Developing a home that truly captures who we are takes time. It requires reflection and thoughtful decisions. We may live in lots of houses, but it takes hard work to truly turn a house into a home. But, as Dorothy captured in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” When we find a place that meets our needs and captures who we are, we have found something truly special.