If someone asks you what the difference is between a home and a house; it’s a trick question. Like so many other instances in life where you’re presented with what appears to be a dichotomy when in fact it is a continuum.
On one end you have a physical building, a structure with four walls, a roof and a foundation. Some might consider that a house, because that is what we’ve been taught a house was as a child. It is a place to keep us protected and sheltered from the outside elements.
On the other end of the continuum is the feeling of home. Some might consider this to be a state of mind, a feeling of security, and a place where we can be ourselves. It’s the warm, cozy feeling of belonging somewhere, being accepted, and loved.
A house is a structure, a place to live in. It’s solid, immovable and unchanging. It is made up of materials like wood, concrete and steel, materials that can last hundreds of years with proper care, but also that will wear down, decay and become obsolete.
A home, on the other hand, is almost the opposite. It is fluid, alive and changing all the time. A home is wherever someone feels comfortable and at ease, where they feel like they belong. It can be in a house, an apartment or even a tent. A home is a place where someone can feel safe and secure, able to relax and be themselves.
When you buy a house, you are purchasing a physical structure. However, a home is something else entirely. A home is the memories you create, the experiences you share, and the feelings you have when you’re there. Therefore, a house can be a home or even it cannot.
It takes time to make a house a home. Home is built upon the foundation of love, family, memories and emotions. It's a place where people gather, where they laugh, cry, and make memories. A home is where you can be yourself without the fear of judgment, where you can find peace and comfort.
For most of us, home is a place that has been built over time, through the memories and experiences we’ve had there. For some, it's the childhood house where they grew up, where they learned to walk, where they played with their siblings and got scolded by their parents. For others, it's the house where they started their own family and created memories with their own children.
However, there are people who cannot make a house a home. It means that they never feel comfortable no matter how many things they add, they simply cannot make the house feel like home. Even though they have everything they could possibly need, it is just a structure, without any emotional meaning for them. They may have memories but they are not sentimental and it does not attach them to the house.
This could be due to various reasons such as loneliness, depression, anxiety or perhaps they were forced to move frequently. Maybe they never had a stable home to begin with, or they simply never learned what it means to feel ‘at home.’
In contrast, some people can make any place feel like home. They have that innate ability to transform a house into a home. They could be travelling and living in a hotel room, but with pictures, decor, and little touches, they create an environment that's welcoming and comfortable.
Therefore, it’s a person’s mindset and life experiences that decide whether a house is a home or not. This is the reason why we hear people saying that “home is where the heart is”. It’s not about the physical structure, but more about the feeling of belonging and love that one feels towards the space they occupy. It could be a house with four walls, a rooftop and a foundation, or it could be a tent, a caravan or even a boat.
In summary, while both houses and homes are physical structures, the major difference lies in the emotional attachment one has to the space they occupy. A house is simply a structure, while a home is where one feels comfortable, safe and loved. The feeling of ‘home’ is built over time through the memories, experiences and emotions one associates with the space they occupy. It’s a place where people gather, where they create happy memories with their loved ones, which makes it special and unique for everyone.