Home Is Where Our Heart Is

Updated March 22, 2017
large kitchen island, family breakfast, modern kitchen
More than half of Angie's List survey respondents said it's the people who live in a house that make it a home. (Photo by Frank Espich)

It takes more than just four walls and a roof to make a home.

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Home sweet home. There’s no place like home. Come in, and make yourself at home. Throughout time — from the earliest cave dwellings to the most modern abode — we’ve known that home is more than just a house. It’s a place where we shelter, where we gather and where our lives happen. In short, home is our sanctuary.

But we wanted to know what home means to you. Earlier this year, Angie’s List conducted a survey, and among other questions, we asked members to define what “home” is. And the answer was simple… loved ones.

In a written response, 54 percent said family, people, friends, spouse, children or kids is what makes a home. Coming in a close second, with 49 percent of the written response, were mentions of “comfort” and/or “comfortable.”

The results demonstrate something we all probably realize but don’t necessarily articulate, and that it’s the people and the feeling we get inside our house that makes it a home, not the size of the house or the décor that matters.

Home is where we eat

It’s often said the kitchen is the heart of the home, and we want that space to be warm and welcoming. Sarah J., of Fort Gratiot Township, Michigan says “A kitchen, with good facilities and an eating area; a separate dining room with space to accommodate a group of eight to 10 people,” is a necessity in a home.

According to the survey, 28 percent of respondents plan to invest in improving their kitchens this year. A minor kitchen remodel, which includes cabinet refacing, new appliances, new countertops and flooring, averages $20,830 according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report, but you should recoup 80 percent of that cost when you sell your house.

Regardless of how big the kitchen is or how shiny the appliances are, it’s definitely a place where we convene. “Sharing meals and experiences together is what makes a house a home,” says Charlotte F., of Berea, Ohio.

Home is where we work

It’s no secret the line between home-life and work-life is fuzzy, with many of us working from home occasionally or even full-time. At the very least, you’ve probably brought home “homework” from the office to tackle over the weekend. So it’s not surprising that 57 percent of survey respondents say they have a designated office space in their home.

Maybe your home office has mahogany walls, stuffed bookshelves and an oversized leather chair, or maybe it’s made of bright white furniture from IKEA. For some, the home office may come together in a spare, unused bedroom. Or perhaps it’s carved out of a nook in the kitchen. Wherever your office resides in the house, it’s becoming a more prevalent part of a home.

Deborah R., of Columbus, Ohio, says even though she works out of her house, she considers home to be much more. “[It’s a] comfortable shelter, place to cook, sleep, read, relax, and entertain friends and family,” she says.

Home is where we enjoy the outdoors

We like our swimming pools and dining al fresco, but we don’t like to work on the landscape. In fact, yardwork was the least favorite DIY chore of survey respondents — 47 percent would rather pay a pro to handle it.

Today’s home designs and remodels often incorporate nature, with sliding glass walls, outdoor kitchens and extensive decks or patios — all in an attempt to capture the best of indoor-outdoor living.

“[Home] is a place to relax, enjoy family, entertain guests, have a barbecue and relax in the backyard,” says Bruce R., of Gilbert, Arizona.

Home is where we relax

Sometimes, there’s nothing like coming home, kicking off your shoes and decompressing from the day. Your home is a place where you feel the most at ease, and where you’re able to be yourself.

It’s also a place where we play. Whether that’s romping around with the grandkids in a newly finished basement or playing checkers with a loved one in the family room, home is where we entertain ourselves. 

“It’s comfortable,” says Stephanie P., of Las Vegas. “It’s a place you want to spend time. It has spaces for activities [like] crafts, meditating and homework. It’s spacious enough that family members can go off by themselves to a quiet place or we can all be together for eating, games or entertaining. You have good memories associated with home.”

What does home mean to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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