What makes a house a home?

Recently I’ve been thinking about how we often go back to the same special places during the holidays and how we consider them “home” even if we only spend a few days there.

In our family we definitely have a few places that we consider home, and in this blog I want to reflect on this feeling of belonging.

The home that I hold most dearly in my heart is my grandmother’s house in the North of Italy.

It is a beautiful house that was designed by my great-grandfather who was, amongst other things, a painter. He drew the plans and the facades in the 1920s and the house was built in 1924 in a neo-renaissance style. He also designed the garden and the plants to create beautiful colour contrasts with the trees and bushes.

During my childhood I lived in Milan, a couple of hours away from the house. Because of the incredibly long Italian school summer holidays (3 months!), I would spend a good few weeks there, surrounded by beauty and free to play and cycle around in the big garden.

A four years old me drawing at my grandma’s house

It’s here, I believe, that I developed my true love—not only for houses and beauty, but also for gardens, art and living in nature.

I felt that this house had a soul and I felt the love and care that my great-grandfather and all the rest of my family had put into it to create a loving, welcoming and warm environment.

For me, this is what makes a house become a home: when you can sense the love and care that has gone into it to create a cosy haven where you feel like you belong.

My family and I often travel to Italy and recently we’ve been renting a home at the seaside, close to my husband’s family. We’ve gone there for three years in a row and I can see how my children consider it “our” sea house. They look forward to going there and are always excited when we arrive.

Again, it’s a house that has been put together by the owner, a lovely lady, with a lot of care. She told me that the house was abandoned and in a pitiful state for many years before they bought it and that during the renovation she tried to maintain its original features and character. She picked out the furniture carefully to create a coherent look, and it really shows!

Lately I chose a few B&Bs, both for personal and professional stays, that all had that same feeling. I guess I was lucky in my selection, as even if it was only for a short stay I felt I belonged there.

It was not just a question of style and affinity—it was a feeling of being welcomed, of being able to enjoy the space and relax.

This feeling was deliberately created by the owners to make their guests feel at home.

Do you have any special places that feel like a home away from home?

It’s not always easy to create this feeling of belonging, so if you need help don’t hesitate to reach out. You can send an email to info@standingrenovation.com or go directly to our website, select the service that best reflects your needs and fill in the questionnaire. This will give us all the information we need beforehand so that we can have a productive and exciting discussion about your project.