What Makes a House a Home?

During this recent stormy weather, we’ve been exploring a particular question. What makes a house a home? We’ve asked a panel of architects and landscape designers to see what their ideas are from a work and living perspective. It may be the lure of luxurious cosy decor, a central point to meet with family, or simply a place to rest your head at night, but what is it that makes us call it home? Having asked ourselves the question we came to our own biased conclusion that a warm wooden flooring that entices you into a room, helping you feel grounded in a natural but safe environment was a good start to helping a house feel like a home. A wood floor is unique to your home, you’ll know each individual floor board within a few months of walking bare foot across the grain of the wood and we think it’s this unique harmony with the ground below your feet that helps make the particular house, your home.

Yellow Cloud Studio is a design led architecture and design practice in Hackney, London with a strong ethos of exploring new ideas and changing stereotypes whilst improving the quality of spaces around them. They treat each project with incredible and unique attention to detail, working in retail, commercial, but also residential projects. For this latter point, we thought Eleni Soussoni, Director of Yellow Cloud Studio would offer us exceptional insight into their views of what makes a house a home. 

“In an era of visual overstimulation, our studio believes that architecture should create residential spaces that bring a calming effect to our psyche instead of fighting to compete. A house, when designed to be consciously understated and confident in its simplicity, becomes the backdrop of everyday life and not a protagonist in itself. The sequence of spaces should tell a story through proportion, materiality and light without demanding too much attention from the user. Surfaces that are tactile, with natural textures and hues, make the experience more familiar and intuitive, creating an environment that feels like home.

Yellow cloud’s emphasis on the attention to detail couples that of our ethos in crafting our wooden floors. We found this to be another trait that Katie Pierce from Eat Work Art also considers important when deciding on what makes a house a home. Eat Work Art revitalises disused buildings, encouraging the growth of communities and creative workspaces in their projects. Each space is tailored to the resident’s work and lifestyle, with flexible workspace being offered alongside markets, galleries, rooftop bars, florists and cafes. 

Alma Yard

Katie Pierce is the Devon Manager for Eat work Art and shared their company ethos in light of what makes a house a home.   “You tend to choose to share a ‘home’ with people you love, people who have the same interests or characteristics as you and this has the ability to create a sense of place and belonging. At Alma Yard, our space is dedicated to those in the creative industries and provides an environment for these like minded individuals to work, socialise and gather.  Our space is designed and operated to promote social opportunities with beautiful communal areas both inside and out; with thoughtful touches and features that make interaction and collaboration easy such as large glazed windows and doors that open out onto the public courtyard. This presents a chance to pull resources from one another too, supporting each other with business, advice and shared experiences. For example, graphics studio James Edgar Design, designed the signage around the site and our outdoor tables and bike racks were lovingly made by resident designer maker Richcraft. This community is what makes Alma Yard home – a working home for our residents if you will”

Attention to detail within the design phase follows through in all of the individuals we interviewed for the question of what makes a house a home. Eat Work Art also appreciate the importance of integration with the space outside a home as well as within. This is shared strongly with Digg & Co who are a landscape architecture and design study who specialise in ecological design. Digg & Co aim to seek out the soul of the landscape to develop long term ideas which work in harmony with the natural world around them. We spoke with Bella Lowes from Digg & Co who was able to offer us her insight as to what makes a house a home. Having recently completed their own barn conversion which now forms both her office and home, it was perfect timing to take a visit and ask more. 

“When I think about ‘home’, it is not so much a place as it is a collection of people and things. These people and things are inextricably linked to the inspiring, motivating and ultimately safe environment which is informed by space and light and a connection to the landscape. This building grew organically from what was left behind, and at every turn we reminded ourselves to keep it simple, to stay true to our primal motivation to build shelter. It’s metamorphosis from what once was to what is was more of an evolution than a build. The materiality is inherently natural: we were not driven purely by its appearance but also its sound, its smell, its light, its space, its health and its feeling. Using as much wood as possible has resulted in a tactile, friendly space which is unpretentious and enveloping. When you give yourself fairly basic parameters within which to work, the whole process of creating a home is simplified, thereby allowing us more headspace to create with.”

It’s clear that we all have different views on what makes a house a home, and thank goodness we do, as it gives each home such distinctive character and worth to an individual.  Some of us don’t need a house to look a certain way to call it a home, whereas to others, this is the most important element of a home. Some need safety, others need space. Some need community, others need isolation and privacy. We’re all different and so are our homes. 

Heritage Oak Natural Flooring