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What Makes a House a Home

by | Jan 1, 2019 | Decorating Inspiration, my house, My Seattle House

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What Makes a House a Home

Moving is always rough, it takes more out of me than I ever expect. Especially if there’s remodeling involved, too! Our family has moved many times and each time I vow it will be the last. I still think if I was to name my ultimate dream when it comes to a home, it would be to have one I can live in forever.

Over the past three years of living here, we’ve been able to make some improvements which made a HUGE difference in how “at home” we feel here. Considering that it seems to take us 3 years just to figure out how to function in a new place, I’m feeling good about our progress!

I shared many of those home improvement projects yesterday.

While I love being done with quite a few projects, I also love that this house still has so much more potential! There are so many more things we can and would love to do to continue improving this house. The bathrooms, the laundry room, built-ins, adding more character and more exterior and landscaping work …all things on my “to do” list. I am excited to get back outside enjoy our deck and side yard this spring.

What Makes a House a Home

We moved into this house in the city of Seattle the fall of 2015. That was just a little over three years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago, but barely a minute at the same time. Funny how fast…and slow…time passes, isn’t it?

So much has happened and changed in that time, both in our home and our life. This house wasn’t necessarily our dream home, but with the market in Seattle such as it was, we quickly came to realize what mattered most to us in our house hunt was finding a place to bring our family together.

Our son was entering high school and his sisters and our son-in-law already lived here in Seattle, so moving across the water to bring our kids closer together was the dream.

What Makes a House a Home

Ironically, even though this house might not have started out as our dream house, we love so much about it. It’s bright and light. Clean and cozy. Solid and comfortable. Quiet and inviting. The view across to the Puget Sound, mountains and sky is endlessly inspiring. The yard is perfect for our pups. It’s conveniently located and we enjoy the area. We of course are very grateful for the improvements we’ve been able to make. It just feels right to us.

We’ve been living the life we wanted for our family these past three years, so the move we made here is without regret. It hasn’t all been easy. Everything hasn’t been perfect. Some things have been better than we ever dreamed, a few … not as much. But we’re still here! We made it. We’re happy.

I can hardly believe that this June, our son Luke will graduate from high school and this fall he’ll head to college (gratefully, nearby!).

What Makes a House a Home

Just like that, this four year chapter of our family’s life will close and a wonderful new one will begin.

Some things will likely feel the same going forward, but other things will feel…different. That’s just how life is.

Will we live in this house forever? 

We do really love living here and can see ourselves in this house for a very long time. Yet, there’s always the possibility that as we transition to being empty nesters in 2019, we’ll find ourselves on a path that leads to a new home. In fact, I’ve stumbled upon three “dream houses” over the past year that tugged at my heart. :)

But each time I begin to envision a new dream, I return home to the comfort of knowing that in this season and for the foreseeable future, this cozy house full of pups and family is still where we belong.

It feels like home.

Happy New Year from our home to yours, friends! Thank you so much for spending another year here with us. Here’s to more home adventures in 2019!


  1. Lynda

    Happy new years to you and yours!! Enjoy where you are planted…

  2. Rose

    Why does it always feel like we need to improve our homes.
    Move to another home. Bigger or smaller. Why can’t we just be happy where we are
    I too look for different places to live. I follow so many bloggers and see their front porches ( I do not have one) and wish I did. So I begin to look for homes that have that.
    I want to be happy with what I have, but like you I continue to search

    Happy new year.
    Much love

  3. Debbie - MountainMama

    I’ve watched you turn that house into a warm and comfortable home for the last 3 years, Melissa, and I know how hard it would be to leave it. Moving is the pits, and as much as I drool over other houses all over blogland, I love my little mountain top home….and can’t see myself going anywhere any time soon! Happy New Year!

  4. Ann L Sielaff

    Great post Melissa! So honest and true! I’m like you in my quest for the perfect home. Happily, I am content for now in my Phoenix fixer upper. We had quite a year here with termites, mice, broken appliances and a.c., and a flood! That was a drag. But also a graduation party, a family reunion, and a first Christmas with a son home from college. God’s grace is always sufficient, isn’t it? Happy new year to you! Looking forward to your future posts!

  5. Claire

    Having never lived in one place more than 2 years before I married, I am so thankful, after 10 years of renting a house, we finally found a house of our own. It’s been an interesting journey and isn’t over yet. When we moved here, our daughter was so upset as the house where we lived for 10 years had been the only home she had ever known. I didn’t know how to make her feel better until I read an article that said that the place we live in is only a surrounding to “house” a home. Our family is our “home” and this house, even though our daughter is now married, is still “home” and I pray it will be for a long time to come.

  6. MaryLisa Noyes

    My home has been undergoing remodeling for quite some time. We stopped for 3 years because as you know in the Seattle area contractors have been booked out. We finally moved up the list and started in again and I’m so pleased. I had thought about moving to warmer weather but what I found is I would still need to remodel there. I’m staying and the new year startered with sunshine so life is good!

  7. Debbie

    We moved this year, I say I’ll never do it again! It took a lot of work to get our older home ready to sell, but by the grace of God we did it! We bought a brand new town house, no exterior work for my husband and much less interior work for me. Best of all we have an open floor plan so we can host our family (3 kids + in-laws and 3 grandkids), and everyor is together. I love our new place, and look forward to “cozying it up” this year. Thanks for your inspiration, Melissa, and Happy New Yearto you and yours!

  8. Maria

    Happy Happy New Year to you, as well! Thank you so much for inviting us into your home each week and showing us all of the wonderful ways we can love on our own homes with things that we probably already have. You have taught me to ‘shop my house’ and ‘putter’ and for that I am forever grateful. I found your blog in the middle of the night almost ten years ago when I was still living with my parents and only dreaming of creating a home at that point. You inspired me then, and you inspire me now. I am endlessly thankful for everything that you share. I hope 2019 brings many wonderful things for you and your family! <3

  9. Jo Jo

    You are so right, Melissa, things are constantly changing, but as long as we are able to be with or near our loved ones, we will feel we’re home. We moved to another state and built a brand new home ( as empty nesters) the same time and year you moved to Seattle! We, too, plan to be here for a very long time, but we’ve learned to never say never as we moved frequently as well. One thing is for sure…we want to ALWAYS have a home that our family can come and visit and close enough for hem to be able to drive to and not have to fly. This is the situation we have now and it’s wonderful. Happy Blessed New Year to you and your family! Love, love love how you’ve transformed your home in Seattle to your HOME. ❤️

  10. Jenny B.

    This is a very encouraging post. :) Thank you! My family of 5 is considering a cross-country move. I imagine that would scary for everyone, but we’ve actually never moved. We’ve lived in our house for 18 years, and neither my husband nor I moved during our childhoods. Other than moving to our college dorm rooms and apartments before we were married, it’s 100% new territory. One of the things I’m struggling with most is that the housing market in the area we’re considering is very different from where we live now. The home we are able to purchase there will mostly likely be far from our “dream home,” but I know we can make it “home” even if it’s not perfect. Thank you for sharing inspiration and encouragement. :)

  11. Keren Justice-Hale

    I love that the home you choose becomes the dream. I have been paying more attention to what feels like home to me. This year I am hoping to embrace home more. Thank you – THANK YOU – for the inspiration.

  12. Sharon

    I love your canister set! Where did you get it?

  13. Autem Decker

    Very much encouraging post. Thank you – THANK YOU – for the inspiration.

  14. Connie Hoffman

    Your kitchen is beautiful!!!

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