What Turns A House Into A Home? Haute Residence Members Weigh In

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What truly turns a house into a home?

Kim Hatley, Corcoran Reverie, Scenic 30A, FL

To me what turns a house into a home are the memories made there. The things that your children will remember long after they have gone on to lead their own lives. Memories of simple, fun times shared with family and friends will forever bring a smile to your face. Whether it’s the height chart in pencil on the wall or the fun times together just being a family, those memories will make that house ‘your’ home for many years to come.


Carlo Habet, Belize

Creating a home means making a space that is true to yourself and expresses how you choose to live your life. A home is where one feels safe and accepted. There are no masks to wear or expectations that need to be upheld once you walk in through your doors. A home tells the story of those who inhabit it, each moment documented through the deliberate placement of family heirlooms in visible places or an unforgettable moment kept in a picture frame in the center of the room. Home is a sense of belonging, a place that nourishes our soul, and provides ample opportunities to fully relax and be ourselves. Making a house into a home means curating an environment that makes you feel welcome, happy, and safe.


Paula Martins, Corcoran Reverie, Scenic 30A, FL

Our physical needs and cultural values dramatically shape the spaces where people spend their lives, by creating a reflection of what we consider most important. Designing a house that offers a welcoming environment to celebrate who you are, is what makes it a real home.

St. Croix

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Amy Land-de Wilde, St. Croix

Sunshine, warmth, laughter, memories, nature, the outdoors, gathering, celebrating…that feeling you get when you walk through the door and exhale. Just a few of the words I use to describe “home” when it comes to living in the Caribbean.

I love experiencing the transformation from a house to a home with my clients, whether in person or through their social media. Often I get to join them in their “home” for champagne by their pool, yoga in their courtyard, or dinner on their gallery overlooking the sea. I love walking into a house transformed into a home that I sold to buyers and seeing how they personalized it — whether rearranging the furniture (most homes are sold furnished), adding their favorite art pieces to their bare walls, and usually incorporating some local art, or fully renovating the space to fit their lifestyle, like a tricked out kitchen or additional outdoor living space.

Many of the homes we sell are to second-home owners who are looking to design a home they can escape to in the winter months. Each individual’s version of home is a little different, built around their ideal style of living. I am inspired by my island friends on social media who share their morning rituals of watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee, growing their own edible garden, dicing ingredients in their open kitchen, or inviting their friends over for yoga on their pool deckled by one of our amazing yoga teachers. I have called St. Croix home for so many years, 42 to be exact, and there is no other place I would rather be!


Bekah Manley, Corcoran Reverie, Scenic 30A, FL

A house gets turned into a home when you learn who you are and fill it with the things that make you, YOU. Those things can be physical (plants, art, instruments, books, etc), OR non-physical (love, peace, happiness, etc).


Kersten Bowman, Corcoran Reverie, Scenic 30A, FL 

Picture a single Mother raising children in a place that is messy, unkempt, and full of life. Envision a quiet, retired couple with photos of countless memories on the wall from decades past. Or, think back to when you were new to the workforce with a full spirit and the latest HGTV trends spread out from floor to ceiling. What truly turns a house into a home are the people in it and the stories they have to tell. A home is a personal point of view shared with the people and items that most bring comfort. It maintains no specific dollar amount or status. In the simplest of phrases, a home is where the heart is.

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Georgina Jacobson, Newport Beach, CA

Homeowners turn a house into a home by putting their personal touches on the house. Whether that be family photos on the wall, furniture that exhibits the homeowner's personality and style or hanging artwork throughout the house, these are all ways that make a home more personal to the homeowner and make it feel like home.

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