What is Home?
I know this sounds weird but the other day I unexpectedly found an analogy between homes and cubes. The more I pondered about the idea, the more the home cube analogy revealed itself.
The conception is simple: homes have six sides as well as cubes, not only literally but figuratively, too.
What is Home?
Home is the place where – ideally – all your needs are fulfilled. Need for safety, need for being loved and nurtured, need for rest, the desire to learn and get inspired, etc.
In the home, the next generation is getting shaped and get equipped for life. They will build their homes based on what homes we create for them.
A home is a place where you feel warm and cozy. You have things around that are special and have meaning to you. But most of all, you are surrounded by people you love and who love you. Home is a place that feels familiar and good. It’s a place that comes without question, a place that is waiting for you day in and day out, a place that is yours. Home is a place that just feels right.
A family makes a house a home by living in it and making it special by creating it to be their haven.
The Six Home Factors
So, what is home?
There are six main factors that determine the impact of a home, its quality and value.
The six factors are like the six sides of a cube. Therefore it is the Home Cube Theory.
There is no home without any of these 6 factors.
The 6 sides of the Home Cube are:
Let’s see them in detail.
1. The Place – The Base
To have a home you need a place where you’re grounded. That is the baseline. You have to have some roof above your head but it cannot be restricted to a certain type of building. It can be something from a wigwam or treehouse to a royal palace.
The point is that the feeling of home is connected to a place.
If you ask someone about their childhood home, they will immediately remember two things:
The first is the feelings they had as a child at home, the other is where it was. Everything else will come after these. First, they will talk about their room, backyard, kitchen, all the places in the home where they felt those feelings they remember. It’s because feelings are connected to places as well as to people.
The memories we cherish about the place become a part of our identity.
We moved a few times the last 17 years and each time stayed long enough to make memories that make those places special to us. Especially to our children. They long to get back to the place of their earliest memories. So much that oftentimes it breaks my heart.
When I go back to the small town I grew up in, I feel at home, though it’s not my home anymore. It’s because of my memories.
Do not underestimate the importance of places, because they play a major role in becoming who you are. Even the simple fact of either living in one place for your whole life or moving every now and then.
It makes an impact where that place is: by the ocean or in the mountains. Small town or big city. Is it in the First World or the Third?
The place draws the bottom line. But it’s not enough in itself to define the home.
We need five more factors to define the home cube.
2. The People – The Core
People are an even more important part of the feeling we call home. This is the reason that one of the most common phrases is that “it is the people who make a place a home.”
It’s true. We hold onto people and rather leave a place we’re connected to for the people we love. We hardly ever leave the people for the place. Unless temporarily.
People make homes and they are the reason homes are made for.
Yes, a home is made. It does not just happen.
Each person who lives in the home add their personality to it and shape it, so it reflects the people who make it. That is the reason that there are no two homes alike.
But because of the process of making, people and the places they call their home have two-way relationships. The other way around a personality or character is shaped by the home they live in.
Also, relationships are in correlation with the home they’re nurtured in. They make an impact on the home and home has a determining role in relationships. Just a simple example is that having rooms for siblings separately or shared does matter both in personality and in relationship development. Having space for family time and activities or not, also defines the quality of family relationships. Having an outdoor space or not, etc. You get the idea.
What we all tend to forget is that the home is the place where the next generation is rising or – dare I say – falling. The place where our children are rooted and growing wings. It determines their whole life. So our home must meet the requirements of a safe, inspiring, supporting, peaceful, educational, etc. environment for raising the next generation.
To have that all, we have to pay close attention to each factor a home has.
3. The Functions – The Frame
The functionality of your home determines the quality of your living.
The functions of your home will vary on your needs. The most commonly used functions are
Also, many people work from home, homeschool, maintain hobbies, or even do sports.
The most important thing is that the activities you do in your home should be supported by the functionality of your home. Your home should serve all the needs of your family but especially encourage building family relationships.
For functionality purposes, there are some types of rooms that are essential in each home, and there are rooms that may differ according to the family’s needs and lifestyle.
We can safely say that each home absolutely needs a kitchen to nurture the family, bedrooms to take rest, bathrooms for daily routines/personal care and relaxing, and a living area for family activities and entertaining. You need some – or a lot of – storage place in between. These rooms come in any size and shape and form, so you have a lot of decisions to make only about functionality. Decisions like if an open-concept home or not serve better your family, or maybe something in between (that’s the hardest thing to figure out with all the fads and fuss going around). Small kitchen or large kitchen, eat-in kitchen or formal dining, bathtub or shower, bedroom for kids separately or shared, etc.
To create the best home that serves your family, you have to have a vision. My personal conviction is that this is the most important element of making decisions about functionality. Changing functions in a home takes the biggest effort, so you better make long term choices. To make long term choices you have to have an idea/vision about the end result.
A Little Sidenote About Vision
Why do we have to have a vision in the 21st century? And why did people live a full life without it in earlier centuries?
You see, today the information explosion gives us tons of options to choose from in each and every area of life. In terms of home creating, too. We always get to crossroads and road forks, and we must make decisions. Making no decision is a decision. Because you go on anyway. The question is you choose which way to go or not. The mass will take you with them if you don’t have a goal to reach, a vision to fulfill. Our ancestors had much fewer options to choose from so it made more sense to go with the flow. Having more choices is not ultimately a good thing or isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It highly depends on how ready you are to make decisions and take responsibility for your choices. Our generation needs to grow up to the challenge to survive and stay on top of the information overload and all the things that come with it. It is even more true for the generations following us.
Creating a functional home that matches your lifestyle can be challenging depending on The Base we talked about. The best advice here is to make a life plan before making a home plan and choose your home based on your life plans. If you missed a step or two here, no worries. (We did, too.) You can still make things work but maybe you need to put in more effort and creativity. But I’d like to remind you: the more effort you put into it, the more it will grow on you. And that’s what we want, don’t we?
4. The Design – The Reflector
The design is the reflection factor of the entity we call home. The design and decor of your home reflect your personality, your preferences, your beliefs. Ultimately, your home tells people who you are.
In addition, the appearance of your home has a major impact on how you feel about and in the home. If you’re a visual type of person at all, design plays a very important role in your life, especially in your home. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with pieces of furniture, colors, and textures that make you feel peaceful and high spirited. The right design has an impact on your mood and mindset.
You’d want a cohesive, characteristic appearance for your home. There are tons of different styles and trends out there, but my belief is that the best trend is to find your own unique style by mixing up all the best elements of styles in a way that reflects you. A little bit of this and a little bit of that can make up into a really nice and inviting, characteristic home. You need to figure out which features of which style reflect you and how you can combine them. Yes, it sounds like taking some self-understanding, some knowledge on styles and design, and also some experience. It means that finding your own style that makes you love your home won’t happen in a day, not even in two. It may take much longer than that depending on your determination to find it out. Even when you have it all figured out, you need to leave some room for changing things up anytime you feel the urge. Most people’s style is changing with time and experience so set yourself free for changes, too.
There is another aspect of reflection in the appearance of the home. It is your emotional state. When you’re feeling well and happy, you’re more likely to have an organized home that looks nice and tidy. If you feel distressed or upset, your home starts to fall apart and look disorganized. This is again a two-way effect: you can start to feel better if you start to reorganize and tidy up again. It can lift up your mood, like a therapy. So when you realize that your home’s reflecting your unbalanced state of mind, you can change things around by being strong and make the extra effort to tidy up and organize that had fallen apart.
This side of the home cube is not to be overlooked.
5. The Budget – The Busybody
This factor is exactly that. The nosey parker. It determines the size and quality of all the other sides of the home cube. – Except for the last one. That cannot be determined by anything else than you. We’ll look into that in a minute.
We all tend to love bigger, nicer home cubes, but if the sixth side, the top of the cubicle is in its place, smaller, simpler squares perfectly do the job, too. Size and quality can be different on each side and they’re not even proportional with each other. The differences – in most cases – are determined by this side of the home cube. The money.
So, do you need a ton of money to create a home?
The answer is yes and no. You CAN create a nice home on a shoestring though nobody wants or likes that. But it is possible. With tons of sacrifice, foregoing and compromise, but that’s still better than not having a home.
On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that to create the dream home costs a ton of money for anybody. And it could even more. A house can suck up all the money of the world. But you have to scale it right.
In order to do that you need a life plan, you need a vision and purpose in your life. Not only to budget what you have, but also to scale up your income. This factor requires your wise mind the most. Getting this wrong can make or break your home cube.
If you don’t know how to do it, take time to learn about it. No time, money or effort is too much to learn how to do your home and family finances well.
6. The Mindset – The Perspective
On the opposite side of The Base, there is the mindset that holds together the four sides of the cubicle. The base doesn’t require much of your mindset once you have it, but all the other sides – people and relationships, functionality, design, and the budget – are held together by this side of the cube. Mindset determines everything. Everything in life and in your home. Mindset is how you think about things. Your mindset is your perspective. Your thinking determines your feelings and your attitude.
The right mindset will differentiate reality from dreams and will make you accept the difference. The right mindset makes it easier to improve things within your means and fully embrace all the boundaries. Yet it won’t stop pushing the lines as far as possible. It makes the right compromises. The right mindset is purposeful. Makes plans. Has reasons behind the act. It’s also a growth mindset that accepts the ever-changing feature of life and is always ready to improve.
I hope that now you understand the Home Cube Theory a bit better and how it can help you define your home. Use it for your advantages and create the best home for your family!