Bricks might make a house, but what makes a house a home? Just thinking of the word ‘home’ conjures so many emotions - that sense of security, belonging and familiar comfort.

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Shelter and safety are, of course, key functions of a home, but that sense of ‘homeliness’ can play a big part in shaping our identities and even our health and well-being.

Here’s a look at some of the other findings, and our take on them:

1. Memories

Memories scored highly, with 60% of respondents stating they’re a key part of what makes a house a home.

Many Baby Boomers will have lived in the same house for years, where so many important moments have taken place, from moving in and bringing home new babies, to watching them fly the nest years later, not to mention all the birthdays, Christmases and conversations in between.

2. Cosy and warm

With 51% and 47% respectively, cosiness and warmth were also fairly popular characteristics of a home.

Psychologists often refer to how our physical surroundings impact mood and emotion: feeling warm and cosy is as much a mental feeling as it is physical. Who doesn’t love snuggling up on a cosy sofa after a long day?

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3. Your own bed

Going on holiday, if you’re lucky enough, is wonderful, but nothing beats that feeling of coming back to your own, glorious bed.

Almost half the Boomers (48%) said this was one of the main things that makes a house a home.

4. Smell of home-cooked food

Smells are incredibly powerful for evoking memories, so it’s little wonder we often attach so much importance to the aroma of home-cooked meals.

For many, mealtimes are a central part of family life, and a quarter (25%) of the Boomers cited home-cooking smells as crucial to their sense of home. Similarly, 24% said a ‘homely smell’ plays a role. 

5. Pets

Any pet owner will agree: pets are part of the family.

Sometimes, in fact, they are your only family, so it’s little wonder they featured on the list, scoring 23%.

I have a cat, and not a single day goes by when I don’t look forward to her greeting me when I get home and meowing for her dinner.

6. Location

Location is vital when it comes to choosing a house to buy or rent, but when it comes to that sense of ‘home’, location is about far more than proximity to schools, amenities and transport links, etc.

There’s also that sense of community, whether the area ‘suits’ our personalities, hobbies and interests – all things that factor in our well-being - and 31.7% of the Boomers agreed it’s an important part of ‘home’.

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7. The rituals you make

Whether it’s enjoying a long, lavish breakfast at the weekend, indulging in a candlelit bubble bath on a Wednesday night, or pizza and a movie with loved ones on a Friday, many of us have little rituals and habits that we associate with being at home.

11% of the Boomers cited ‘rituals’ as important for making a house a home.