The Making of Home

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       January 19, 2015


Author  Judith Flanders

ISBN:                 9781848877986
Publisher:         Atlantic Books
Release Date:    


What exactly is Home. Home can be anywhere you choose to be, under a tree, in a house or living on a boat, that is your choice. There is much more to the word Home than is first realised as, surprisingly, the concept we attribute to the word Home is relatively recent, only as old as the turn of the 19th century.

Home is a newish concept and one that we take very much for granted. Home is a place which has evolved over many generations, Century’s even, with the move from things in a house being called a house where people live, transforming to items which make up a home and give that homely feel.

In this incredibly in-depth and fascinating look at the transformation of your ‘moulding pile’ into the place you love to call Home, taken over the many years of change, it presents the argument more about not just people’s expectations but the effect the advent of the industrial age had on consumerism and where it is, or has lead in today’s world.

Industrialisation allowed goods to become considerably cheaper which in turn allowed people to be able to the move from basic fittings to curtains as an accepted norm, which has been the province of the wealthy of society. It allowed the gradual shift towards making the domestic workload easier by introducing automation into the home in the way of washing machines, gas or electric stoves and such like.

A collection of photographs makes interesting viewing as the depiction of the interior of peoples ‘homes’ was not always as painted by the portrait painters. Often the work was symbolic of the lifestyle, the standing in society and the wealth of the owner. Whatever the reason the work was undertaken, the portrait shows a lifestyle which has evolved to where it is today, based in a society which has created excess in consumerism.

Homes and houses have, in many ways changed little over the years, in-so-far as they are still the place in which the family gathers: the place you go to that is yours. Architecturally, the look has shifted to something that has more light, lets the outside in and has a far better provision for heating and cooling than ever before, but still serves the same purpose it always has done; that of providing a place in the world you can call yours, that provides shelter, warmth and nurturing.

The Making of Home is more an essay on the evolution of society rather than simply the move to calling a place, wherever that may be, Home.