By: Y Studios
Category: PLACE


Home is where the heart is….where your true home is with the person or place that you love most. 

In today’s fast-paced world of twitterisms and nomadic lifestyles of accumulated frequent flier miles, will this age-old romantic sentiment still hold up to be true? What are the bare necessities of living well and comfortable?

Our guest blogger provides a personal account of what she considers her “home”.

Guest Contributor | Caitlyn Waldman

Sometimes I visit my parents across the bay where I sleep on an uncomfortable pull-out, set up in my brother's "office". He converted his childhood bedroom, so that he could take my old bed for himself. 

After a night or two, I say good-bye and that "I'm heading home" back to my apartment in the city. I could see my dad’s heart break slightly, the realization that "home" is now something I've built with my roommate. My parents' house will always be home, but in the end, we all find our own.


After a long vacation of sleeping in hotels, hostels, and the likes of AirBnBs, plopping down onto your own mattress for a good night’s rest is heavenly. No place like your own bed. 

There are avid travelers who don't return home for years – backpackers and adventurers discovering the world one step at a time. They sleep where they please and home is within themselves.

I have a friend currently traveling the world, where he finds himself in cities without hostels or hotels. He has slept in the streets and been welcomed in by strangers. It's all temporary. He floats like a nomad, from place to place. But, when I talk to him, he tells me he'll be home in a month or so.

Living out of a backpack isn't just an adventurer's life. In San Francisco, Tent Cities have popped up everywhere. Many homeless individuals have taken to living in these makeshift communities. Shelters are overwhelmed to the point where there's a waitlist just for a one-night stay. These tents offer them a place to call home. Some, when asked, don't feel the need to go to shelters or seek help from nonprofits because they are "all set" in a sense.

Homeless Encampment in San Francisco, Backpacker Hostel in Brisbane

Homeless Encampment in San Francisco, Backpacker Hostel in Brisbane


After living in my apartment for about five years, my roommate and I finally decided to "spruce the place up". We realized that we are in it for the long haul. We bought paint and new furniture. Wandered through the internet, looking for the right pieces. Got lost in IKEA, in search of the perfect curtain or cushion cover.

In a city as expensive as San Francisco, it's difficult to be able to furnish a home in the way you'd like and afford to pay rent when, like many residents, myself included, are freelancers. Entry level positions ask for years of experience for a low pay. 

To furnish our homes, some of us have taken to scouring Craigslist for free, used items. DIY is also on the rise. A personal touch to art, accessories, and knick-knacks are a large draw for homeowners and collectors alike. Homemade videos of people using glue guns on everything, tutorials on making anything can be easily found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Marketplaces like Etsy is also a great way to find handcrafted, unique pieces or purchase materials to make your own furniture or furnishings. With over 2 million active sellers on its platform and 35 million active buyers, Etsy expects its revenue in the range of $582 million to $591 million in 2018.

For the average person with not a lot of money to spend, IKEA is a godsend. The one-stop, everything-you-could-ask-for-your-home store is the perfect place to decorate a home without depleting our bank accounts.

As my roommate and I lug boxes and boxes into his car, our wealthier friends custom order tables from well-known designers. They throw around thousands of dollars for a chandelier made of quartz.

IKEA staged home for someone’s dream home

IKEA staged home for someone’s dream home


In San Francisco, median price of a house is about $1.62 million in 2018, which is about 3 to 4 times the national average. The average rent in San Francisco for an average sized apartment (800 sq. ft.) is about $3,500 now.

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the total cost of living in San Francisco is now 62.6% higher than the U.S. average.

Contrast that with Detroit, where the average price to buy a home is $39,500, according to Zillow. The average rent in Detroit for an average sized apartment (780 sq. ft.) is about $987 in 2018.

Although the prices may be low, Detroit faces bankruptcy and the populace are moving out. That is, those who can. Sacrificing urban upkeep, easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables (see: food desert), and – in some parts – safety for an affordable life. People work hard to "get out" through studying and athletics. Many wish to make enough money to provide for the family they may leave behind.

Home rental and sale

Home rental and sale

So, what is the quality life we can attain to make a home for ourselves, if the conditions are right?

The desire to escape from a previous life – one where you've been raised since birth, to a promise of the dream abode – opens up the question of what one would consider "home". 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes "home" in a few ways. 

  • a place of residence

  • a familiar or usual setting

  • a place of origin

At what point in their lives do people choose to define their true home?

Y Studios is a regular features contributor to, a London-based online design intelligence and research service for fashion and lifestyle industries. 

We have written extensively about Home and Lifestyle in special themed reports for WGSN-Homebuildlife and Opinion USA. Check out our reports in the PERSPECTIVE section.

Banner Image Credit: Lea Bohm on Unsplash