What is home? ~ Happy Home by Jennifer Paganelli Book Review

I was recently sent a copy of Jennifer Paganelli’s new book ‘Happy Home‘ for my review, but rather than just tell you about the book, I thought I would take a moment to talk a little bit about the idea of ‘home’.

What truly makes a house a home?  

The structure on it’s own is generally four walls and a roof, but at what point does it become a home?  Is it with the addition of people? Furniture? Things?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s so much more.

Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines a home in several different ways. One of the definitions of home states that……home is a familiar or usual environment and the focus of one’s domestic attention. 

A home is not just a structure, it is the people and everything else inside.

What is home to me?  Home is with my family.  It’s where I am most comfortable, cozy and warm.  My home smells like home whether it be food cooking, candles burning, the scent of flowers, my favorite hand soap, or the sweet smell of my 10 month old baby boy. My home is filled with my favorite, most comforting things such as a handmade quilt made by my mom, my morning cup of coffee, my comfy bed, pictures drawn by my children, a cozy robe, a painting done by my grandmother, photographs of my family, my sewing machine, pretty fabric and my favorite cookbooks and sewing books.  Home is hugs from my husband and snuggles with my kids.

My home has signs of being lived in with things like kids finger prints on the windows, piles of laundry to be put away, crumbs on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink and toys strewn about.  But it is mine.  Every. single. lovely. imperfection. It is my safe haven in this crazy world.  A little space to call my own.

My home is not perfect and the people in it are not perfect either.  My home is a safe place where I can let down my guard.  It’s where I can reveal my inner most thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement.  It’s where I can laugh, cry and just be.  My home is where I can make mistakes and it’s ok.  It’s where I say things I might not mean and I am forgiven without question and most importantly, it’s where I am loved unconditionally 100% of the time.

The title of Jennifer Paganelli’s new book ‘Happy Home‘ resonated with me so deeply because it’s what I long for, it’s what I want for my family.  I want my husband and children to look back on these years and feel like these were happy times.  Truly happy.

Happy Home‘ focuses on many different projects for the home such as curtains, a cozy picnic blanket, a bed skirt and a sun hat, to name a few.  One of the things that brings me the most comfort in my home is being surrounded by handmade things.  I absolutely love looking at some of the quilts my mom has made for the kids, tucking my daughter, Savannah, in under the quilt I made for her bed or seeing my girls twirling around in a dress that I made for them.  There is so much comfort to be found in handmade. 

Happy Home‘ by Jennifer Paganelli is sure to inspire a focus on the domestic with all the brightly colored fabrics and beautiful prints.  The book is a gorgeous hard cover book with a pocket in the front that stores the printed pattern sheets.  The projects are pretty straight-forward and are definitely doable for a comfortable beginner sewer.  Jennifer’s beautiful fabric designs are sure to get you excited to sew!

For an intermediate to advanced sewer many of the projects are a great base to adapt them and make them your own.  By adding different trims and choosing unique fabrics you can create projects that you will love and will make your house truly feel like home.

We will not be on this earth forever, but we can leave behind a little part of ourselves in the things we create for our loved ones.  Things that will bring them comfort.  Things that will bring them ‘home’.

If you would like to check out ‘Happy Home‘ by Jennifer Paganelli, click HERE.

Like this post? Want even more?
Sign up below and receive all my tutorials, recipes and updates directly in your email inbox.


  1. great post and sounds like a great book! i too hope the kids will think these are and were happy times in their lives:)

  2. LIndsay,
    What a beautiful, heartfelt opening to the book review. Your words ring true with so many of us and I feel the same. Happiest at home, all safe and cozy… crafting, creating, talking, sharing ideas, baking, being silly. Simple times yet the best of times. This is what makes my house a home.

  3. You hit the nail on the head, a home is soooo much more than a house. This book is lovely, my birthday is coming up and if anyone in my family listened to me lately they would be getting me a copy LOL.

  4. What a beautiful review Lindsay!!! I love this book and have finished a few of the projects…they are fun and easy to do!

  5. That so touched me Lindsay , so sorry I wasn’t here sooner, life got in the way but I want to thank you for this beautiful post and sentiment and love for the handmade..xoxoxo

  6. Great post. I was part of the Happy Home blog tour. Love the book! Here is what I did with it. http://handmadedresshaven.blogspot.com/2012/06/its-happy-home-blog-tour-time-happy.html

  7. I just found this to be an amazing post just loved the creativity to create such a item at home would be really a great idea.