Welcome back to the place that shines a little brighter, glows a little warmer, than anywhere else. This month, we explore living spaces from Biltmore to birdhouses with one question in mind: Why do North Carolinians refer to their “homeplace,” not their house or their abode or even their home place? Here’s what we think: The two words cozy up, making something bigger than a physical location. There’s room for memories in that word, and there’s room to return. There’s always a light on at home. — Katie Saintsing

Home + Place = Homeplace. Or not.

homeplaceThe multiple meanings of a single word.

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Log Cabin Cooking

log cabin feature The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place to learn, nourish, and gather. A cooking instructor in Asheville hopes to keep it that way.

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Cedar Creek Gallery

cedar creek gallery A community of artists finds a home, and a family, at a gallery near Creedmoor.

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Home, in lyrics

In 2007, Carrboro folk musician Stephanie Stewart left North Carolina, where she’d grown up, to spend a year in the Pacific Northwest. There, amid bright city lights and gloomy rainy days, she found both a renewed appreciation for her Southern roots and inspiration for a song. “I was ready to leave you, as I looked out my rearview, and watched your Blue Ridge fade into dust,” Stewart croons in the opening lines of “Wake Me Carolina.” This is her ode to the people and places she once left behind, and the journey she took to find her way back home.

Tiny Living

tiny home feat North Carolinians find freedom in the smallest homes.

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Homes for Bluebirds

homes for bluebirds Eastern bluebirds, once almost vanished from our state, thrive with the help of friendly (human) neighbors.

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Get your copy of our December 2014 issue to discover even more ways the homeplace is celebrated across the state.

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Erin Reitz is a former digital content specialist at Our State.