Happpppy Saturday you lovely people! I’m so excited for today’s post because it’s one I’ve been working on for a while now. I’m sharing 7 practical tips to help you truly love your home–even when you don’t really want to. I’ve been there, I know it’s not easy when you’re living in a home that isn’t what you want. Before moving where we are today we lived in two foreclosures. Yes, two! Now, to be fair, they weren’t necessarily in bad shape In fact, the second foreclosure was a pretty nice house. But the problem I had with both of them is that they lacked character. They were cookie-cutter homes that just didn’t offer much pizazz. At the time I struggled with that and felt like my creativity was a bit stifled by the limits of our home. Now looking back I realize how wrong I was. I could have done sooooo many things to change the overall look and feel of our home, but I never did. So if you’re in a similar situation, in a place you aren’t crazy about, I hope these tips today will make a difference in how you feel about your home. Let me encourage you today to look at things with a different perspective and take ownership of where you are now. I’ve put a lot of thought into these tips, so I hope they are helpful for you!
Embrace Your Season
The first and biggest step to loving your home is making the decision to embrace your current season of life. I know this isn’t always easy, I’ve been there. Like I mentioned, our first home was a foreclosure with no character at all. I decorated it with little purpose or intention, mostly because I had no clue what I was doing plus I was frustrated with the layout. And the little effort I put into it only made me dislike it more. Things just never seemed to fit. Looking back I wish I would have really embraced where we were and made more of an effort to make the house what I wanted, even with a limited budget. Had I made that effort, it would have made a big difference in how I felt about the house and I would have enjoyed it a lot more. So if you’re sitting in your first home, or even your fifth home, and it isn’t exactly what you want, I encourage you to find contentment with where you are today. It doesn’t have to be where you are forever, but you’re there now so you might as well make it awesome. And don’t let yourself get caught up in comparison. There will always be someone with a “better” house, that’s just reality, so don’t waste your time worrying about it. Declare now that you’re committed to making the most of what you have–big or small.
Personalize Your Home
This seems obvious, right? Let me explain. Years ago, when I was decorating our first home, I bought a lot of random stuff to decorate with–sailboats, little ceramic bears that said home sweet home, bright orange birdcages, and lots of other cheap decor. If I thought it was cute, I’d buy it. And I didn’t really even think about it, if that makes sense. Nowadays I’m much more intentional with what I bring into our home. You know I love my vintage decor, but I also really try to stick to a specific look when I shop for decor at places like Target or Home Goods. This kind of falls in line with finding your style, which I can cover in another post if you want to see something like that, but I would encourage you to stop and ask yourself what kind of decor you’re really drawn to. What do you like? What don’t you like and why? Figuring that out and sticking to it will keep you from buying a lot of random stuff that you only feel so-so about. And even better, it will help you create a home that is personal to you and that’s a HUGE part of loving your home.
Small Projects = Happiness
If you’re unhappy in your home, I’d challenge you to get your hands busy with a small project around the house. I truly believe in order to really love your home, you have to put effort and time into it. Just like anything in life, you have to work for what you want. There are lots of different ways you can do this without tearing down walls or ripping out old bathrooms. Simply start by changing the paint color on your living room walls, or maybe paint your fireplace, or do a simple planked wall in your dining room. And one of my all-time favorite small projects, use the empty wall space by your front (or back) door to make a little entryway with beadboard. All of these projects can be done for minimal costs and time. Even if you don’t feel like you can take on these projects, I would encourage you to try. That’s how we all learn. I did my first planked wall completely by myself, with zero experience. I researched, read lots of blogs and tutorials, and then I went for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things and small projects are a great place to start. I promise, you’ll be so proud when you’re done.
Clear Your Home of Clutter
If you don’t love it, get it out. That’s my philosophy and it really does help keep your home organized. I have made a big effort in our home to keep clutter to a minimum. Every few months we go through the house with big trash bags and collect things we don’t use or want anymore for donation. Even our kiddos do this with their toys–and they actually enjoy it! And one things I’ve discovered in this process is that when our home is organized and clutter free, I feel happier and more relaxed. The more things are piled up, the more stressed I feel. Maybe I’m just a clean-freak, but I think this is true for a lot of people. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like every little corner and drawer is perfect, definitely not, but our living spaces and bedrooms are what I focus on the most. We spend the most time in these areas and I want them to feel clean, organized, and not overcrowded with stuff. I know you may think this is a small one, but it truly does make a big difference in the overall feel and vibe in your home.
Splurge on Something Special
Ok, you guys know I’m all about yard sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist. My philosophy is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a beautifully decorated home. However, I truly believe that you should splurge on something special for your home every now and then. Maybe it’s time to get rid of the couch you’ve had for 5 years and buy a new one, or pick out a pretty chandelier for your dining room, maybe even a new headboard for your bed. Splurging on something shiny and new from time to time will truly change the way you feel about home. I know it seems materialistic, but it’s true. This has been my experience anyway. For years I only bought things for our home that were cheap and on sale–which meant I had a lot of mismatched furniture and knick-knacks. And it wasn’t that we couldn’t afford a few nicer things, we just chose to spend on our money in other areas. But now I realize the importance of investing in your home and giving yourself permission to splurge every now and then. And like I said, it doesn’t have to be huge. Even a few new throw pillows can brighten up any living room and put a new pep in your step.
Get Comfortable with a Paintbrush
I know I just said to splurge on something special, but if you’re working within a budget–like the majority of use are–you also need to get real comfortable with a paint brush. And I don’t mean for painting walls, I mean for furniture. I’m living proof that you can completely furnish your home with side tables, dining room tables, and dressers from thrift stores and yard sales. The key is being able to see the potential in a piece and knowing good quality when you see it. And going along with tip #2 about personalizing your home, painting furniture gives you the opportunity to make all of your pieces look like they belong together. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to paint everything the same color, but you can intentionally paint furniture in a way that compliments your overall style–whatever that may be. If you have a lot of dark furniture and you’re unhappy with it, go get yourself a paintbrush and get to work. Don’t be afraid to mess it up. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make–after all furniture is generally the focal point of every room.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Last but not least, don’t let yourself get discouraged. I know it can be frustrating, especially when you feel like you’re stuck with limited options in your home–maybe a layout you don’t like or a bathroom you can’t afford to fix up. I get it, I’ve been there. Heck, I’m still there. Trust me, there are many rooms in our home that are still stuck in the 1980’s and it ain’t pretty. But I know it’s a work in progress and it can improve, little by little. Getting discouraged and “giving up” on your home will only make it worse. Even if you don’t like your home now, I hope that you would recognize that any room–even if it’s tiny and has no character at all–can be turned into something beautiful if you’re willing to get creative and put in the work. Don’t settle like I did in our first home. Do it now!
I hope this has encouraged you to love your home and give it the attention it deserves. I believe that home is truly a reflection of what you love. It should be your sanctuary, a place to recharge your heart and mind, and spend time with the people that matter the most. Make it yours and be proud of what you have!