There’s nothing new about Instagram- and Pinterest-perfect homes overtaking our social feeds, and the flood of inspiration is always welcome. Imagery of ideal homes can spark ideas for how to tailor your own space to feel like a true reflection of your style. But these "ideal homes" can also have the adverse effect—maybe, because of all these picture-perfect spaces you see each day, your space seems a bit duller, and you long to live in a dream space that isn't yours.
Your home—whether it’s your dream home or far from it—is where lifelong memories are made. There, you’ll bring home a new kitten, host beloved friends and family, kick off your shoes after a long day, and sing a little too loudly while cooking dinner. Whether you rent or own, nearly no home is perfect. By reframing your perspective, you’ll be able to appreciate the positive sides of your home, instead of focusing on what your budget or landlord doesn’t allow you to change.
After all, home is where the heart is. Read on for five ways to love your home, even when it’s not your dream home.
Don't Put Off Loving It
“I’ll only be here a year,” you think. Then, that initial year turns into another, which rolls into a third. No matter how long you plan to stay in your home—a month or a lifetime—don’t put off prioritizing easy and budget-friendly ways to make your house feel like it’s yours.
That could be as simple as hanging a family photo or inviting your closest friends over for a dinner party. Wherever you are, make your house feel like a home with the decor, people, and memories you fill it with.
Change What You Can
Some aspects of a home may simply be out of your control—but not all. Pinpoint what’s bothering you about your home, then mull over creative solutions.
Hate the harsh overhead lights? Add dimmers. Can’t stand the carpet? Layer a rug on top of it. Painting is an obvious first step to freshening up any room, and so is switching out hardware. You would be surprised how much a kitchen full of new cabinet pulls can transform the space. Sometimes, the best option is a “for now” solution that can hold you over until you can either change it permanently or move.
Focus on What You Like About Your Home
Instead of getting caught up in what you don’t like about your home—an awkward floor plan or inefficient windows, perhaps—turn your attention to what you love about it. The windows may let drafty breezes inside, but they’re full of charm and character. Small square footage may feel like a tight squeeze, but think about how much easier it is to clean. You may prefer a dozen more kitchen cabinets, but the few you currently have ensure you stay organized.
For every downside, there’s an upside, so focus on the inherent, redeeming qualities of your home.
For every downside, there’s an upside. Focus on the inherent, redeeming qualities of your home.
Embrace the Quirks
Think back to college, when you lived with five of your friends in a wacky, seen-better-days house where the heat would stop working—ironically—on the coldest nights. We're willing to bet you couldn’t have loved it more, right?
Though you may not want to live with all the quirks of your college house now (reliable heat is nice), chances are, the eccentric parts of your home are the things you’ll be nostalgic for later. Learn to embrace them.
Remind Yourself of Your Home's Purpose
What a home is: a refuge, a safe space to rest, relax, feel like yourself, and surround yourself with loved ones. If you’re too busy hating the tone of your hardwood floors or are obsessed with the wall you want to tear down, you’ll forget the true purpose of a home.