How to Fall Back In Love with Your Home
We’ve all been home more than usual and although our cities, counties and states are slowly starting to reopen, it seems that this pandemic has shined a bright light on many aspects of how we think and how we live that will last for years to come, maybe even for the rest of our lifetimes.
When it comes to our homes, this experience has us all looking more closely at what we need and want at home and perhaps even redefining those needs and wants entirely.
Sometimes the heart does grow fonder with more time. You realize why you bought your home and truly appreciate its amenities and features. Maybe you’ve even tackled projects you previously put off to create the haven at home you always wanted.
We hope that’s true for you.
We’ve heard from many of you saying things like, “thank goodness we bought this home when we did” and there is nothing more we like to hear from our past clients. That’s our goal—buy the right home and be happy in it for years and years.
Others of you found being at home more meant seeing more of what you don’t love in your home, and you’re not feeling the love as much. Maybe you are feeling the need to spruce up, declutter, and perhaps tweak your home here and there.
If that’s you, you’re not alone. In fact, trips to home improvement stores increased during this time with many people taking on new DIY home or yard projects.
So we’ve pulled together some guidance for you to find ways to love your home again, to embrace your home again, and to fully enjoy your time there with family and friends.
Our homes are a reflection of ourselves, and if you feel the need to focus on improving it and creating your own happy place, now is a great time to make changes that will help your home become exactly what you want it to be.
Reevaluate Your Space for Today’s Living
Are you someone who’s using your dining room table as a makeshift office right now? Or, realizing you can’t find a spot for some quiet yoga time in your home?
Now more than ever could be a good time to look at your home and really come to terms with how you are using it every day, and how you can use your current space better for today’s needs.
If you’re frustrated, take a step back and think outside of the box when it comes to your home.
We’ve seen homeowners turn hardly-used dining rooms into playrooms if they already have another eating area they use regularly in their home.
Or, take a formal living room and use that space more creatively and for another purpose if they primarily gather in their open-concept family room/kitchen.
We’ve heard how others have decluttered to carve out more space in a sunroom or guest room for exercise space. Or, have taken a large closet or space under a stairwell and made a creative homework area for kids.
They’ve not only made these rooms more multi-functional but paid attention to creating a space that is designed and decorated well so that it feels right, not randomly pulled together.
And if you’re ready for even a bigger change, now could be the time for that basement renovation, attic redo, or screen porch for added living space.
Really look at your home with new awareness; it’s something we also tell sellers to do. That’s why many stage their home for potential buyers so they can actually see themselves living in this home. Sometimes just decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t really need or use can make all the difference. Are you doing that for yourself?
Take the time to picture a better way to live in your home that brings you more contentment while also meeting your needs. That’s one of the first steps you should do if you need to fall in love with your home again.
Easy Decorating Ideas for Right Now
No matter what you can brighten your current space to make it more relaxing or more fun…whatever mood you’re wanting right now.
- Paint is cheap and easy. This is a no-brainer if you want a splash of color or to freshen up a room. All the paint companies have helpful websites for you with online visuals and paint selection.
- Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a new trend. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to change the look of a room. Great for accent walls. It’s easy to remove since no paste is involved. If you tend to change your mind often, then this could be for you!
- Get creative with DIY wall art using blank canvas. Arts and crafts stores and websites have been busy lately with budding artists. Consider buying some blank canvases and giving it a try. For a modern look, wide brush strokes with a squish of color could become your very own masterpiece.
- Gallery wall of photos. Get your favorite photos and enlarge them in black and white for a cool and modern photo wall. If you have a large selection to choose from, you can always switch them up from time to time for new smiles.
- Paint or refurbish inside or outside furniture. It’s a perfect time to strip, sand, and stain to bring new life to a piece of furniture. You can even spray paint something a fun, bright color.
- Give your kitchen table or breakfast bar some color. It can be easy and inexpensive — a set of placemats, a favorite vase or Mason jar with a simple flower arrangement, or a beautiful bowl holding fruit will reinforce the idea that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
- Freshen up your bathroom. Invest in a big mirror and put bright lights over it. And a few hundred dollars spent on a new spa-like shower head is well worth it if it makes you feel relaxed or energized.
Outer Order, Inner Calm…Get Organized
If you’re dreaming of a calm home with less stuff or “a place for everything,” then find ways to get organized that don’t cause you more stress. Take control of your stuff … and your life, just as author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin advises.
- Declutter and donate. You’re not alone if you’ve spent time going through closets, basements, attics, etc. Many families are in need right now and your “trash” may be their treasure, and exactly what they need to make their home what they’ve always wanted. Use your network, social media and NextDoor to find families who could use what you no longer need. Do good while clearing out your home … a win-win!
- Purge and/or recycle items. Get rid of that junk…finally! If you can’t donate it, then toss it. But check with your local trash service or facility to see how and what they are taking right now. And don’t forget about looking in bathrooms and kitchens for expired items such as make-up or that bottle of gravy you bought years ago just in case.
- Set up an information center. Designate a place for incoming mail and outgoing too. Better yet, toss and recycle regularly so mail doesn’t pile up. Lots of cute baskets and other containers can make this space look pretty and neat.
- Designate recharging stations for phones. Select areas where you and family members can recharge phones easily, especially if you’re all home now. New technology can make it sleeker with wireless charging pads, docking stations, etc.
- Boxes, baskets, and containers. Many places like Target, Ikea and Container Store sell organizing containers that can match your décor and blend in to your room. But don’t forget about upcycling shoeboxes, cartons, and reusing other containers to stash your stuff in drawers or closets for hidden storage. Just like Marie Kondo, best-selling author and TV star!
The Great Outdoors for Fun and Sun
Take your outside space and make it more usable for your entire family to enjoy. Your yard can become a sanctuary for those of you spending more time at home.
- Create more privacy for a retreat-like porch or patio. You may love your next-door neighbors, but sometimes you want to enjoy being outside but still feel secluded. If you have a front porch, think about flowing curtains, a beautiful screen, or framed stained glass/mosaic design to block the neighbor’s porch. Tall shrubs and climbing plants on lattice boards can make you feel lost in foliage.
- Decorate with an outdoor sofa, bistro table with chairs, and outdoor rug. Look for less expensive options out there to turn your deck, porch, patio into a daily living space. Lots of sales going on right now! Make it a space to enjoy your morning coffee, to stream your favorite TV show under the stars, to work on your laptop in the fresh air. Or put out a hammock or build a bed-like pallet swing for some relaxing alone time. Make it cozy and colorful with cushions.
- Cool it all down. Summers in the DMV can be hot, so consider getting fans for outside when you’re on your patio, porch or deck. And if you’re looking for some water fun, there’s always above ground pools with more selection than ever. Or go old-school with sprinklers!
- Make a kids’ zone. They need some space of their own too. Set up a children’s swing set, clubhouse or tree house (check zoning laws!) or fun play area in the shade. Some families have gotten a portable outdoor projector for their own movie or video game nights. Your yard can be the perfect place for some family fun!
- Light up your outdoor space. Outdoor lights are very trendy now and can set a mood to make your yard, porch or patio sparkle and shine. So many ideas to choose from: string lights for patios and screened porches, solar lights along your garden beds or walkways, festive twinkling party lights on potted shrubs, LED lanterns for side tables, and more!
- Make your outdoor areas shine. If you haven’t already, clean your patio or deck and any outdoor furniture or planters. You can rent a power washer to get rid of grime on some items that can withstand the pressure. Or, give everything a good deep cleaning so the rest of the year, you can do a periodic wipe down.
- Purge and organize your garden supplies and tools. Get your garden tools and supplies cleaned, sharpened and restocked. Don’t forget to get gas for your lawnmower.
- Clean windows and screens. You can see outside clearly now! Don’t forget to spray wash your screens with a hose and the sun will dry them quickly.
You Can Have a Green Thumb!
Gardening not only makes your yard look beautiful, you’ll enjoy being outside in the fresh air and warm sun.
- Create space for a vegetable garden or herb garden. Even if you’ve always planted flowers each year, consider planting vegetables, fruit or herbs. Even a small patch of land or containers on your deck can yield the fruits of your labor, such as tomatoes and basil. All you need to do is buy the mozzarella for a Caprese salad… yum!
- Consider a composting bin to help enrich the soil for your garden. You can put cut grass, weeds, leaves and organic waste (i.e., kitchen vegetable scraps) in the bin. It can take from 3 to 12 months to produce compost. Once complete, you can add it to your soil.
“Home Sweet Home” for You
Even though we’re real estate agents, we know that sometimes moving to a bigger home isn’t always the answer. We want you to “love the one you’re with” and find ways to appreciate your current home as must as possible.
Remember that we all change through the years, and so can your home and how you use it. We hope you’ve been inspired by this article, especially for those of you who don’t see moving any time soon, and will fall back in love with it.