If you're anything like us, you may be spending a lot of time, energy or money (potentially all three) on creating a home that you love the look of. But how long will you love the things you're doing? Will you get tired of your home in a few years (or even months)? There are steps you can take to enter into a long-term love affair with where you live. We have some ideas on what you can do to create a home you love...and keep loving it for years to come.
Loving a home for a long time doesn't actually mean getting it to a certain look and then never changing it. Crafting a home you love is more about embracing the idea that one's tastes evolve over time. That it's worth it to invest in quality items you can cherish and carry with you as your home grows (or changes!). It's about taking the time to take care of your home so it always stays healthy. It's about sharing it. Here are some ideas that might help you create a home that you'll love for a long time:
1. Invest in good quality products
Not everyone has the budget for very expensive furniture (and plenty of us have a few IKEA pieces), but being on the lookout in vintage and thrift stores for well-made, high-quality pieces can be an important element to creating a home you'll love for a long time. Not only does it mean the piece will last (and so will your investment), but it'll also withstand any DIY improvements you might want to throw at it. Which leads to the next suggestion...
2. Consider flexible, versatile and double-duty furniture
We posted about DIY furniture projects of this very subject matter. The idea is basically to invest in some good furniture pieces that you can change the look of as your tastes change or are simple in design enough to go with many different looks and styles throughout the years. Those who often live in small homes might also consider buying or DIYing furniture that pulls double-duty; meaning furniture that can serve many functions in different rooms, so you always have a place for it whenever you move to another home.
3. Don't buy extremely expensive accents and accessories
Notice we don't say to not buy an amazing piece of art that you adore. Or a funky furniture piece that's like no other. What we mean is, don't spend a large portion of your budget (and of course, everyone's budget is different) on trendy and expensive accessories that may not matter to you in a few years. Save the big bucks for large items that you know you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of for awhile.
4. Don't let fear get in the way of making temporary (fabulous) changes
Wall paint colors might seem permanent — after all it takes time and money to use them — but they can be painted over. So don't be afraid to splurge on a wild paint color. Allowing yourself the freedom to play with temporary changes like that will keep staleness at bay and keep you loving the look of your home for as long as you live in it.
5. Maintain your home and furnishings
We've said it before and we're saying it again: Find a cleaning schedule that works for you and stick to it! Not only will you feel better in a home that stays clean, but you'll be more apt to entertain. And — you'll keep your furnishings (especially the high-quality ones you've invested in) looking nicer longer. Paying attention to when items around your house need repairs is important, too. It'll cut down on stress (and potentially prevent major repair catastrophes) and let you enjoy your space more.
6. Know your home's limitations...and use design to fight back
Creating a home that you'll love is making one that functions to the best of its abilities. That means putting the time in experimenting with the best furniture layouts. It means maximizing natural light. Spending a few weekends organizing the crap out of your closets and storage so they keep you clean and uncluttered. In other words, don't just take what your home first hands to you; investing the time to research how your home could feel better will help you love it for a long time to come.
7. Weave a story with stuff you love
We can't stress it enough — fill your home with things you love. The souvenirs you pick up on travels. Photos of loved ones. Local art found at a market. Don't cave to convention or bend to trends — go for stuff that sticks out to you. That calls to you. That has a story. When you've got a home full of meaningful items (versus cheap items you picked up to "fill up" your space as quickly as possible), it'll always be a home you love.
8. Allow home to be a celebration and share it often
Creating a home you love also means putting in the effort and time into actually enjoying it. Carving out minutes where you can sit in your favorite spot in the house, drink a cup of tea and have a mindful moment. It's about feeling the seasons and holidays pass by while incorporating joyfulness in your home. It's about embracing the idea that everyday is a celebration. And it's definitely, definitely about sharing your home. Because you could take away all the ideas above and still have an amazing home if you're sharing it with loved ones, furry pets and friends.
What philosophies do you adhere to when it comes to creating a home you love for a long time? Share what you've done to enter into a happy long-term relationship with your home — and don't forget to mention how long you've been living together!
Re-edited from a post originally published 3.23.14-NT
(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux; Jaclyn Campanaro; Monica Wang; Leela Cyd)