Being Grateful About Your Home’s (Unfixable) Flaws

published Jan 11, 2014
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(Image credit: Monica Wang)

I’ve lived in quite the array of beautiful apartments that weren’t always the most comfortable or my dream home (and with landlords not willing to budge on home improvement changes). Many times I’ve had to remind myself that, even when you’re not in what you consider an ideal home, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for.

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Is your charming but older apartment a draft factory in the winter? Do you love your layout but hate the floors it came with? Whatever your complaint, there’s a way to flip your attitude and change your perspective (sorry if that sounds a little too preach-y, but it’s true!). Here’s how I’ve reminded myself to be grateful about a few common complaints I’ve had in the past (or are currently experiencing!).

1. It’s old and drafty and freezing in the winter.
The homes that froze me out in the winter have given me the opportunity to learn about how to optimize my home’s heat (and energy efficiency). I’ve bought a lot of warm socks out of it. And I’ve amassed an enviable collection of blankets to wrap myself in those few cold months!

2. Hate the floors.
More excuses for rugs! And yes, I’ve totally put rugs on top of carpets.

3. Hate the wall color — but the landlords won’t allow painting.
Not being able to paint has given me the opportunity to live with certain colors for an extended period of time — and know what colors I definitely didn’t want on the walls. And not being able to play with wall color has made me get much more creative with hanging and displaying art in unusual ways as well as bringing in color with accessories.

4. It’s so small, barely anything fits in the space.
Yes fitting in furniture, accessories and me can be tough and challenging at times in small spaces, but the solutions found are always pride-inducing. Also there’s less of an opportunity to accumulate a lot of stuff, meaning less to move next time!

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

5. Not located in a dream neighborhood.
It’s no fun not being next to your favorite coffee shop. But having had the opportunity to live in weird spots has allowed me to explore new surroundings. It’s sort of like trail-blazing, which can be energizing. It’s a good lesson in finding the beauty in any place, too. (Pictured: A photo I took while walking around the blocks of an apartment I might rent, which is a great place but maybe not my first pick in terms of neighborhood. Still, there’s strange beauty to be found.)

So confess: What are your home’s biggest, most frustrating flaws that you can’t quite fix the way you’d like right now, and how do you manage to be grateful for them and your home anyway?