We have big plans to renovate our forever home, but because the changes we plan to make are costly, complicated, and time consuming, we simply have to wait, save, and plan. This is not my first rodeo though, and as such, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to love your home while waiting to renovate.
Any time I am asked for advice on where to start after moving into a house, my go-to answer is to PAINT THE WALLS. If the previous owner nailed the paint colors and put a fresh coat on all the walls before you moved in, then you can skip this step. For everyone else, this should be your first change upon moving in.
We painted our entire home Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, knowing that as we renovate room-by-room, we’ll change the color if we don’t want white long term. I can confidently say that painting our walls has helped us love our home while we wait to renovate. I highly encourage you to make this one change, even if you can do nothing else right now.
The Color Concierge has a great round up of the best white paints, complete with descriptions and the best locations for each white. It just so happens that my favorite white paints line right up with theirs, so for a more detailed look at the whites I choose every time, head to their post.
Hang Things Up:
In my opinion, hanging things up is on par with painting walls…it transforms the feel of any space. One of my closest friends bought a house in our neighborhood just a few months before we did (we’ve been here six months). She still hasn’t hung a single picture or piece of artwork on her walls. In fact, when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she requested that I come over and help her figure out where to hang things. Why? Because she understands that bare walls feel clinical and empty, and she’s been living like that for over six months!
Hanging things up is a huge priority for me in any room. In fact, if you cannot afford to paint just yet, hang your things up in the places you know you want them, and paint later. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces of art. I’ve included everything from printables to investment pieces, so there’s something for everyone! And if you need a budget-friendly framing option, I wrote a full tutorial on building a frame for artwork.
To drive home the impact that paint and wall decor have in making a house feel like a home, take a look at these before and after photos of our home. No walls have been knocked down and no flooring has been updated yet. The only two changes we’ve made to the house itself are painting the walls and hanging things up (we’ve obviously added furniture, but that’s another discussion for another post).
Keep it Clean:
This really should go without saying, but even I forget how much keeping my home clean makes a difference in my attitude toward it. It’s easy to be happy with your home, even if it looks like a tornado hit it, when you have beautiful, wide-plank, white oak floors, wainscoting, shiplap, or wallpaper, an updated kitchen, new, modern bathrooms, and everything in your home is visually pleasing. But what about when you have shag carpeting you can’t change yet, a giant wall you can’t knock down yet, or an orange-toned banister you don’t have the time to paint yet?
You keep it clean and you count your blessings.
I’m always amazed at how much better I feel when I clean a space in my home that I really don’t like. As I do this, I usually say a prayer and thank God for blessing us with this home. I also repeat to myself that I’m to be a good steward of whatever’s been given to me, no matter the state.
And if you need more convincing, just think about what the woman living in a mud hut with dirt floors in rural Africa would think if she moved into your home. Do you think she would fixate on all the things she wanted to change? Love on your home by keeping it clean (even in it’s pre-renovated state), and I can guarantee the perspective shift will follow.
Make Memories In It:
Let’s say you move into a house and are now house poor; like, you can’t afford to paint, buy any new furniture, or even hang a wreath on the front door. What then? That’s when you look around, realize you have shelter from the elements and a place to make memories with your family and friends, and get busy living life in your home.
- Bake cookies in that outdated kitchen because the kids won’t remember the way the space looked, but they will remember baking with you.
- Have lots of movie nights in the family room with the 1970’s fireplace you’re dying to rip out because your family will only remember being together.
- Invite your friends over for dinner in your carpeted dining room because they will never even think about the flooring if they’re busy laughing over a good meal with people they love.
You’ll never regret making memories in your pre-renovated home, but you may look back and wish you hadn’t fixated so much on wishing your house looked or even functioned a certain way. Make the very best of what you’ve got right now, right in front of you. The renovation will come one day, and believe it or not, you’ll look back with fondness on the memories you didn’t wait to make.
Invest in your pre-renovated home, just as much as you will once it’s renovated. LOVE your home while waiting to renovate. Do what you can with what you have, and open your door to welcome friends and family, and make lasting memories in your imperfect home.
I would love to hear ways you love your home while waiting to renovate. Leave a comment below!