Loving The Home You Already Have

Hi Friends, 

It's me, Brooke!  I know it's been a while since I've written, but with winter time here in Michigan quickly approaching, I felt like it's time to get back into writing helpful and informative articles for you.  Going forward, this blog is going to be a place where I write about how to love the home you already have.  In doing that, I'll be sharing helpful advice that's easy to put into practice, along with valuable tips and DIY project ideas for making your home feel special and personalized along with fun design related printables, inspirational Spotify playlists, and helpful tools & resources.  

I'd love to hear from YOU on what you'd want me to write about!  If you have decorating questions or need advice on something, I'd be happy to write about it here!  I'm also going to include a "Dear Brooke" column where readers can ask questions and I'll answer them on each post going forward!  Please help me out by asking a couple of questions real quick in the comments and I'll use those in my next post!

Today I want to focus in on what it means to love the home you already have.  A few years ago I read a really great book called "Love the Home You Have" by Melissa Michaels.  I highly recommend it!  In it, she teaches that it's not really about whatever four walls you might happen to be living in at the moment, but about how you make those four walls the very best they can be by personalizing them to your tastes and making other tiny changes to your space.  I've recently learned this lesson well.  I have a quick little story to share.  

It was about 7 years ago that my husband Ryan and I purchased our country home in West Michigan.  When we walked through it, I had that butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling you get when something just feels so-so-so right.  I was in love with the craftsman bungalow architecture, including the hand hewn 100 year old beams in the ceiling, the white shaker style trim, the bold colors on the walls.  Even the ceilings were painted the same color as the walls!  That was something I had never seen before and loved.  Ryan wasn't quite so sold on the idea of buying this place, as he immediately ran all the numbers through his head and felt uncomfortable with the price tag.  Me?  I was over-the-moon excited, and I could see us not only buying this place, but raising our future family here, and living the fairy tale dream of country life, horses included, here in this home and on this property.  So I shared my vision with him, and eventually he came around.  I loved everything the previous owner had done with the place, including the colors on the walls.  Most of the main floor was painted a mustard yellow, and while it wasn't a color I would have picked, I felt that it must be right for the house, since the previous owner picked it, and I loved everything else she did.  I was scared to change it for fear of messing up the seeming "perfection" of the place.  

Love The Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

It took me nearly seven years to come around to the idea that "her yellow" maybe wasn't my taste.  I had spent all that time decorating around it, even buying a $500 area rug that would march the yellow perfectly.  Deep down I knew I wasn't really a yellow person, but fear held me.  It wasn't until we decided to add shiplap and some upper cabinets to our kitchen that I was able to work up the courage to change the color.  I knew I was more of a "mostly neutrals with tiny pops of color" kind of person, and so I decided to try out Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter in Eggshell on the walls and to (gasp!) paint the ceilings white.  My fear melted away as we put the first few swipes of Revere Pewter on the walls, and I knew I had made the right choice.  It was so beautiful!  And so much more ME!  And bright and light and airy!  Painting the ceilings white reflected so much natural light, and I couldn't believe how much light we had been missing out on all this time.  The yellow had actually absorbed a lot of the light in the room!

I look around the main floor now and think, "Goodness, what on earth took me so long to make this color change!?".  And you know what?  It was fear of ruining what I thought someone else had created so perfectly.  I didn't have confidence that I would actually make it BETTER, when I already thought it was SO GOOD.  But the difference between SO GOOD and AMAZING is adding in our own personal tastes to a space.  Sometimes it can be as simple as a new paint color, and other times it's more than that.  Either way, I encourage you to break out of your fear of ruining your space by being brave, being bold, and making your space YOURS and to see it with new eyes.  Here's a few ideas Melissa gives in her book on how you can do that:

1.  Find a fresh beginning today.  You don't have to wait until you can take out a loan, trade in your husband or kids (gasp!), or win the lottery before you begin.  Just begin somewhere.

2.  List three reasons you're grateful for the home you have.

3.  Think of one area in your home you enjoy and why.

4.  Develop a crush on your home.  What did you love about it the first time you saw it?  Can you try to see it that way again?

5.  Look through items you may have pinned or cut out of magazines over time.  Is there a theme?  What do you see as a recurring theme?  How can you add one element from that theme into your home today?  Start small.

"Our home is a place that honors God and serves as a restful retreat from the outside world to prepare us to go back out to love and serve others well." -Melissa Michaels

Friends,  our homes are meant to be restful havens, not perfection like we see in magazines and online.  People just don't live like that!  Let's give ourselves grace today and try to fall back in love with the place we call home.  

Until next time,
Brooke