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Loving a house you don't love (update in #35) - Page 3

post #41 of 50
Great!! Getting started is the hardest part!
post #42 of 50
Great thread! I'm so glad I found this since I'm doing some similar work in my home.

I haven't seen these things mentioned, so here are a few more ideas. These are all "small stuff" but for me, taking care of a lot of the little, neglected details has been helping me to feel better about my home. Even though none of these things is major, leaving them the way they were just seemed to reinforce the sense of apathy I had. I lived in a house where noone cared about the dirty windowpanes, the scuffed paint, the mismatched hardware, etc. Caring for the little details made the house feel more like home.

1) Scan each room for minor scuffs, worn-out things, chips and nicks, etc. Fill in chips and nail holes. Touch up paint over these and other scuffs and blemishes.

2) Replace switchplates and outlet covers (new switchplate/outlet covers were $1.75 for a pack of 10) or even just replace the screws if the plate is good but the paint is chipped off the screws. It's amazing how this little improvement helps things look fresher.

3) Clean out crevices, corners, air duct openings, etc. (The places that don't quite get thoroughly cleaned with ordinary housekeeping.) Replace the air vent covers if they look old and worn out or too dirty to clean.

4) Consider some new hardware for drawers, cabinets, doorknobs, even faucets if you can afford it. I couldn't afford major changes like faucets, but I did find some cute drawer pulls and new doorknobs for a real bargain price online and replacing these gave the place a very different and updated feel.

5) Remove old caulk in bathrooms, kitchen, etc. Replace with fresh white caulk. You'll be amazed how much cleaner and new everything looks.

6) Replace inexpensive, but relatively high-impact, accessories like shower curtain, doormat, table cloths/runners, outdated light fixtures, old lampshades, etc.

7) Clean all the windows and glass inside and out really thoroughly. Things will be much brighter and fresher.

8) While you're still thinking about #7, go through the house and replace any burned-out lightbulbs. This should be obvious, but until I consciously made the effort, I didn't realize how many bulbs were out. The house is brighter now, which makes me feel happier.

9) Trim bushes, hedges, trees, etc, and cut back weeds, brush, etc that block the sun or look out of control. Keep the porches, walkways and driveway swept. Plant flowers if you like.

10) Put out some new and updated photos of your family. I hadn't changed family pics in forever. Having special pics up of the people I love makes home so much more homey. I didn't realize how much impact having new pics would have. With current images of your family all around you, you're less likely to feel like you're "just passing through" that home.

Hope some of these ideas might be helpful.
post #43 of 50
This was just the thread I needed to stumble upon today. OP I could have written your post, oh man could I ever have. I despise our house. I figured we would be preparing to move now, but circumstances have changed and it seems we will be here for a while. I need to do something. I am miserable...I hate my house!! And the girls and I are here a lot. My house is cluttered, drab (all walls are paneled except the kitchen and laundry room), and just ugly! The space is odd and not being used to its full potential. I am inspired now! I am going out tomorrow to get some graph paper and price some stuff at Lowe's. I know exactly what room I will be starting with (it is the current play room but will be the school room/arts and crafts room). I am so excited. Thanks for all the great suggestions and thanks OP for starting the thread

Beth
post #44 of 50
My family and i are renters, and i think sometimes we always will be. So, we have to come up with temporary ways of changing spaces without doing any permanent damage. Honestly on our tiny budget, that means not much. Right now, I dont even have any art hanging because we are afraid to make any holes we may have to repair and or paint over.
So, the most helpful, and free thing I've found lately is Fresh Flowers!! Oh my, what a difference they make. Im so glad its spring and I can find flowers generous enough to share themselves in my space. So I've put a vase ( okay an old spaghetti jar in a focus point in every room, even the back of the toilet and its been a really lovely way to focus my attention on this when i come in the room, when there are so many other things i want to change but can't, flowers remind me of this simple beauty, and I relax and feel more grateful.
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therese's Mommy View Post
My house is cluttered, drab (all walls are paneled except the kitchen and laundry room), and just ugly!

Beth
Just think of how you'll be boosting your resale price by removing the panelling!
post #46 of 50
Well we bought our house not because it was gorgeously decorated (it was a miss-mosh of furniture & wall art that made no sense, had way too much furniture for the space, had wall to wall dingy blue carpeting & all white walls. But I have an eye for seeing what could be, we liked the layout & were more than happy to make it ours by making all the changes that would transform it into our home! We have been here for 5 years & have done many small things that have mad an impact as well as bigger things that have been major projects. I will say this I'm the biggest frugal girl that I know & I'm very picky about the aesthetics of my home & we have managed to do things on a tight budget. Look around online a little to see what style you like & what feels comforting to you. I happen to love this blog they have done such a great job on a budget to turn their house into such an inviting home! They have a how to section that will take you step by step through many things such as how to paint a thrift store chair & reupholster the seat cushion, to how to pain a brick fireplace. They are very inspiring & do most of the work themselves. I also like to look at apartment therapy for inspiration.

My tips, are to start by cleaning. It will get you into the mindset of respecting & honoring what you have, & it will feel much nicer. In the mean time look around & find your style. Paint the walls a neutral color. Get rid of wall to wall carpet, painted floor boards are much more attractive imo, use porch & floor paint. We did this in the kids rooms it looks really nice & is way cheaper then new flooring! We also painted all the wood trim in the house white, which DH was leery about at first but now loves! Look at the bones of the house de-clutter & organize your space as you go making it function better & look better. Plan for furniture pieces that will hide away the visual clutter. We have a cabinet in the living room for all the kids books & drawing supplies, if it was on open shelving I would go crazy looking at the mess all the time. The kids closets are tiny so we built an additional closet in the girls rooms with a shower curtain rod & curtains to hid all their toys, games & craft projects. My computer & TV are both in armories because I don't like to see either one unless I'm using it, which really makes for a peaceful feel to the home.

Do you have an Ikea near you? Just walking through for inspiration is lots of fun & they are cheap even if just for accessorizing. Stalk Target's clearance racks & TJ Maxx, Marshalls for home items & only buy what fits into your style! Check Craigslist & Freecycle regularly! Home Depot & Lowes have clearance sections too, check them out weekly! Anything from flooring to a new bathroom vanity can be had a half price! We just got a new stainless high end stove for 1/3 the ticket price!!! Our dishwasher came from the ding & dent store. We got our beautiful porcelain tile flooring for our bathroom remodel from a local flooring store in town that has a remenent section for $1/sq ft! I also went to goodwill & salvation army regularly seeking items for the house. Most of our furniture was from family & friends & tag sales if they know you are looking they might offer something as they update. We happened to luck out with people with amazing taste getting rid of perfect furniture! I knew the look I wanted & stuck to it. Keeping linens (for windows & bedding) neutral or white is very inviting & can be done at IKEA so cheap with curtains & duvet covers.

It sounds like you are well on your way since you've been painting!!! I'd love to see pictures of your space & I'd love to give you advice to help you finish the look!!!
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
Just think of how you'll be boosting your resale price by removing the panelling!
Unfortunately, the paneling won't be going, but we will be painting it which will be a huge improvement. I also hope that we can replace the drop ceiling that we have in our big living room/dining room combo.
post #48 of 50
I'm loving this thread. We love our house, but it's too small and it's been badly abused (by us.) -- We're not going anywhere, though, so I need some of these ideas to make it more workable and homey. Anyone have more thoughts?

post #49 of 50
Quote:
My tips, are to start by cleaning. It will get you into the mindset of respecting & honoring what you have, & it will feel much nicer. In the mean time look around & find your style. Paint the walls a neutral color. Get rid of wall to wall carpet, painted floor boards are much more attractive imo, use porch & floor paint. We did this in the kids rooms it looks really nice & is way cheaper then new flooring! We also painted all the wood trim in the house white, which DH was leery about at first but now loves!
I totally agree with you CookiePie, especially about painting the floor boards. That would be the first thing I would do, (along with painting the trim white and the walls a neutral color.) Carpet is so gross, bad for the environment, shows wear and builds up dirt easily, is bad for allergies and you can never get them really clean or at least keep them that way for very long. Plus it will probably have to be replaced again before you sell the house, or a replacement factored into the price. Painting the floors is such a great, inexpensive option. If that weren't possible, I would probably just shop for a inexpensive laminate that's easy to install. If you find a good price or clearance sale, it could be just as cheap as carpet, or even more so.
post #50 of 50
some great advice here...
i understand op all too well, not because my house is run down or ugly, because thats what it is - a house, not a home.
i moved in here 3 years ago when i got married and my husband had owned it for about 5 years at the time.
it has always felt like its 'his' house, you know? even things ive changed dont make it mine...
some time back we were invited to a party, and it was the first time i went to these people's house. when i walked in i was overwhelmed by how "homey" it was in there.
there was no fancy design or layout, no brand new furniture or super modern accessories, but you could tell it was a HAPPY HOUSE, house where kids were born, learned to walk and read, where they built forts of pillows and so on.
they had kids' handprints framed on walls and all sorts of weird pictures taken over the years... every single thing in there had a STORY...
i told my husband when i grow up, i want my house to look like that...
it was sort of an "artistic chaos" and it was very endearing.
... agh... i hope you'll find the perfect home in your house, i bet its hidden somewhere, and you just have to discover it. me, im still looking for mine :-)
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