Why You Should Live Like You’re Already Living In Your Dream Home

I remember the first time I walked into this apartment. 

I had to wait until everything was cleaned and painted before I could go in. So I kind of moved in sight unseen.

Except of course, as an apartment, it was generic and cookie-cutter and like the front office. So it’s not like I was in the dark about what was inside. 

There were endless white walls. Except someone got a wild hair and painted the lower part of the dining space a chocolate brown. I still don’t like it, but haven’t gotten around to changing it. 


In two years I’ve redone the kitchen three times. Now of course this doesn’t mean I went out and bought all new appliances or had new counter tops put in or new floors or anything. Just cheaper cosmetic changes. 

Because this is an apartment. And unless you’re uber rich, you just don’t do that. 

I went through a bohemian phase after year 1. I painted things purple and orange and went a little wild. (Not pink; I’m not a fan of pink.)

And then I looked around one day and decided it just wasn’t me (I’m a country girl, not a hippie), and started changing things back to country/cottage farmhouse style. In other words, chipped and cheap and cherished. (See if you can repeat that sentence fast…)

However, I kept the purple and orange painted furniture as a token of my heroic “I take chances” phase.

I’ve had a gallery wall across from my couch twice now. 

I’ve gone over two years without a kitchen stove (I know many of you were aghast. But frankly, I’m happy with the set-up I have and I’ve never missed it)

I’ve filled the patio with every type of garden I love (fairy gardens, combination herb and flower container gardens, and this year I added water gardens and a raised garden to the mix.)

white petunias

I’ve moved nearly everything in this place around multiple times, and there’s not a lot of leeway in 725 square feet. 

But you just can’t change a lifetime serial furniture arranger any more than a dog can change its spots.

I try my best to encourage you to make your current home a home that you truly love. And not look into a possible future in a possible perfect home. Life’s too short for that. 

And you can’t predict what’s in your future.

Morning glory with tree leaves

You may or may not ever move into that dream home you have stuck in your head. You know, the one with the cute little white picket fence and front porch with rockers and frilly curtains in the windows. 

So live your life now as though the home you currently live in is the last home you’re ever going to have. 

That way you won’t keep making excuses for why you don’t redo the master bedroom. Or break down and get a new shower curtain or do something about those horrid blinds. 

You’ll want to make your house (or apartment or mobile home or whatever) a home. Which is what it should be. 

And you’ll be happier, I promise, for having done so.


Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for reminding those of us that we need to “bloom where we’re planted! I have said to my fiancé many times how I can’t wait to move from “his” house, there’s no closets, this is “your family” home, YOUR house needs too much work, blah blah blah!! That kind negative of talk & thinking is unhealthy & now I have a whole new perspective, as I am already blessed as he owns his house & I can do whatever I want! I suddenly felt remorse for how I’ve been behaving/speaking! How must he feel when I speak negatively about the home he has worked so hard provide? What? Not good enough for my “snobby” self? As of late I have spoken the opposite over “his”, noooo, “OUR” home! Thanks so much for such an important reminder to have gratitude for the things I already have! Life IS too short!

    1. Thank you for your bold insight as I have been complaining many years about the smallest place I have ever lived in. My husband bought it on impulse and it has been a money pit and has gained sloppy neighbors which ruin our view. But ours is a true cottage, an English garden house, and we are never without new projects and ideas. If it sat in a different neighborhood, it could be valued twice or triple as much. But I have to make the most of our home and I do thank God for it as it truly looks like the house in my favorite childhood book which I saved. Thanks again for writing about your changed outlook and attitude. I needed a kick in the pants.

  2. I loved this post Brenda! I think you have to grow into a space and have it grow and change with you. Your space has gone through many changes but most significant to me has been your garden space. You have such a knack with backyards and seem to be able to see potential where most people can't. Every time I see a picture from your home it speaks to me…as does your blog.


  3. Wonderful advice, Brenda! I always decorated each and every space I was living in to make it a true home. Although I knew they were temporary, that could still be a couple of years…and I had to live there and look at it every day. I am happiest now, in my forever home, knowing that the changes I make are for me, and not for a landlord.

  4. Great advice. I think we actually kept thinking we were just in our home for a short time. When we bought our other house my husband said we would find another home in a couple of years. 30 years we lived there. Hubby isn't a handyman so I am so glad we are moved into our new home without maintenance. I still see an older home itch character and have thought about someday. But then when I think about how much fun moving and selling, I quickly change that thought.
    Your home and garden could be a fun segment for HGTV. One of those"wait til you see the inside". Hugs

  5. We have lived in our "starter house" for close to 20 years. I suspect this is our forever house–thanks for the reminder to bloom where I am planted and make it my dream home.

  6. You are so right Brenda, but for some (me included), it's easier said than done. It's something I struggle with, because like many, that picture you posted has my name on it ;).

  7. Thank you for this reminder. Why do we think something "better" is going to come along? I will never move again. My house is modest and nice but doesn't feel like home. I think that is because I don't decorate like my heart tells me to instead of how the magazines say I should. Again, thank you for this timely advice.

  8. Brenda,
    I loved this post! For about the first 20 years in our house, I was always living as if this was just temporary and some day we would move to another house. Then I had a Realization one day that we would never be able to move ( finiancially). So I decided that our townhouse which was not my dream house but I would make it into the house of my dreams. It was about that same time that I also knew that my days of traveling were done because of long standing health issues. So I decided that I would make my 1970's townhouse into the Victorian Bed and Breakfast that I would love to stay at if I was on vacation. This way I would always feel like I was on a vacation. I am perfectly happy in our home now because I have accepted it for what it is and styled it according to what warms my heart. I know my Victorian style is not "In Style" but it is MY STYLE and it is what I love and what makes me happy! So now, when I walk in the door, I feel my house wrap it's arms around me and I truly know that I am home!! I don't care if we can not travel anymore because I already feel as if I am on a vacation in my own house.
    I suggested my sister do the same. She and husband can not longer travel to Mrytle Beach where her son lives and where they used to vacation each year. Her husband is going blind with macular degeneration. So I suggested she turn her yard around the pool area into her own "beach". She bought palm trees and a table with a beautiful umbrella and lounge chairs and she even put in an area with sand for the grandchildren to play in. She now feels like she is on vacation in her own back yard.
    So I totally agree with what you are saying in this post. Life is too short to be waiting for something that may never come along!!

    1. Debby, your house is such a reflection of you. I can tell from your posts that you love it. You have made it your happy home. I love your last sentence.

  9. This was so touching and real. Full of great advice that only a good friend would share, and it brought a tear to my eyes. Thanks Brenda! I just remembered when my husband was in the Army and we were moving a lot, almost fifty years ago, my mother told me to plant flowers even if I wasn't there to see them bloom.

  10. Great post, Brenda! I totally agree. We downsized into a very small house for retirement this past year, and I am truly enjoying making it into a home that we love.

  11. I'm so inspired by how you have made this little apartment you home. I too live in a smaller space but I do love it. I've changed things around and will continue too I know. Gardening has been a bit more of a challenge but I do have flowers every summer. Making wherever I am a home is important!!

  12. Awesome advice Brenda! Nowadays with the big amount of information on how to do almost anything,it' way easier to transform our spaces on a very low budget.

Comments are closed.