Rethink Your Space: How to Love Where You Live Now

Feeling a little envious after that HGTV marathon? Wishing your home was different after checking out your friend’s new digs? It happens to the best of us. The caveat to paging through idea books online or binge-watching home shows is that it can make your space feel less than. The truth is that no home is perfect. Chances are the homeowners living in your so-called dream home wish they could make some changes, too.

The thing is, you don’t need to renovate or rebuild your dream home. By rethinking the way you use your space, you can love your place now. Your home’s pain points might actually be solved with clever organization and thinking outside the box.

Rethink your space and you won’t have to wish your home away. Your dream home might be right underneath your nose — or at least under that old area rug. Here are a few ways to rethink your space and fall in love with your home all over again.

Edit your stuff

Living room with bookshelves

Displaying your stuff in a thoughtful way helps you love your space. Image: Beyond Time/Shutterstock

What feels like a cramped living situation might just be a case of too much stuff. Taking the time to edit your stuff can free up square footage and help you better streamline the rest of your home. Feeling overwhelmed? Start with the most doable space: your linen closet. Crack it open, dejunk it and assess how you use it. Is it really best utilized for pillowcases or could it serve a better purpose? What is now an underutilized linen closet could make a great pantry or craft space instead.

Once you’ve tackled that, move onto bigger and better things. Get rid of the stuff you don’t use and keep the things that serve a true purpose. Stuff that is outdated, useless or in the way? Pass it on to someone who can give it some love.

Repurpose your rooms

Colorful child's playroom

Repurpose rooms for the way you live. Image:

You might not hate your home’s layout; maybe you just hate the way your home is being used. Just because typical homes have a formal dining room doesn’t mean that’s how you have to use it. If you’re only using your dining room for two big dinners a year, yet your kids’ toys are all over the house, is your home really being utilized properly?

Think beyond the usual in how you purpose your rooms. A dining room might make more sense as a study. An unused craft room could be a great laundry space. That empty guest room? It could be better utilized as a playroom.

Stop thinking resale

Open concept rustic living room and kitchen

Don’t worry about resale value if you’re sticking around. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Resale value is definitely important, especially if you see your home as an investment. If you know you’ll be staying in your home for the long haul, however, it’s okay to stop making decisions based on resale value. Another homeowner might not love changes you make, but if it works for you and your family, do what makes sense. If you do decide to sell your home down the road, chances are you can reverse the changes or stage rooms differently. Trying to please everyone when youre the one living in your home can make you crazy. Style, rethink, design and organize your home for the way you live today.

Carve the space

Open concept living room

Create zones for an open layout home. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Open concept homes are the biggest thing in home design, but they can make some things a challenge. Trying to entice a teen to finish homework in a noisy kitchen or trying to watch the game with a busy toddler can make open concept layouts feel hectic. If you feel like you have too many rooms doing too many things, try carving up the space.

Using things like bookshelves, furniture and even screens can help you divide up space in a non-permanent way. Then, you can assess and rearrange as needed to make sure your home is a place you love. A dedicated television watching space, a clear delineation between kitchen and living rooms — these small changes can help you relieve some of those pain points in a less-than-ideal layout.

Utilize every nook

Kitchen with dining nook

Use up every inch of your home. Image: mavo/Shutterstock

Lusting after laundry rooms and romanticizing a reading nook in other homes can make your space feel like it’s all work and no play. What makes custom and luxury homes feel special aren’t always the main living spaces, but the little extras. By having room for specific activities, custom homes give families the most customized vibe.

But you don’t need to start demolition to get the spaces you want. Just rethink your nooks and crannies. You can have dedicated — albeit small — custom spaces in almost any home. That walk-in closet can become a crafter’s paradise. A mudroom can become your kids’ command center. Even a stair landing can become a comfortable reading nook with a chair and lamp. You might not be able to dedicate entire spaces to your family’s hobbies and lifestyle, but odds are you can find corners and crannies that work just as well.

Sure, watch your favorite home show for inspiration, but don’t let it get you down. You might dream of a two-story fireplace and shiplap everything in your future home, but you can still love where you live today. Rethink your space, get creative and add touches that make your house perfect for you and your family and you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the home you’ve made.

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