Excuses, Part 1: I can’t afford it
I hear this all the time from clients, friends and family. “I wish my home were as nice as yours, but I just can’t afford it.”
THAT IS NONSENSE.
Now I’m not here to argue with your budget or your income, and I’m definitely not here to brag about my cozy home, but I AM here to set the record straight, because if you think my home is expensive then I got you fooled for sure. Being able to “afford” a nice home is a trap that a lot of people fall into because truthfully, a clean, functional, beautiful home that feels right to you does not have to break the bank.
In my home, there are only two really nice pieces -- my bed and my couch. I saved for those and invested in those pieces. But the rest? Spoiler alert -- they’re almost entirely from Ikea, Home Goods, and flea markets. And those places are very affordable.
So, what keeps people from investing in their homes?
I think we have two main culprits here: Insecurity and Lack of Exposure.
I hear this a lot from people, “But I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what to buy. I don’t know what I like.” If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. In later posts we’ll walk through some easy steps in greater detail to help you find your style and create a space you love.
For now, just know that you’re not alone. It takes years to figure out your style and what you like and want in your home. Don’t let that worry you or stress you out. Start paying attention to things you like in other’s homes. Small details like how books are stacked above the mantelpiece; big details like the type of couch you see and love on display in a store. Attention is the number one tool to finding your style.
The things you like will be different from your friends, your parents, your siblings. THAT’S OK. This is your style and your home. You don’t have to apologize or defend it to anyone but you. Rid yourself of clutter and get ready to figure out what you like -- your style is ready to be developed my friends.
Lack of Exposure
A big part of not knowing your style or knowing where to start is lack of exposure to affordable options or really any options. Along with paying attention as mentioned above, you’ll need to start taking yourself to places ON PURPOSE to begin to create your own style. Go to museums and furniture stores; buy a magazine (they’re only $3) or thumb through one in the grocery store; follow inspiring people on Instagram and Pinterest; watch HGTV -- Let your mind explore what you might like your home to look like.
I grew up with off-white walls. That’s what everyone in my neighborhood had. No one was painting teal accent walls or hanging fun art. But as an adult I started developing my style slowly and it’s been so much fun! Plus, an accent wall is SO much more affordable than painting a whole room ;)
Here’s the point: money isn’t the issue. There are a million affordable places to find things for your home. (Did I mention estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores yet??) Plus, items don’t have to be expensive to look good. I’ve seen a beautiful $500 couch with great “dressing” (aka throw blankets and pillows) and a super boring $10,000 couch that looked tacky and out of place.
So I’ll say it again: Money isn’t the issue.
Keep your eyes open and start developing an eye for what you like. That’s the first and most important step. Pay attention to your own style as you make room in your home for functional, simple and beautiful things to enhance your life.