You don’t have to live with things you hate! So why do people live with things that make them unhappy? I am talking about the worn-out sofa, the wallpaper falling off the walls, the carpet with bald spots and well you get the picture. It is hard for me to understand because my surroundings impact my mood big time. I always try to figure out a way to “correct” whatever it is that is not working for me. In the same way, I try to design in ways that work for me as I explained in my post, DESIGN TO BE HAPPY, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
I have heard lots of excuses that people use for living with things they hate. Very often it is: “I have kids.” I won’t replace that sofa, or any other piece of furniture for that matter, because I have kids. Children need to be taught to respect and take care of things. Plus there are so many durable products on the market these days. You can even buy a sofa with Sunbrella fabric, which would certainly hold up with children. Having children should not stop you from having a nice home or force you to live with things you dislike. Puppies on another hand are a different story. Definitely wait for the chewing stage to be over before making any major purchase.
Another reason that people live with things they hate is budget restrictions. I totally understand that money plays into our decisions. But I want you to know that there are ways to improve your surroundings that do not cost a lot of money. Temporary bandages and creative solutions can help. They take a bit of effort on your part; but, again, the payback is ten-fold.
Use temporary decorating bandages so you don’t have to live with things you hate!
I believe in temporary bandages when it comes to our home. For example, a sofa that is worn out can be given a better look with the small investment of a slipcover. A sofa is a central piece in your home and something you see every time you walk in the door. You should enjoy your home as much as possible at all times. Continuing to make do with an old sofa can cause negative feelings. You may begin to feel sorry for yourself that you have to make do with one that is a worn-out or outdated and even start ruminating with an inner mantra saying I hate that sofa, which can turn into a downward spiral of self-pity. A simple slipcover solution can make things better until a new sofa is in the budget.
Creative Solutions Can Help With Things You Hate
My daughter recently married and bought her first home. The home needed a lot of updating, and they did not have the budget to tackle it all at once. The kitchen had dark oak cabinets that screamed “1970”! New cabinets were not in the budget; and these cabinets were solid wood, in fantastic shape, just dark and dated. We were able to transform them with a few days of work, and the result was a much more visually-pleasing, up-to-date kitchen for pennies.
First, we filled in grooves with wood filler that ran the length of the cabinet doors. Then we sanded, primed, and added a wood molding to each door, resulting in a shaker style. With some paint, wood filler and trim it was on its way to becoming a brand-new kitchen, achieved with work, not money. They may choose to remodel their kitchen in the future; but in the meantime, they don’t have to live with something they hate. My daughter said it bought her some time. Instead of rushing, they can save money and put in a better kitchen then one they would do if they felt force to act quickly because they had something they couldn’t stand.
One of my favorite websites for inspiration when trying to come up with a creative solution is www.hometalk.com. It is an easy to search site with a million tutorials for creative DIY projects.
If it isn’t your taste
In reality, sometimes we do choose to live with something that is less than optimal for us. Consider this scenario: You move into a new home. The previous homeowner spared no expense when remodeling one of the home’s bathrooms—high-end tile, luxury vanity and fixtures, and it is very well done. Unfortunately, you don’t really like it, but you feel that ripping it out would be wasteful; or maybe you just do not feel like being inconvenienced with a remodeling project.
My advice is to try to find something that you can be excited about which would work with the current décor. If you can find artwork or fabric for a window treatment or an accessory that you love and that works well in the room, you can change the room from one you hate to one you can live with.
Think out of the Box To Correct What You Hate
I encourage you to think out of the box when working to rid your living space of things you hate. A client of mine had a cleaning lady spill bleach on her brand-new bedroom carpeting. The result was bright white splotches on her dark green broadloom. Since it had just been installed, my client could not fathom replacing it; and, unfortunately, it was located in a spot that could not be covered by furniture.
I am pretty good at mixing paint and knew I would be able to mix up the color of the carpet. I suggested painting the bleach stains to match the rest of the carpeting. I used craft acrylic paint and mixed it with a textile medium ensuring it would be permanent. The end result was not perfect, but it was close. If you looked for the spots, you could see them; but when entering the room, they no longer jumped out at you. I would say that the creative solution of painting the stains made the best of a bad situation.
The takeaway from these two stories is that you can benefit greatly from a little face lift or a temporary decorating band-aid. So stop putting off updating, freshening or remodeling your space.