5 Lessons Learned in 10 Years of Home Ownership

Home Ownership Lessons

This year marks ten years of living in our home! Today I want to share 5 lessons we have learned along the way.

YouTube video
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The last ten years of living in our home have honestly flown by. Thinking about both the memories and home ownership lessons we have learned make me emotional, grateful and excited about what is still to come.

Our cottage porch is all ready for summer!

So many lessons we learn in our lives come by experience, both good and bad. But more often than not, things are learned the hard way. I hope that today’s post can be a help to someone else who is just now starting their home ownership journey!

5 Home Ownership Lessons

Don’t Settle on Design Decisions Just to Save Money

When we first moved into our home, $20 for a gallon of paint seemed absolutely outrageous! Instead of spending our limited means on the perfect color choices, we asked our parents and family members if they had any paint we could have.

We ended up painting our dining room a bright yellow instead of just being patient and saving for colors we really loved.

Dining Room Angle in cottage style home

There is nothing wrong at all with doing this. In fact I often encourage you to be as thrifty as you can when it comes to home decor! But sometimes we can be so rushed to “finish” that we end up surrounded by choices that aren’t what we truly want.

Be patient and save up so you can have a space that you truly love. Your home should bring you peace and relaxation and settling on design choices just to save money will only mean more projects in the future!

Painted Millwork in English Inspired Living Room

Don’t Choose What is Trendy Over What is Timeless

When we first got married, my home was covered in chevron patterns, birds and turquoise paint colors because that was trendy at the time. Thankfully, decor can be changed and switched out.

Humble beginnings when decorating your home and why it's okay

When it comes to the bigger, more permanent choices I with I had been more careful. When we refinished out downstairs bathroom, I wish I had chosen something classic and timeless for the tile bathtub surround. Instead, I picked out tile that was popular at the time.

Cottage Bathroom Refresh Ideas!

Ten years later, I want to redo the tile in that bathroom!

When the time came to install a backsplash in our kitchen, I am SO happy I went with a white, classic subway tile. Some might argue that it’s a safe choice, but subway tile is also timeless and so true to the time in which this home was built.

Simple spring touches in English Cottage Home

When making design choices, don’t just focus on what is “in” or currently trending. It can be so alluring, especially when it is all over Pinterest and in storefronts. Find your true style and make design decisions you will still love in 10, 15, or 20 years down the road.

Live In Your Home Before Deciding How a Space Will Serve You

This one is so important. Don’t rush to fill the empty rooms of your home before you know how they will serve your family.

When we first moved into our home, I had no idea how to use our sunroom. I tried a few different things with it and nothing really made sense. Finally, 8 years later we were able to finish it and it makes the perfect office space with plenty of storage as well.

I am so happy I didn’t rush or do anything permanent in the space until truly figuring out the best use for it.

Our vintage inspired rug looks perfect in our newly updated sunroom!

The same goes for furniture as well. Don’t buy larger pieces, such as sectionals and bedroom sets before being in the space for a while and understanding what your family needs and what will work best to serve them.

Don’t Buy Cheap Furniture Just to Fill a Space

I understand it is hard to be patient when putting together a room in your home. But filling it with cheap furniture just to fill it is not only a waste of money, but also not a long term solution.

Living Room Spring Refresh

As I said in the point above, live in your space a while. Furniture is an investment and the perfect pieces to compliment your space should be well thought out and planned.

When we first moved into this home, I bought cheap side tables, lamps, chairs – you name it. Most of those items I have sold or donated now, because they weren’t purchased with intention. I never truly loved them! Invest it items you truly love.

Don’t Fall into a Comparison Trap

This one is so so important. My dad always says that young adults today want everything their parents took 35 years to collect.

Be patient, save, shop around, find what YOU want and don’t compare your home to all of those around you. I know it’s hard in the age of social media, but it will help you so much!

I wrote a blog post about this that you can read here because this is so important. Our home is ten years, TEN YEARS in the making and we aren’t done yet. The journey along the way has been worth the wait and I encourage you to wait. Be patient. Find your true style, don’t rush the process.

Thrifty Cottage Shed Makeover!

I hope you are able to watch the YouTube video linked above. In the end I share an exciting announcement – I am going to be doing my first ever live workshop! I am so excited to meet each of you and get to know you on a more personal level. For more information, visit the link here!

I hope these five home ownership lessons that I have shared can help you in your own home. Owning a house is truly such a blessing, don’t be discouraged in the process of making it your home. There will be good days and there will be hard days, but the memories you are building will be so special to look back on.


Home Ownership Lessons

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  1. I just took a break to read your blog posting. What was I doing before ???? Packing up donations of items I never should have purchased in the first place. Your list was spot on!

  2. Andrea, I am watching the video on youtube and rushed to comment. I think you are exactly right! I got most of my accents and several furniture pieces from thrift stores, and I was very selective that it be budget friendly, special, and not “placeholder items” but my favorite things instead. I do not want “filler.”

    I always ask myself if an item is going to be truly compatible at home or just that I am drawn to new for newness’ sake. LOL! New is not necessarily better than what I have already. I finally figured out my style (after years of experimenting with style and color but never deciding or even DEFINING what I really love). I donated the cute clutter that just did not go well here. ๐Ÿ˜
    I have a heart for antiques, but I had had a modern type domed glass cake platter. Right item. Wrong style! I got a vintage one and I am over the moon loving it and it looks much better. ๐Ÿ˜โค I replaced rather than added decor and have things to donate or pass along. I am not wanting clutter and incompatible items that are not special. The vintage cake platter, I love having cake in it! It is special.

    Your house is so pretty. I love your beautiful table. ๐Ÿ˜ The whole style is gorgeous. Your living room and kitchen are so pretty. I do think your house is timeless and so uncluttered. I just love it!

    Rambled on and on here, and apologies, but it is such a neat thing to find your own clear design voice. I felt very happy to hear you speaking about the tips and regrets. I regretted using any generic type unspecial items as filler just to have a thing, but now I am getting what I want and in a collected way. ๐Ÿ˜ Thank you for sharing your encouragement!!!

    1. Thank you so much Tracie, no apology needed, I loved reading this and hearing from you. I agree, it is so amazing once you find your own unique style. Thank you again for this, it was an encouragement to me!

  3. Hi Andrea, I was just thinking about you, and was hoping that you posted pictures of the new beams, but anyway I open my email and there was an email from you! YAY ๐Ÿ˜Š I was so happy! Iโ€™m not sure if youโ€™re aware, but none of the links in the email opened in my Safari, which they usually do so I had to come onto Safari and type in your name in Google to find your blog. Anyway I love your home and all you do! I hope to see pictures of your beams soon lol I did look on Pinterest, but couldnโ€™t find them. Have a great day, and God bless you and your family,

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