House Envy

I was thinking about my New Year's resolutions the other day. They're pretty standard fare -- mostly about eating less junky stuff, gardening more, and taking advantage of all the awesome happenings Madison has to offer. But then I stumbled on this article, from our friends at Apartment Therapy. It's all about "house envy" -- that feeling you get when you visit a home (or see endless streams of pictures -- I'm looking at you, Pinterest!) and realize how far your own home is from achieving perfection.

I am far too familiar with house envy. I love our house -- but it is far from perfect. Some things I can change (painting the trim, swapping out the old blinds in the dining room), but some things I can't, at least not without a major construction project (the living room will always be small; I'll never have a bathroom on the first floor). We knew this stuff when we bought our cute little cottage-y house. And while we love our home, I can still fall prey to that ugly "green monster" and start coveting other people's spaces.

Every homeowner's experience is different in some unique way. But almost every homeowner I've ever talked to has said the same thing: Owning a home is a constant work-in-progress. The work is almost never done. And "perfection", whatever that may be, is a fool's goal.

These are important lessons to remember -- whether you own your first home, or your fifteenth. No matter your neighborhood or your price point, there is always something you'd like to change, do, or fix. So what to do to keep the house envy at bay? Here are a few suggestions from Apartment Therapy:

Learn from it. What is it that you love about the places you envy? Is it the home or room itself or is it the feeling you get — glamorousness, openness, coziness — that you're pining after? Or maybe it's the furniture arrangement or the mix of patterns? Try to break down the components. It was after looking at a lot of lofts that I started to get really crazy. That's when I realized that my Hollywood Regency-esque decor was no longer reflective of who I was. A friend walked in the other day who hadn't seen my space in years and said "Oh, it's a loft in an apartment." No wonder I'm much happier here now!

List your home's charms: Just as every home has its drawbacks, it also has its charms — it's in walking distance of the park, it's flooded with sunlight, the layout is perfect. Make a list.

Do one thing for your home: Whether it's buying fresh flowers, a new pillow, moving the furniture around, or getting one of these grout pens to spiff up the bathroom, do one thing on your list of home decor things to do to remind yourself that just because you don't live in a million dollar mansion, it doesn't mean that you can't have a beautiful life.

(You can read the full list here -- and check out the insightful comments, too!)

So this January I hereby resolve to let that little green monster go his merry way.