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Stop Thinking You Have an “Ugly” House

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I know the feeling: that nagging thought that you can’t help but think your home is ugly and doesn’t measure up to other people’s home.

Although I’m a DIY blogger who does home improvement and furniture makeovers (check out my Project Gallery), I suffer from this “My house is ugly” syndrome, too.

In fact, whenever people come over to my home, I find myself apologizing about this project that sits unfinished….or that part of my house that has dirty walls because the kids drag their hands all over it when walking past.

Over the years since moving into our old 1973 home, it has taken a lot of time for me to finally get to the point where I feel comfortable with my home.

I’m comfortable with it because it’s finally started to feel warm and cozy (after years of living here). But I still find myself apologizing and making excuses and pointing out its faults before other people can.

In fact, in one of my YouTube videos, I did a house tour for readers and viewers and I apologized and tried to explain away all the little piles of clutter and the unfinished projects and mismatched furniture.

You can watch that video below.

(Keep reading for 3 tips to help you stop thinking your house is ugly).



It’s Not Just You: Lots of People Think Their Home is Ugly

Years ago I happened to get an email from a girl who stumbled upon one of my old posts and she wrote me something so poignant:

I just came across your blog a few weeks ago, while searching for photos of rooms painted in Rainwashed. I wanted to tell you how much I like your blog. It’s so refreshing to see a diy/decorating blog featuring a normal looking house, lol!

Seriously though! I live in a 1,700 square foot house, that was built in 1926. It’s easy to feel inadequate seeing blogs with 5,000+ square foot, brand new mini mansions, that look like something straight out of Better Homes and Gardens. I’d much rather read about someone fixing up an older, average home, on a budget!


Her email hit a nerve.

I decided to respond to her email and share why we shouldn’t be comparing our home to others’ homes.

I knew exactly how she felt because that’s how I feel. Even now….after all these years.

There is still some part of me that feels like my home isn’t good enough, especially considering that working on my house as a blogger is my full-time job!

But her email ignited something inside of me–a desire for us all to STOP crapping on our houses and simply love it and decorate it for what it is: our place of comfort!

I was inspired to create that short video to inspire all of you beautiful homeowners who sometimes feel inadequate about your house, too. We are just the same: women are want to create a pretty, comfortable, yet affordable home for ourselves and our family.

(P.S. You can see how I’ve been working on turning my house into a home with these projects:

Pretty Laundry Room Makeover - Stop thinking your house is ugly! See how to stop telling yourself your house is ugly. - Thrift Diving

You Do NOT Have an “Ugly” House: 3 Tips to Stop Complaining About Your House

Okay…..but maybe you do have an outdated house and you want to do a makeover. Doesn’t that sound better? More positive?

“Outdated” sounds like something easily fixable.

“Ugly” just sounds….hopeless!

And we’re all doing such great jobs on making our houses look fabulous for very little money (and so little time, too!). So let’s stop comparing ourselves and our homes to people in the blogosphere okay?

Keep reading below for some tips we can do to change our attitude our house!

(RESOURCE: Check out this post on how to make an “ugly” home look good with easy decorating tips from the pros).

TIP #1: Be thankful you’ve got housing.

When the wind is whipping and I’m rushing up my walkway to get inside, I’m often struck with the thought, “Thank God I have a house!” More than 500,000 people in the U.S. are homeless, according to this report in 2015. Seriously. Why would we complain when we have money to pay for housing??? Thinking about this alarming fact makes me feel idiotic for even thinking my house is ugly.

TIP #2: Make a plan for decorating your home.

We’re all short on time.

I get it.

But if you plan for the projects and room makeovers you want to do, you’d be surprised how much easier it is to get those projects and makeovers done.

I had put together a free Room Makeover Journal packet that you can download by entering your name and email here:



When you create this DIY journal from scrapbook paper, you’ll have a way to track your progress, list your materials needed, and more.

Soon, your house will feel more put together and not quite as “ugly”!





TIP #3: Take “Before” and “After” pictures of your house along the way.

Homes evolve over time, don’t they?

How your home looked 3 years ago is likely nothing like what it looks like today. Maybe you’ve changed the furniture, had the floors done, changed the paint….

And sometimes we forget the evolution and where we started from!

I can tell you–when we started out in this house, we had wallpaper on nearly every vertical surface…outdated brown paneling…and more.

This is what my family room looked like when we moved in: a dreary 70’s brick fireplace, paneling, and wallpaper over the paneling!


Stop thinking your house is ugly: TIP - Take pictures of your home through all the stages so that you can be reminded of how far you've come in decorating it! - Thrift Diving


I ended up painting my brick fireplace so that it still looked like brick (which lightened up the room tremendously!), removed the paneling, sewed a pair of cute lined DIY curtains, and decorated the house with affordable thrift store furniture.

Because I took pictures along the way and reviewed those old pictures from time to time, it helps to remind me of how far we’ve come in this house.

Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like such an ugly house. Instead, it feels like a home in transition and it helps me to see that we really have made progress!

So be sure to take lots of pictures of your home and your projects and store them on an external hard drive or on Google Drive (or email them to yourself) and every now and then, click through them to see your progress over time. You’ll be shocked and will feel much less likely to say “My house is ugly.”




Again, I know how easy is to think “My house is ugly!” But the truth is that we’re blessed to have housing…we’re blessed to have affordable options for making it look good without spending a lot of money (check out these thrift store tips), and if we remind ourselves of how far we’ve come, we might even start loving our house. 🙂

So have you ever told yourself “My house is ugly”? How did you learn to start loving your house? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!


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  1. Thank you so much for making this blog post! It really touched my heart. Having to buy our first house during the insane housing market of 2022 left us with a house and neighborhood nothing like what I’d imagined (and we might be stuck here if the market doesn’t improve). It might sound dramatic, but it feels kind of like the death of a dream in a way. In place of the joy of a beautiful home, I have felt ashamed of this “ugly” one. I spent the past year doing everything I could to fix it myself, which eventually led to asking for help from a contractor who turned out to be a nightmare. After that experience, I am finally having to accept that this house is what it is, with the hope of maybe being somewhere else one day. Your advice to stop thinking I have an ugly house is the first time I’ve heard that perspective, and it’s much more helpful than hearing “Who cares if you have an ugly house.” Well, I care. But maybe I can change my mind about what ugly really is and remember how far we’ve come in making this place a home. It’s also really encouraging to know that other people feel the same way and are going through the same thing. (Also my two cents about your home is that it’s beautiful, far from “average”, and you are extremely talented!)

    1. Hi GG! Awwww….big hugs to you! It sounds like you are exactly in the same position that I was in when we bought this house! There wasn’t the usual joy of, “OMG, we just bought a great house!” but rather, “Ugh, what did I get myself in to!” That’s a difficult way to feel. I totally get it. You are allowed to have those feelings. But I also know that you got what you go, and now it’s time to make the best of what you’ve got, until later you can get something else. Take lots of pictures of the projects you’re doing in the house. Add things that make you feel happy when you walk into a room, from the paint colors that feel inviting, so the type of furniture (I love cozy furniture!), to the pictures you hang. It doesn’t have to be HGTV-quality, but it has to be comfortable for you. Even if you know that something else would likely be better and be more along the lines of what you like in a house, this one can definitely suit your needs until something better comes along. Also, think about all the great memories that you’re going to make in this house. One day, down the road, when the nicer house that checks all your boxes comes along, I can guarantee that you’ll feel sad about leaving this house. 🙂 Because over time, you will have come to love it and it will feel like home. Hang in there!! I’d love to see pictures of your home, too! Maybe you can email me some of your “BEFORE” AND “AFTER” projects at [email protected]. Take care, and thank you for the compliments on my own home!! It’s been a labor of love. And even to this day, I still look at other homes and think, “Now THAT is my dream home!” Oh well…..some day! In the meantime, I am enjoying what I do have. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this post. Our house was built in 1991. I have done a TON in the last 16 years we have lived here—painting, stripping wallpaper, painting the orangy-oak woodwork to white, painting or staining cabinets, staining the mantel and stair bannisters, painting the kitchen backsplash multiple times. I am currently stuck obsessing about the tile floor throughout most of the main floor of the house. We also have almond colored toilets, sinks, showers which do not work with all of the grey currently in style. My sister built a new home. Many of my friends have newer and more updated homes. It’s hard to not feel bad about my own home when I’m in those homes. I have done the work myself for the most part. I’m proud of it. I’ve taken many photos. I am thankful to have a home at all! Thanks for helping me take a step back and stop obsessing. I need to make sure it is a haven for my two teens and husband. And that won’t be because of how it looks!

    1. I know how you feel, Carol!! I still have “new home” envy when I see more modern homes, or even older homes that people have completely gutted and transformed into a more modern home! But you’ve got the right idea: taking pride in the home we have created, even if it doesn’t look as new as someone else’s. I’m sooo thankful for our home, as I am sure you are! Thanks for your comment! I bet your home looks lovely!

  3. I love this. Your house looks great. I hope to make changes in my home that are similar to yours. My house is old and out dated and I often feel embarrassed about it. Most of our friends and family have newer, bigger, and prettier homes. We have lived here 4 years and are finally financially ready to make a few of the many updates we need (such as removing the 80’s tile countertops). Today I saw the inside of a neighbor’s house for the first time. Since her house looks like mine on the outside, I expected it to be similar, however it was beautiful and fully updated. I walked into my home feeling a little bummed about it. I keep trying to decorate away the outdated house, but I need to have patience in order to make the changes needed and I need stop comparing!

    On another note, how did you remove the gold from your fireplace?

    1. Hi Allison! Oooh, that’s even harder when your neighbor’s home is the same style (and you know that they had all the same outdated things), but that they’ve had the resources to rip all that out and completely renovate! I saw something similar in my neighborhood. My home is a split level in my neighborhood, and there are only 2 other homes that are exactly like ours. I went into one of them that was on the market a few years ago and I was like, “OMG, they completely renovated it!!” It made me feel like I have been slacking big-time. But it did give me some ideas for what can be! But yes, it does take patience, unless you have a lot of money to do it all at once. I don’t think I would be able to do that!

      To answer your question about the fireplace, I used spray paint! I would recommend you use the fire paint that is rated for fire boxes if you use your spray paint. We don’t use our fire place. But if we did, use the one rates for fire boxes. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. I hate the ugly, little house that my husband insisted on us living in. It was awful and claustrophobic when it was empty and hasn’t gotten any better during the 12 years we’ve been here. I’ve re-painted, added and subtracted carpets, re-arranged furniture, re-covered furniture, made and re-made curtains, enclosed the front porch, remodeled the minuscule kitchen (and had to destroy the ONLY thing that I liked about the house at all – the pantry – to get the refrigerator out of the doorway)… I can’t do anything to make it feel like a home.

    1. And we don’t “live” here; we exist here and store stuff here.

    2. Awww…..Kay, I’m so sorry that your home isn’t what you want it to be! Is it possible you can move? To me, if seems like you should be able to find something else you love (and you likely have a nice amount of equity so that you can roll that into another house that you love). Life is too short to continue living in a house that you absolutely can’t stand. Talk to your husband and see if he would consider it! I have come to enjoy my house more, but I know that I don’t LOVE it. I don’t hate it anymore, but it still doesn’t represent the style of home that I most love, which is more open concept and modern homes!

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