Are You Embarrassed About Your House, Too?

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I have a confession to make: I’ve never loved my house.

In fact, I’m quite embarrassed about it. Which is why you never see me doing a “Home Tour.”

Unless, of course, you want to see crayon and hand-print smears on scruffy walls, totally uninspired design, and small piles of rejected DIY projects that never made the cut. LOL

Last year I wrote a post called Stop Thinking You Have an Ugly House. And while I am careful about not calling my home ugly, the truth remains:

I’ve never loved my home.

I brought this subject up to readers on my Thrift Diving Facebook page and found that many of you feel the same embarrassment about your home. So it’s good to know I’m not alone!

But let’s explore this a little more…


Are you embarrassed about your house too Here's how to start loving it! - Thrift Diving Blog


Are We Just Ungrateful?

Only spoiled brats could say they don’t love their house, right? After all, we should be thankful that we even have a home when so many people are homeless!

Or maybe we’re not keeping in perspective that we’ve got a great family, with spouses that love us, kids and grandkids that adore us and laugh with us in this space.

Home is where the heart is, they say.

So we should just be loving our home no matter what, right?


While I am grateful to have a home (as I’m sure you are), and I’m sooo thankful for the family that lives here with me, all of those wonderful things don’t negate the fact that my house doesn’t look like a happy place.

It’s not about wanting a magazine-worthy home.

It’s not about wanting expensive furnishings.

It’s not even about worrying whether someone will like my style.

It’s really about that fact that I haven’t fully created the environment that makes me smile when I walk in the door.

(FYI…This is one of the few rooms that I adore in my house, my master bedroom, where I taught myself to install the crown molding!).


Wide view of master bedroom with new DIY crown molding by a novice!

Why We Don’t Love Our Homes

It’s really about the little piles of clutter (and they are little, but still….) that beg to be cleaned up, put away, gotten rid of, because they don’t belong here anymore.

It’s really about the dark cave that my family has lived in for over 4 years, surrounded by large maples that suck the light from the rooms, making me envious of others’ sun-filled homes.

It’s really about the lack of vision that I have had for some of the spaces in my home. Instead of making my home a priority, I have let my lack of vision paralyze me from moving as quickly as I would like.

No matter how loveable your family, your visitors, your location–if the inside of your home is not a reflection of “YOU” and what makes you happy, then it won’t be a home you love–period.

(NOTE: I wrote a post called 10 Questions You MUST Ask Before Buying a Home. Helpful tips so you don’t end up buying a home you don’t love!)

We Are Our Home!

It’s why we’re embarrassed to bring people over when it’s messy or undecorated. Because how people perceive our home is how they’re going to perceive us. If our home is classy, then people think we’re classy. But try having a messy house. The first thing people are going to think is, “Man….she’s messy!”

It reflects on us.

If we’re not happy with our home, we’re embarrassed to show others.  And nobody likes to be embarrassed, no matter how tough-as-nails they claim to be.


We Deserve Better

Our home shelters us and brings our family together. It should be a warm, safe, cozy place to unwind. We should look forward to coming home, not just because of the people inside but because of the way our home wraps us up.  It should be our oasis.

When we ignore our home, leave it cluttered, dirty, disorganized, uninspiring, we’re disrespecting our home. We’re disrespecting ourselves.

To love our home means to nurture it, repair it, make it pretty, and make it a natural reflection of who we are.

And when we walk inside of it, we should bring a smile–not a frustrated sigh.


So How Do We Start to Love Our Home?

If I knew all the answers, I would already love my home, wouldn’t I? 😉 But the first part is figuring out what the problems are. What’s stopping us from loving our house? Is it too dark? Too cluttered? Not enough this? Not enough that? Let’s reflect on these questions:

1. Figure Out the Problem

  1. What is the biggest thing stopping me from loving my home?
  2. How do I want to feel when I walk into my house? Relaxed? Inspired?
  3. Is my biggest problem going to cost me an arm and a leg?
  4. What’s one thing I can do today to move me closer to loving my home?


2. What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

Face the facts: to fall in love with your house, it may take some work. You’re going to have to sacrifice something–time, money, letting go of clutter (eek!!), maybe even your self-confidence as you force yourself to make design decisions you were once scared to make for fear of “ruining” something. Be prepared to give up something.


3. Draft a Plan of Action

The more we lament about what we don’t like, the less time we spend on actually planning how we’re going to tackle the problem. At this point, my friends, figure out what you need in order to fix or improve your problem. Commit the money to it.
Don’t have time? Then schedule in 15 minutes a day.
No money? Open a savings account and save $25 a paycheck.
Don’t know how to use power tools? Watch YouTube and learn.
Just go for it!


4. Join a Room Challenge Makeover Challenge

One thing that has helped me with loving at least parts of my home is participating in my 30-day room challenge makeover challenges here on the blog! (You can sign up here). The idea is that we take one room in our house and make it over in about 30 days. It forces us to make a goal for the end of the month. And because a group of us are doing it at the same time, we have support and accountability for making it happen.
My laundry room, kids’ bathroom, and basement office area wouldn’t have been completed had it not been for our room makeover challenges!


My Laundry Room – BEFORE

Serena's Laundry Room - June Room Challenge_7871

My Laundry Room – AFTER

Pretty Laundry Room Makeover - Lavender - Thrift Diving Blog

My $1,250 Tree Problem

Today I did something crazy: I paid a company $1,250 to remove a huge tree from my backyard.
I know….$1,250…. But I’m smiling right now. No, actually, I’m doing cartwheels because I’m so excited!!!
You see, when we moved in nearly five years ago, I could never make peace with the trees. Trust me–I’m pro tree-hugger. But in the spring and summer my house turns into a dreary cave. These trees literally suck all sunlight from our house. It made me so unhappy every year.


But the amount of money it would take to remove just one of them–ouch. 


Dark Cave!!! – BEFORE

Tree removal in the backyard - Thrift Diving Blog
As a result, I found myself avoiding the darkest parts of my house, avoiding rooms that felt unhappy and closed in.
Today, I finally decided to do something about it. I paid $1,250 to remove the tree today. And I couldn’t be happier!

AFTER!! – No more sunlight suck!


 Tree removal - AFTER


As I watched the climber trim, cut, and remove this albatross, I couldn’t believe I was finally getting sunlight!
Tree being cut down in my backyard
I thought it would be painful to part with my $1,250, but you know what??


I felt proud and accomplished for moving forward on something I wanted so much. I just kept asking myself, “Why did you do this sooner, Serena??”


In order to fall in love our home, we have to do the tough things.

Today, I didn’t buy tree removal; I bought sunshine and happiness….

And although there is a ton more to do in this house, inside and outside…today was a big victory in moving towards loving my home.

The tree is finally gone! YES!
Here’s what the patio looked like close up. ICK!


My Pretty Patio Makeover6503
But once I was done with it, this is how it looked! So much nicer without that awful tree covering it up and causing mold to grow everywhere! (Click here for the full about about the patio makeover).


My Pretty Patio Makeover7026
So how about you? Are you embarrassed about your home? What’s stopping YOU from totally loving your home? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about this!


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  1. I’m in tears reading your article because you perfectly articulated how I have been feeling about my first home. We have a horrible housing market and unfortunately even though I have a great job, high credit and all the things I was told to do to become a home owner I could only get into a condo townhouse that’s a middle unit with no yard within my budget. When I say I hate my house I mean it. I get anxiety when people want to visit. I’ve completely remodeled the upstairs but it’s not enough. My neighbors cigarette smoke comes in through my vent, my other neighbors are noisy. We have barely any light in the house, and we are constantly fixing things. I pray I can sell it soon, because when I get up in the morning I am never relaxed. I constantly want to clean, redecorate and make myself feel somewhat in love with it. Nobody understands unless they feel it too. I’m grateful I could afford a home at all but this home literally hurts my soul.

  2. i feel like my house i too small, can you give me advice?

  3. The outside of my house is just a house from a horror movie. The inside is fine it’s just the outside. We can’t paint it since it’s made out of bricks and well just everything. It’s also so very small. I feel very embarrassed about it that every time my friends ask me where I live I always end up tryig to find a way to dodge the question.

    1. Aww….I’m so sorry you feel that way about your house! I know exactly what you’re talking about. Have you ever considered painting the brick? I haven’t painted my house but I know some people who have and they absolutely love it. Since your house is small, it sounds like it wouldn’t be a huge project. You could also do some easy landscaping that might help. Email me a picture of your house and I’ll see if I can help! My email is [email protected].

  4. Sarah Hibbah says:

    this is how EXACTLY I’m feeling about my house..thank you..I’m sharing this to my mom who dosent really understands

    1. I’ve lived in my house for 13 years now and all my friends live in these neighborhoods with beautiful houses and my neighborhood and the house I live in needs some work. The outside front porch as old ugly chairs on it and I want to help get knew ones but I’m just a kid and my parents always end up putting it off. We don’t make much money either. The inside of my house is okay but my couch is all slumped and the cushions are all saggy. Lol and don’t even get me started on all the dog hair. We vacuumed and it still gets everywhere. Also I have very yellow ugly lighting and every time I ask to help get it fixed we end up putting it off to the side or don’t have the money or time to do it. I’m only 14 but I get embarrassed very easily especially since my boyfriend want to come over but my house is to ugly.

      1. Hi, you can buy a 3 foot piece of wood and place it under the sofa cushions to stop the sag. Buy new pillows from Walmart abd new light bulbs to change from yellow. It will look beautiful.

  5. Looks like you’ve got some lovely and classy next door neighbors, judging by that “no trespassing” sign they custom made just for you………….; }

    1. LOL, Lynn! We’ve been here for 6 years and that sign was up before we got here! I don’t know why I haven’t spray painted it black yet! Maybe put our family name on it. HAHAHA. And yes, she’s a crazy old lady that lives there. I call her the Wicked Witch of our street. 😉 Mean, I know, but so true!

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