Seventeen homes. I think when I counted last that is how many spaces I could remember moving into as an adult. Most of them were rental situations and a few owned homes sprinkled in between.

Small room in a California beach house. Weird-ish college apartment with a separate locked room and open common living space. 700-square-foot mid-century home with no real dining room.

Our space is what we make it.

I learned early on that no matter where I lay my head at night, I can make it a home that reflects my style, needs and even fosters hospitality.

I can remember one basement dwelling in particular that I shared with another roommate.  It was cold and dark, and of course also housed the laundry, which meant I always had other roommate visitors!  I made the best of it, stringing lights, a fake banana leaf palm and threw down an area rug.  Voila!  A cozy little nook! I truly believe you can make a warm and welcoming space anywhere!

Each place I’ve lived has been met with the challenges of design and creating a dwelling that is right for the season.  Since I’ve been married and had children, we have nearly always lived in a space that wasn’t what we needed.  I find it a great opportunity to accept the challenge of using what we have to create what we need!  After all, how many of us ever get to live in our dream home?  And even if we do, that too changes with each passing season.

So, over the years I’ve found some helpful design tips and decorating hacks to make each space feel like my own.

Here are 8 tips to creating your own sense of style in your space, no matter where you live:

1. Paint right away!

If you have the ability to paint, do it!  So many times we wonder if we should change a space or worry about having to repaint when we move out.  So much time can be wasted living within walls that effect your mood negatively.  Choose some colors you love and roll it on!

2. Go ahead and throw a rug down!

Rugs create a space within a space and can also add color and comfort below your feet.  Even if your home is carpeted, you can get a large area rug to help create definition in a room.

3. Don’t be afraid to put holes in the walls!

We can become paralyzed by finding the “perfect” placement of wall decor.  You won’t know until you hang it, so just stick a hole in the wall.  It doesn’t take long to patch holes when you move out and small nail holes are hardly noticeable anyhow.  Using thumbtacks for lightweight items is a trick I often use.

4. Buy what you love, and then make it part of of your home.

I’ve had so many pieces travel from home to home with me through the years.  If you love it, you’ll find a place for it!

5. It’s okay to change your mind.

Sometimes we are loving a particular style or trend in design and then we stop.  Here is permission to pass along that rattan boho swivel chair to the next home.  Facebook Marketplace has been a favorite place for me to sell items here.  Porch pickup is your Covid-friendly way to sell!

6. Use what you have.

One of my favorite home style bloggers is always encouraging her audience to “shop your house.”  A lot of times you may already have something you’re needing, it may just be hiding in another room.  So before you head out to the store, look around and see if you can use something you already have.  You can even spray paint it to give an item a new look.

7. Use Pinterest to build inspiration, not make your feel horrible about your space.

We all know nobody is living that magazine life.  Take those curated photos and see what moves your heart to delight, but don’t try to duplicate the photo.  Because…you gotta live!

8. You’re in charge of your space, don’t let it take charge of you.

If you want to use your dining room as a craft room, go for it!  Stick all the kids in the master bedroom so you can have your dance studio?  Sure!  They are just rooms and your can do whatever you want with them.

Enjoy where you live!  Especially during these times of being at home way more than any of us ever anticipated!