5 Tips for Creating a “Dream Home” Wishlist

If you have spent any amount of time thumbing through decor magazines, creating aspirational home boards on Pinterest, or have ever saved images on Instagram into your home ideas folder, then the concept of creating or curating the perfect “Dream Home” might exist in your mind.

For families like those in military service who have lived in a variety of spaces, it can be an advantage to have these experiences to begin shaping what you love and don’t especially love in a forever home, or dream home. After all, if you have ever lived with a too small backyard, a poorly placed closet, or find yourself longing again for that oh-so-perfect screened porch then you might already have a Dream Home Wishlist in mind. 

However, if you’re just beginning to think about what a Dream Home might look like for you and your family, here are five tips for creating a Dream Home Wishlist:

Define What Your Dream Home Is (in Words)

It’s helpful to start with a good, working definition of what your version of a dream home is. For some, going an extra step to write down your thoughts could be helpful. How do you define your dream? Is it made of adjectives that describe a feeling like, “cozy,” “warm,” “comfortable,” or “spacious?” Or does your definition also include very specific features like a brick surround fireplace, a formal office space, or an eat-in kitchen? Think through other spaces you’ve lived in or are currently living in. What are the must-haves and must-avoids? Begin to associate words with styles you like. Think, “traditional,” “coastal,” “modern,” or “transitional.” 

Define What Your Dream Home Is (in Images)

After you have nailed down a working definition or bulleted list of what your dream home includes, next begin perusing and collecting images that align with your vision. Some experts believe that visual imagery helps to stick better in your mind, causes a faster reaction to something than words, acts as a stimulus to our emotions, and helps store information longer. Images also help reinforce design elements like color, shape, scale, pattern, light, and focal points.

Start Curating an Inspiration Collection

Whether you start a stash of magazine images in an actual folder or begin an online system with apps like Pinterest, Instagram, or Notion it is important to create a type of landing zone for when inspiration strikes. It can be as simple as keeping a notes app on your phone where you can jot down ideas or attach or upload photos. In addition to home design elements, you could also begin creating a space to collect ideas for specific products you’d like to have in your space. 

Begin Creating a Budget and Timeline to Access Your Dreams

For many, the number of years away from a forever home seems so far in the distance that it may seem unrealistic or even disheartening to begin to make a Dream Home Wishlist. However, it is possible to use this detail to your advantage. Whether your dream home is ten years or ten months away, it is valuable to start sketching out both a working budget and a working timeline to make your dreams a reality. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is credited with saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

Revise, Edit. Revise, Edit. Revise, Edit.

A Dream Home Wishlist isn’t something that is set in stone. As you live life, your desires and ideas will surely ebb and flow. You will continue to revise and improve what your dream home will look and feel like. You will continue to experience things that will adjust some of your needs and wants in a forever house. Welcome the changes and realize that the true Dream Home is the one where you and your family find your sense of rest, peace, and belonging with or without that screened porch you’ve always wanted. 

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