New or old, every home has a story.  Every story begins somewhere, and some go back farther than others.   One of the benefits to our recent economy is this: more people are buckling down, staying still, finding contentment with where they are and learning to love the homes they live in.

As new construction slows and older homes are being lived in and loved, each home is telling more stories from one single family than they might have otherwise.  In this shift to getting back to basics, home has become a haven rather than a savings account — a place to share memories and build a foundation for generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Here are some ideas about making your home one that will tell stories for generations.

1. Plant a forever garden.

Photo by Emily Walker

One of my favorite things about the last house I lived in was the garden. Each spring, the labor and love from the previous owner shined through in the foliage that bloomed all around.  Not only is it low maintenance, but what you plant will tell a story about you — that you used your hands, what colors you loved, and what flowers made you smile each day when you walked out your door.

2. Leave your mark.

Old homes have character. They show signs of life in the nooks and crannies (and I’m not talking about bugs).  An old pantry door or a door frame can be used to measure the heights of all the kids who visit – telling the tale of growth, laughter, and pounding feet that race around the floors of your home.

Every ding and dent in your walls and furniture aren’t necessarily flaws to cover up – they add charm and character and will tell stories of a home that was lived in and loved.

3. Personalize it: make a memory wall.

Photo by Travis Isaacs

A wall full of family photos, meaningful items from trips together and personalized artwork shows moments of real life in your home.  You’ll take those things with you when you move away, but while you’re there, they can remind you of what matters in your home – not the furnishings or fixtures, but the moments created by the people inside.

4. Make it yours.

How many people do you know that, when they finally sell their home, do all the things they should’ve enjoyed before?  Paint your rooms the colors you want them now.  Make your guest room an office or personal space instead. Use your space like it is yours, forever.

Don’t live with beige walls if you love color just because beige is better for when you’ll sell… in ten years  Make your home yours – the way you love it. Make changes for someone else later.

Homes are built to last and sustain your moments and memories for generations.

Tell us about your home — what have you done to make it


?  What does it say about your family?