Day 13 :: Plan for the Worst/Hope for the Best

Remember when I showed you this picture of our playroom?  It still pretty much looks like this with a few stray socks and smashed crackers ground in for good measure. I like how the yellow in the disposable Solo cup brings out the yellow in the pillow. And the bold pattern rug at least helps detract away from the fact that it looks like we’ve just been robbed by a 11-year-old high on Red Bull who ransacked the room looking for a Wii game.

The truth is, I may never get this room the way I’d like it to look.  In a dream world, I’d love to have our three boys kind of share this room for sleeping? hanging out playing video games, reading, eating unhealthy snacks and stuff.  It would have clever storage areas, fun yet tasteful lighting and be a mom and kid approved space.

I even went as far as measuring those inset dormer areas to see if their beds would fit in there.  The beds were too big but, I think their mattresses would fit.  Hmmmm.  But, there’s no closet and storage would be a huge pain.  So my grand schemes of making this a boy cave have come to a screeching halt.   Instead, it’s kind of an upstairs family room {that I never step foot in for fear of cutting my foot on a shard of hardened cheese} slash guest room. Since this room is the largest, our guest bed is in there.  Which means we have to fumigate and disinfect the room every time we have a guest.

That being said, this room is plenty good enough.  I would have killed for this extra room for most of our marriage. I’ve added a rug and some adult chairs and it can be presentable given I have a spare hour and some Lysol.  It’s a fine space for what it is.  But, just like when you got married and you had one file in your head for all of the fab ideas that you knew most likely you would never be able to use {INXS performing at the reception, miniature wedding cakes for each guest…} it’s fun to have an alternate plan for a room, just in case you win the lottery or something.

I didn’t win the lotto but, I did hear about a $10,000 room make over contest over at the Arrow Facebook page–and I certainly didn’t hesitate to enter it.  I mean, someone has to win those things, right?  Oh and the winner’s  room would be designed by Leslie Segrete from The Money Pit. Fun, right?  I think you should enter too.  If you have a room in need of a makeover, all you need to do is like the Arrow Page upload two photos {I uploaded the two in this post} and write a little story about the room.  It took about 3 minutes to complete.  It’s even open to renters like me.  I’d be thrilled if one of you win this contest.  I think it’s fun to have a dream world plan and a real world plan for a room, so if you’ve yet to think about that, try it, it’s fun.

And really, I’m serious about you entering this contest.  I can’t guarantee you will win but, I’d be willing to bet that whoever wins will be shocked and surprised and say that they almost didn’t enter the contest because they were sure they would never win and they never win anything–that’s always the way it is.

There have been many times I’ve had a dream world plan and a real world plan for a room.  For example, our family room.  Last year, I came to terms with the fact that our sofa looked BAD.  In a dream world, I’d buy a new sofa.  In my world, also known as the real world, I invited 10 friends over and made a slipcover.

Want another example?  When we first moved here I knew a mirror would look great over our fireplace.  I didn’t want to spend the money on one and had pretty shutters that looked fine.  Two and a half years later, I had the money and was able to find the perfect mirror.  I guess you could say my dream came true?

Am I the only weirdo, or does anyone else out there have dream world and real world plans for your spaces?


Did you enter the contest?  GO NOW AND ENTER IT–what’s keeping you?

Nesting Place was compensated for sharing this fun contest with you, special thanks to Arrow Fastener for providing a springboard for us to dream about our spaces.

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  1. Dream world and real world plans for a room–yes. Or the whole house. Isn’t that what Pinterest is for? Haha

    In my dream world, the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcases that my husband *just* built in our living room are painted white. But in the real world, he would probably have a stroke if I even came near them with a paintbrush. He’s a wood purist. <3

    Also, thank you for posting pictures of your "real world" rooms. As a new mom (and new stay-at-home mom) I am struggling to find the balance between having the house the way I want it, and how I can have it, and then just doing what I can now that I have a little person to nurture. It's easy to feel inadequate, sometimes, with all the beautiful homes in the blogworld. ;) Thanks for this series!

  2. My house is filled with dreams! No popcorn ceilings, a stone patio with a covered outdoor kitchen and gathering area, a comfortable sitting area in the kitchen and a hugh bright bathroom with an organized closet that looks like you stepped into a cute boutique. Gosh it looks so good and there’s size 1 clothes in there too! Ok so really, I just don’t look up, I added a bench to my kitchen table, I always wear shoes when I step out on to my splintery deck, I painted my bathroom a light color added a small bench to my closet and lost enough weight this year to wear a size 8! But I still dream! And I’m loving this series!

  3. Lorraine R. says:

    I pretty much live my life that way…..dream world plans vs. real world plans!! It’s been so awesome to see the dream plans come to fruition and to learn that in due time, my dreams will become a reality. Of course, they will most likely change a million time before coming true, but that’s okay – it’ just makes for a more interesting path!!

  4. You’re not the only weird one. In fact, I think a lot of us are weird like this–which technically makes us normal instead of weird, right?

    In my dream space, there would be absolutely, positively NO wall-to-wall carpet. None. There would be really great hardwood floors just about everywhere, with the exception of slate or marble in a couple of places. There would also be beautiful rugs on those hardwood floors, of course.

    In a little less lofty dream, the carpet in my upstairs hall would be replaced. It’s not that bad except for the spot where I spilled The Works toilet cleaner on it. That stuff really does work on toilets, and no wonder–it burned the carpet on contact. So I guess maybe I could at least try to bring this dream to reality.

    • oh, Richella! poor thing, hope you didn’t get any Works on your face, I might not recognize you next time I see you. by the way—-I need to see you sometime!

  5. Is is bad that I have a dream room / real room plan for every room of my house? They are all very, very real rooms at this point. We’ve chosen to work with what we have which is sometimes frustrating but mostly freeing. {The shard of hardened cheese killed me!}

  6. In my dream world I would have a Pottery Barn office with a comfy reading chair, cool desk, and tall bookshelf with all my Sunday School teaching references, etc.
    In reality, I have an EMPTY, freshly painted, office with clean carpet and not one thing in it.
    My hubby painted it and gutted it while I was away last week. He refuses to move one thing back in until we have a plan. Everything is in my dining room.
    We have been to six or seven stores (plus online shopping and Craig’s List)looking for something “perfect” to fill that space.
    Of course, if I had 10,000 bucks, we would be done by now. Instead, I am trying to wait until I find things I can both afford and LOVE. It is hard to be patient when your dining room is full of office stuff. I hope I don’t have to wait two years for my dream to come true!

  7. Like you, I had also noted how nice the yellow cup accent looked with the throw pillow and striped vase, and the chair sideways on the bed is a nice touch. We have 5 children, and our basement family room looks so much like your space that your pictures make me feel at home (this is the room I’ll be entering in the contest!). I have many lofty decorating dreams: (amen on the popcorn ceilings, Debbie), knocking out a few walls, a guest room that is just for guests, a master bath suite, and an outdoor overhaul. Most days, just a clean house would be an improvement. But this morning the kids are out of school for fall break and are in the kitchen with a few friends shaving crayons and making their own candles. The conversations have been precious, and they have made some beautiful candle jars – all from their own minds with the resources we had on hand. It’s a disaster in there (they say they’re going to clean it all up), but I couldn’t dream of a better way for me to spend an afternoon than scraping wax off the counters and the rug.

  8. thank you for this post … good reminders about dreams & reality! btw – my 3 boys (9,8,6) share a room and i love having them all in there. do we have extra rooms where they could split up? yes. will we let them? never!! :)

  9. i absolutely have a dream plan and a reality plan for my house. the reality plan is exactly the same as the dream one, only the time frame is a little different. Longer. Much longer. and in the dream plan I don’t have to save money for a while to make stuff happen. But otherwise, i feel like the stuff i dream of- colors that make me happy, things that i love in an interesting mix of modern and vintage and natural and not natural and industrial and cozy. all of that is totally attainable for me, just not right this very second.

  10. For a while, I would sit in my family room and envision my Pottery Barn inspired version of the room or I’d stand in my kitchen and SEE the granite and back splash and fabulous new floors… When we do have the money to bring my BIG dreams to reality, it’s hard to say my real world won’t due in the name of splurging on a family trip (or quality family photos)… Reading your post just reminded me that real people have real things they’d like to change about something in their lives and I’m no exception… It’s good that I appreciate what I have.

    P.S. – This doesn’t mean I won’t REMIND hubby of my dreams so in case he wants to use his lottery money to SURPRISE me with something granite-y or built-in… Thanks for the post, I needed it:)

  11. I have dream plans for a completely new dream house. There are lists and lists of all the things I would incorporate into our home. One thing would be a screened porch, then a craft space that is not in the cold, dark basement and I would love a man room for the hubby.


  12. I totally have dream world & real world plans. Well, in my dream world I would have a lot more space to play with. 800 sq feet isn’t very much room. I have to be choosy about the things I want in my space since it’s so small. I have many idea though that I can never do because of this lack of space. They are in my “someday when I have a bigger house” file… lol!

  13. My dream would be for someone to re-design my sewing/craft room and enlarged it but I entered the 10,000 dream room to have my kitchen redone so the whole family would benefit. Would love to have more light, nicer cabinets, bigger cook top, on and on and on.
    Then we’d also like to have an outdoor kitchen and patio. So many dreams and no money. LOL

  14. Oh, Nester, you make me laugh! The bright yellow plastic cup SOOOOOO works in that room. Don’t you dare remove it!

    I can’t even broach the topic of dream rooms vs. real rooms. Our master bedroom sucks slimy rocks, and my plans all involve bulldozers and new walls. Oh. There, I did it. I broached and now I’m bummed. Where is that link to the contest… got it!


  15. In my dream world my husband welds a screwdrive, loves home projects and actually wants to update our house!

  16. I would love to have my “bonus” room redone as well. My mom used to live with me. Currently it is packed with hand-me downs as well as my mom’s leftover furniture. I wish I had the extra $$ to turn the carpets into hardwood floors, convert the lumpy queen to two beautiful twins and get proper heating in it as it is an icebox in the winter … oh to dream. Thanks for stirring them up!

  17. Oh I *totally* have a real world & a dream world!

    Real world = trying to get creative and decorate/fix things as I have $$$ on a next-to-nonexistant budget, and perhaps leading up to eventually selling my house.

    Dream world = complete kitchen renovation, even though the house is relatively new, because the kitchen layout is not optimal. Of course, this would cost thousands and likely won’t be done unless I do win a contest.

    But it is fun to let my creativity & imagination wander to the what ifs!

  18. In my dream world my booty always looks small in the skinny jeans i insist on wearing! smile…
    Thanks for the contest nudge – I hope $10k would be enough to transform my hand-me-down living room…

  19. My fave is the chair tipped sideways on the bed as if that gave them a better angle when playing the Wii. You just know if I won I’d use the ten grand on a library. Real world: use the money to get Rocket to stop barking.

    xoxo michele

  20. I have dream world and real world plans all over my house. I would want my basement redone if I won. But I find that the longer I patiently wait for things the dream stuff usually ends up happening too!! Or sometimes something completely different happens that I end up loving even more! Keep Dreaming!!

  21. Ok I’m sitting here still contemplating entering because I *never* win stuff like that. Maybe putting that out there will now help my chances at winning? Anyway, I have someday ideas for most rooms. Not whole room makeovers but things I think will help it out – which is what keeps me going back to TJMaxx and Tuesday Morning. :) As far a whole room makeover though – our playroom/homeschool room needs some major good ideas. That would definitely be my room submission. Thanks for your blog and all that you do. You are one of my absolute favorite bloggers and I stalk, er, read you often.

    • I reeembmr seeing this area the very first time I read your blog, but I didn't realise it was at the far end of the kitchen. It's such a sweet space, and totally you. I would know who's space it was as soon as I saw it!

  22. Dream world? A house that self-cleans… lol :D

  23. non-techy me wonders how to decrease the size of a pic; i tried entering the contest, but the pics i downloaded exceeded the 5 mb. Help, please!

  24. Excellent post! I struggle finding a balance between my dreams and the reality of our life. I think sometimes I focus too much on where I want to be instead of where I am. I loved your comment about the perfect mirror. Patience pays off!

  25. I just had to tell you how much I loved the lightsaber “tablescape” featured in the top photo of this post. I have three sons also, and my coffee table usually looks just like that! With my two oldest sons off to college, I now treasure the time with my eight year old “Jedi”. These days are so short and sweet. Growing up, my mom had a sampler in the kitchen that said “My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.” I LIVE by this motto! Blessings!

  26. Michelle Webster says:

    I love this post! With four kids our home never looks like a dream home, lol! But I have come to terms with that. Instead I know that our home looks loved–sometimes a little too well loved. But I have my list of dream items I would love to have in my home one day, those items are now saved on Pinterest. One day that dream look I love may happen, but I live in the now where I have little kids to chase, little messes to pick up and sticky faces to kiss. Reality is so much better than a pristine, dream home, don’t ya think?

  27. oh, Nester, totally! we just moved a few months ago and I was so thrilled at the thought of a “blank canvas” to create gorgeous rooms like I’d seen Sarah Richardson or Candace Olsen create on TV. It was so frustrating at first and I made very little progress because… well… I have a BUDGET. a small one. like most of us do! :) It is make-it-work time over at our house, using what we’ve already got on hand. so I still create rooms in my head, hiring imaginary contractors to overhaul our space and bringing in gorgeous fabrics and new furniture… but in reality I’m using the towels we got from our wedding registry 7 years ago and my grandma’s old furniture, with a fresh coat of paint. and when it all comes together into something beautiful, it’s almost more fun that way :)

    • Joy Manoleros says:

      You’re not alone!
      We were married & bought our house last June. SO MUCH I want to do! I keep remembering what Nester says, “Use what you have.” It’s quirky around here, but everything has an interesting story.

  28. I just love that you list a possible dream as INXS singing at your wedding reception. I’ll have to ask you about this the next time I see you…

  29. Um, yeah… in my house has a dream design and the “real” design that actually gets done. I even have a [very large] remodel/addition design for our house, that will *probably* never happen. But in the event that Powerball ticket pays off, I have the sketches in my handly-dandy little design notebook to give the architect the jumping off point….LOL

    • Joy Manoleros says:

      I was telling my 22 yo son about our future dream to add onto our home. He said to draw plans – and I said I’ll worry about it later. He said, “If you have the dream, plan it. Then you’re ready.” How’d he get so smart?! :D

  30. Joy Manoleros says:

    I actually have a Dream Book!
    It’s a small binder with plastic sleeve pages. When I find something in a catalog or magazine I would love to do in my own home, I put it in the book. It’s fun to look through it and see the projects I’ve actually done, take out the ones that no longer interest me and pine over the ones I still love years later.

  31. midwestmom says:

    in a dream world i’d have stripey curtains like yours. but in reality i have none. and i’m sad.

  32. I have dream plans for our house. Like having a craft room again, or even decent craft storage downstairs and an easier to use craft space upstairs. Re-doing our kitchen so that the open plan actually allows interaction with people in the living area, rather than a wall there and the bench opening onto the storage area at the top of the stairs. I’m slowly putting these plans down on paper, in the theory that if I know what I want, I might find a way to do it.

  33. Scrappyjen says:

    For sure I have dream world and real world plans – for my entire house. I have always wanted a house with lovely white walls and white furniture (I can only dream of your slip covered couches)- reality is I married a farmer and have a little boy. All that white would last about two seconds before they trashed it with grubby farm mud and other gross things. True story my husband actually bought our couches because they were a colour that can hide cow poo. Oh the glamour of farm life…

  34. In my dream world, we have our ceilings back. Word to the wise: it is a lot easier to demolish than to rebuild, so unless your spouse has a plan for replacing the ceiling/wall/whatever in a reasonable period of time, don’t let him remove it. (Especially because I know *I* will be the one who has to do the actual building/replacing, once we can afford the building materials…)

    I NEED the cow-poo hiding sofas! (DH brought lovely white upholstered chairs with him when we married. Now there is a three year old boy, and the chairs are an undefined color somewhere between mud, strawberry jam, and barf, with marker embellishments).

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