Finding Permission to Dream {and Have} Big

Sometimes lots of times, sneaky gross invalidating thoughts go through my head when I’m thinking about what I want for my next space {and all the other areas of my life too – what I can have in love, how much money I can have/make, how much success I can achieve, you name it}. Things like

Someone like me could never live in a place like that

I’ll never be able to afford a really amazing space like that

I’ll never be able to find something better than what I have now

Do any of these sound familiar, maybe you’ve had a few cross your mind too?

When you are looking for a new house or wanting to take a next step and have more in any part of life, do you automatically eliminate certain possibilities because you think they are impossible, there’s no way they could never happen?

All that crap is not your energy. But it totally feels 100% real doesn’t it.

Here’s the truth – really awesome ‘too good to be true’ things DO happen. Here’s one of my ‘too good to be true’ stories.

If you didn’t already know, I live in Chicago. I moved here in 2003 to go to grad school and get my Masters Degree in Architecture. During my last year of school I was looking for a new apartment. I was having a really hard time finding a place within my price range {which was basically no money because I was a poor student} and was running out of time. It was the week before I had to move and I was about to sign a lease on a pretty cute but very vintage studio in a pretty hip neighborhood, but it was right next to the el and definitely out of my price range. But what else could I do? I had to have a place to live, and I had no other options… The next day I took one more look at apartment ads just so that I could know that I had really done everything and saw an ad that I thought for sure was too good to be true. It was for free rent {yeah, you read that right – free rent} in a single family home in Lincoln Park (a typically pricey neighborhood), in exchange for taking care of the family’s dog and doing some weekly errands. The first thought that went through my head (okay, the second after – this is so not for real) was that if this is real, there’s no way this hasn’t been snapped up by someone else, {or maybe the people were weird, or the house was horrible and haunted, so many things ran through my imagination}. I almost didn’t even respond to the ad, but then I thought, well – just write back and see what happens. If it’s a scam or isn’t available, no harm done… well, turns out it was real, and I ended up living in a huge amazing house with a fun family who traveled a lot of that time, taking care of a cute old dog which also (mostly) satisfied the burning desire for one of my own for a while.

What were the odds of something like that happening? Even now when I tell the story people still can’t believe it. But it did happen.

So in the spirit of connecting with that kind of ‘having’, here are images of my ‘if I could have anything’ space. The bigger and ‘crazier’ and more ‘impossible’ seeming – the better. It’s more about the energy than being ‘realistic’. So here it is:

Lots of light, tall ceilings, connection to the outdoors… all elements I completely loveskylight loft

loft spacewhite classic interioroutside connection

Vintage trim or paneling of any kind is always a beautiful and sophisticated element, I would love this in my new space.

fun mouldings

built-in anything is a serious plus

built in storage

and room for some new {big} art but still cozy and inviting

big art

I just saw this in a recent Apartment Therapy post – a love wall. A LOVE WALL. Seriously, this is totally happening in my new space. Best. Idea. Ever.

love wall

I definitely have lots of big dreams about an amazing kitchen, I love different things about all of these spaces – everything from fun colors to rich sophisticated finishes, so many possibilities for having something amazing

colorful kitchen dark dramatic kitchen gold kitchen

and if i’m being really honest and dreaming big, I wouldn’t mind an awesome wine cooler

wine cooler

I love the idea of a plant wall, so that I can bring a little bit of mother nature inside

plant wall

A big item on my wish list is always natural light in the bathroom… and a tub. I really need an awesome tub.

big tub 1 tub 2

soft bathroom

I definitely need a great work space in my new space


My new home will definitely have an amazing sleep space

mature bedroom rustic bedroom

And last but definitely not least – great outdoor space

outdoor space 1 outdoor space 2

If you could have any and everything you wanted, what might it look like? Is it more than you think you could ever possibly have? If you were to let yourself want your biggest dreams, do you think – I can’t even imagine how this could even happen?


The best part of life is that sometimes the best things show up in totally magical, seemingly impossible ways. So start dreaming big and get ready for some great surprises!

One Comment

  1. Catherine

    Can I love your post any more…dream it girl; the energy that you put out into this world will come back to you; it is how the world works, you absolutely just have to believe that it can happen….change your thoughts change your life and you can totally have whatever you want…sending you all kinds of fabulous energy and thank you for energizing my thought process!!! I am going to work on dreaming bigger!

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