I read this excellent book recently that reminded me of the uniqueness of creating beauty in the home.
Some of that beauty is totally intentional: intentional interior design, creative picture placement on the walls, art displayed and colors used on walls and in furniture.
Some beauty found in homes isn’t intentional; it’s just there. It may be the architecture or the hodgepodge furniture placement or the obvious presence of children (toys and baby gear).
But whatever kind of beauty is present in a home, it should be unique to the family. That’s my point here. And although it seems obvious and a simple thought to grasp, I found it otherwise.
Creating beauty is an intentional & thoughtful act.
I believe that a home should a place of respite, relaxation and refuge. And one way to achieve that is to ensure that the home is comfortable for all members of the family.
I remember that my mom brought a decorative pillow home from a shopping trip once. And the humorous quote on it was offensive to me. (I was probably overly sensitive at the time being a teenager.) But my mom, in deference to me, didn’t display it. In that small act she was making our home comfortable for me.
Bringing or creating beauty in the home is an important job! You will look at those walls for hours! You will be affected by those wall colors, inspired by the art that hangs upon it, and remember happy times from the pictures that adorn them. So why not intentionally make it beautiful?
1. Invest in art.
I did not grow up in a family who loved art – I’m talking about classical pieces of artwork by famous painters. My parents just weren’t interested in that and that’s okay. Personally I’ve always appreciated art but because I wasn’t immersed in it, I didn’t take much notice of my interest.
But getting married and setting up house with someone from a completely different background will change you. And starting off with a clean slate in our first home was a good challenge. Initially I hung pictures everywhere. And that worked well for a time.
But then that artwork itch that I felt as a younger woman came scratching. I would look at artwork and think “how beautiful!” I would contemplate having some in our home and then think, “that’s just not me.” But why not? Because I didn’t grow up that way?
So I did something VERY out of character. I saved up some money and bought an original piece of art! It’s hanging in my dining room right now. And every time I look at that piece of artwork, I feel proud (that I did something different), peaceful (because it’s a calming outdoor scene) and excited (for the future artwork I plan to buy).
So whether or not you come from a family who appreciates artwork (spoken in an uppity, snobbish fashion) or not, do something different and buy a beautiful piece of art to adorn your wall! It can be an inexpensive print of something old (Mona Lisa or Starry Night) or an original by someone living today!
2. Decorate sparingly.
I personally cannot stand to have clutter around me. I lean more towards minimalism in our home for a number of reasons:
- Minimalism helps me to clear away the fluff and focus on what’s important.
- Minimalist brings a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
- Minimalism doesn’t overstimulate my introverted brain to a frenzy and wear me out. (Did you know that introverts are more easily stimulated by people, activities, their surroundings, etc. than extroverts? And that’s why there is a need for more “alone time” a.ka. recovery from said stimulation.)
You may be an outgoing extrovert and have no difficulty finding peace within clutter. But there is a universal truth that applies to any atmosphere and to any personality:
Less is more.
Even Leonardo da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”
This point is also a great one because for those of us who don’t have hoards of money laying about with no purpose, we can rest assured!
3. Have a flow.
I am not an interior decorator. I’ve never had a class on it. But I would like to think that I’ve got a “good eye” for things like this.
I’m all about creating a pleasing space that helps to bring the heart rate down after a long day. I want Hubby to find refuge in our home. I want our kids to enjoy (even in their toddler state) the beauty in our home.
In order for that to happen, I know that I must follow some “decorating rules”.
- Get a central color scheme for the living areas of your home and stick with it. (Mine is grey, white and green throughout the living and dining room and kitchen.)
- Use accent colors to brighten a dull room. (My walls are grey and pillows, curtains and blankets are green.)
- Allow room for movement; don’t over stuff a room with furniture. (The pathways to and from doors and halls aren’t blocked) Some call this feng shui.
- Ensure that artwork is centered and level on the walls.
- Don’t allow clutter to pile up in corners, on shelves and on counters. (Counters should not be for storage but for activity.)
4. Be creative.
It doesn’t cost much to be creative. And if you’re not what you consider the creative type, Pinterest and Google are your friends!
What do I mean by creative?
- Showcase your family photos in a wall collage.
- Have a wall (like I do) for quotes!
- Make paper dahlias to put on your wall (like I have done!)
Although it seems obvious, I’m learning that every family’s unique style is different and totally acceptable. My hangup with that statement was that because I didn’t grow up having art in our home or quotes on the wall, I thought that it must not be valuable or necessary.
Whatever your family enjoys and loves, revel in that! Make it a part of your home in some way! Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.