The Hidden Art of Homemaking – Chapter 5

Interior DecorationHidden Art of Homemaking, wildflowers

“We all live somewhere. A castle, a palace, a mansion . . . a suburban home . . . a farmhouse . . . a Swiss chalet . . . an apartment in a New York skyscraper . . . a trailer . . . a tent . . . a hut . . .”

In chapter 5 of her book The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer challenges us to use our creative talents and efforts to bring beauty to our home, no matter where we live. We all have a space in which we dwell. It may be permanent, it may be temporary. It may be small, it may be spacious. “What does my home say to those that enter about those that live here?” I’d like those who come into my home to feel welcome, to know we are happy they are here, to feel comfortable and at home. How can I provide this atmosphere for them?

I’m afraid I fail miserably when it comes to interior decoration. My home is “well-lived-in,” not at all something you’d see in Better Homes & Gardens. But I have such wonderful ideas and plans and dreams! I write them down, I tear out magazine inspirations, I ‘pin’ them.

And then I get discouraged. Oh how I’d love to be more like The Nester or Lisa or Jamie. But I’m not. And I’m ok with that. Mostly. I sometimes start thinking “Oh! I need to do that!” “Oh! that’s exactly what I want!” Really? No, not really. Could I, should I implement some of these ideas and inspirations? Sure! But I do need to be content with who I am, where I am and what the good Lord has given me to work with.

Sampler b

What can I do with the talents He’s given me, with the resources He’s provided me? Do what I can with what I have. For my family, my guests, myself. The sampler above was a wedding gift from dear friends. In our nearly 30 years of marriage, we have had 15 different homes and the very first thing hung in each of those homes was this sampler. It’s beautiful, it has meaning, it tells us ‘this is home.’ย  This is always my first touch of Interior Decoration. The sentiment stitched on our wall hanging reminds us to be content, and be involved in our environment, in each others’ lives.

There are many ways, many things, many tricks one can use to accomplish this welcoming feeling. These things are the ‘Hidden Art’ Mrs. Schaeffer writes about. I find it helpful to consciously think about how I want to use a certain space/room. What can I do to accomplish that? And what do I have available to make it more functional as well as more attractive? Is there room in the budget to purchase a particular piece of furniture or wall art? Maybe. Maybe not. If not, think ‘outside the box’. Have a piece of furniture recovered. Or hang a quilt on the wall or use a tablecloth to disguise dents and scratches. Paint picture frames all the same color and fill with vacation photos. Gather bits and pieces of nature and display them on a side table or as a centerpiece.

living room family gallery

family photos, scrapbooks, favorite reading material, a scrap of lace from my grandmother – this is my personal style of interior decor.

A gallon of paint goes a long way to freshen up a room or unite mismatched pieces of furniture – an efficient and effective use of your available budget. In the past couple of years we’ve painted several rooms here in our home and have been so pleased with the results. Plus, it was easy and fun and made for dramatic change very quickly. Like giving our old home new life.

I read in Exodus the detailed account of God’s instructions to the Israelites concerning the building and decorating of the tabernacle – HIS home, the place where HE would dwell. And then I read through this chapter of Mrs. Schaeffer’s book and I began thinking, “Wow! Maybe I need to put some thought and effort into my own home. For my family’s sake, for the sake of our friends, to bring glory to The Creator.”

This is a part of an ongoing series as I am reading through The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer along other wonderful ladies at Ordo-Amoris where we share our thoughts, impressions and ideas on each chapter. For a list of my posts on previous chapters, click HERE.

This post is also linked up to Welcome Home at Raising Arrows and the Walking Redeemed Wednesday Link Party.


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  1. Your sampler is one of my favourite sentiments too!

  2. What a pretty photo wall. I want to do something like that but I need to pull together the photos….and frames….and figure out which wall. I also like the color of the wall, too.

    • Thank you! I’ve always had a family gallery wall of some sorts, hodge-podge style mostly. This past winter is the first time I actually ‘designed’ my grouping, and I’m pleased with it. I hope you are able to get to your own photo wall project soon!

  3. I really LOVE the photo wall. It sounds like you and I are very similar in how we “decorate” our homes. I may have to attempt something like this …. or it least it will go on my “wish” list. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you, Donna ๐Ÿ™‚ I, too, have a wish list – way too long to ever accomplish it all, but a girl can dream, right? I put this little ‘gallery’ together this past winter and I’m so glad I did. Something new is always a little nerve-wracking, but worth it!
      I’m enjoying the little peek we’re getting into everyone’s home on posts about this chapter. So inspiring! I’m really enjoying it. Have a blessed week.

  4. First of all Linda, I have missed you! It’s been way too long since I have visited. Secondly, I love the message on that sampler! I had never heard it before and it is such a good reminder. I decorate very much as it sounds like you do. And my house will never make headlines, but it is our flavor of home. I will admit that your family photo wall has inspired me to create something special like it. Since we moved a few months ago, I have literally put no family pictures up. Sad and silly. Thanks for stopping by and linking up last week. I hope you’ll come back over today and do it again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hello Kasey! I’m so glad you found me – again. How is it we lose track of each other? Thank you for your encouraging comment. I’m glad to know others have that ‘homey’ style of decorating. I’ll be looking to link up on Wednesdays often. Have a blessed day, and I hope you get that family gallery up on the wall soon (my children love seeing themselves and their family in plain sight)

  5. Oh I love that book! I can reread it over and over again. It is such a wonderful resource for a wife at any stage of life. I think I need to read it again ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the encouragement. I check out those other blogs too and see how great someone’s house looks and how cute they dress and I can easily get lost in the material desires that swell up. Edith Schaeffer certainly helps us remember to be content with what we have and to have fun being creative with it.

    Blessings to you ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I’m glad you stopped by, Shana ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really enjoying reading through this book, again. I always learn something new about myself. It is part of our daughter’s required reading in the middle school years here in our homeschool. Mrs. Schaeffer reminds us to be content and use what we have and still be creative. It’s a terrific message. I hope you enjoy your blog-browsing!

  6. It’s just a “little”thing, but I welcome all the bouquets my daughters bring in the house. They are allowed to pick their own vase for their arrangements- whether it’s a “real” vase, a drinking glass, a jar, or the glass pop bottle Daddy just emptied. Then, they get to decorate the room of their choice with God’s beauty. Often the bouquets are weeds and wildflowers that I would not choose to bring in my house, but their creativity in choosing and arranging their bouquets is often an inspiration to me to appreciate ALL the things that God originally said “It is good” about. It is neat to see the girls unbounded by conventional “boxes” as they express their creativity and love for natural beauty. AND, homemade bouquets save TONS of money from the florist or the grocery store and are worth their weight in gold because they are always offered with love!

    • What a wonderful custom you’ve created in your home. You’ve captured the exact spirit of this book. Your girls will remember this always, and so will you ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Anna, for sharing. I’m glad you stopped by! Have a blessed weekend.

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