“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.
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.’ 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.
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.