Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Chapter 5

Interior Decorating

 To begin, I'd like to share a quote with you, from the end of this chapter in The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.
"Surely each person who lives in an 'interior' of any sort should realize that 'Interior Decoration' is the first opportunity to bring forth 'Hidden Art', in some small measure.  And for the Christian sho is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has made!"
I think this statement nicely sums up the lesson to be learned in this chapter. We all have a space in which we dwell. It may be permanent, it may be temporary. It may small, it may be spacious. "What does my home say about those that live here to those that enter 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 in this area. My home is well-lived-in, not at all something you'd see in a photo shoot with Better Homes & Gardens. But I have such wonderful ideas and plans and dreams! Nothing wrong with that, but really I need to be content with where I am, and make it the best I can make it. Do what I can with what I have. For my family, myself, my guests.

I find myself comparing me and my home with others'. I have friends who have amazing talent in this area. Their homes are lovely. Friends and family, even strangers frequent their doorstep. They welcome them graciously. 

I see ideas on pinterest or by creative bloggers. "Oh! I need to do that!" "Oh! that's exactly what I need!" Really? No, not really. Could I, should I implement some of these ideas and inspiration? Sure thing!
There are many ways, many things, many tricks one can put to use. But you cannot do them all. Nor should you. 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 recovered. Or hang a quilt 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. 

Gabe painting in our school room
the beautiful office unit Mike&Luke built
A gallon of paint goes a long way to freshen up a room or unite various 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 have been reading through the book of Exodus during my daily Bible reading time. I am in awe of how detailed God's instructions were to the Israelites concerning the building and decorating of the tabernacle, HIS home, the place where HE would dwell. And then reading through this chapter of Mrs. Schaeffer's book, I'm 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.

If you'd like to read my thoughts from earlier chapter in The Hidden Art of Homemaking, I've listed the links to those posts below:

I'll be linking this to the book study over at My Homey Haven.


  1. Great post! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and what you took away from this chapter.

    Some of the most comfortable homes I've been in are those that are "well-lived-in". Before we began traveling with my husbands' job, I was very much in awe of the Better Homes & Gardens homes and mine just didn't measure up. Mine was very cute but I always found an excuse not to invite guests over. I needed new furniture, I hadn't finished painting, etc. etc. It took me awhile to realize that my friends weren't looking for perfection- they just wanted to be welcomed. You summed it up perfectly when you wrote that we just need to be content. Isn't that the truth? :) There are many things that I can do- I certainly don't need to focus on what I can't.

    Very thoughtful post and I love how you pulled in your Bible reading. I think I'll read Exodus tomorrow! Have a great week!

  2. I've felt the same. I enjoy having people over, so I've tried to do my best in the time allotted to make my home welcoming.


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