“This is a home, not a museum. If you spill or break something it's no big deal, just let us know".
This has been coined my opening sentence at all of our house gatherings. I say it to make people take a breath and relax, but honestly it's not completely accurate. Homes, in many ways should be like museums. Museums carefully search and select pieces and facts that are meaningful to a certain exhibit. It wouldn't make sense to go to a fashion museum exhibit and find dinosaur fossils, or a museum about Chinese heritage and find it full of Dutch dishes. In a similar way, our homes (houses, apartments, dorms, etc.) should also be full of meaningful items that reflect our lives.
When I became a wife, this daunting pressure of "homemaker" fell on my shoulders. (I'm an old fashion gal who sees that term in a positive way, not a verbal shackle). I don't lean "interior design" in nature and the thought of having to pick curtains and decor and dishes was dreadful instead of delightful. But I quickly learned that a homemaker doesn't have to have the Joanna Gain gene, (although blessings to those of you who do! Our instagram feeds are all better because of you.) Instead of being intimidated, I slowed down and took things room by room, corner by corner, and shelf by shelf. I decided to fill my home, to curate so to speak, with things that I wanted our family to value and stand for. So it started looking like this....
You get the idea. My greatest compliment when someone comes to my home is "What a lovely home. This is so you." My home is decorate with shades of blue, traditional pieces, and family mementos sprinkled throughout because that matches our family personality. Try to decorate with the thought in mind, that your home should reflect your family's preferences, values, dreams, and experiences. Remember, you create family culture by the things you surround your family in!
It's okay to decorate slowly to prevent what I call "the clutter charging". You know that experience when you've been binging on pinterest or have a new space and so you go to Home Goods or Target and buy everything trendy you see when it holds no meaning to you. (And may not even be your style, therefore you're going to change it again in 2 years when trends change again). Empty walls and shelves aren't bad things. I've had an empty wall in my dining room for over a year because I've been slowly collecting antique blue willow dishes for a plate wall I want to do. I've been tempted to just put something up for the time being, but it's forced me to savor the antique finds on my centerpiece and custom art piece in the meantime. Building a home, like everything else, is a process. Before you go out and buy a ton of new things, take a pause and really think about the culture you want to build by the things you hang on your walls.
So now it's your turn, take a tour of your home, or apartment, or dorm room with the eye of a curator.
What can you add or replace to create a space that reflects your family values?
What mementos can you frame and display?
Are there things you could put in front of your family to cultivate creating something important to your family? (My newest project is for my outdoor obsessed little boy. See below)
I hope seeing a few little corners of my home has inspired you! If home is where the heart is, let's put ours on display for families and friends to love.
PS - Don't Forget, The Cirkles are Cheering You On.
PSS - Linked below are two of my favorite books on this topic.
- "Loving The Home You Have" by Melissa Michaels
- "The Life Giving Home" by Sally and Sarah Clarkson