I love looking at beautiful homes, but over the years I have come to appreciate the more real/less staged homes that I have the privilege of seeing. I’ve realized that this is because it’s not the things in the homes that inspire me, but the life expressed in those spaces. Many staged homes lack that sense of life. Sure, they make for a beautiful picture, but they don’t stir something within me.
This is one reason that I believe nature is so beautiful to humanity; it is filled with life. We are created to desire beauty. We have within us a deep desire for beauty, but not just any beauty: Beauty filled with life. How do I know this? Because we have within us a deep desire for Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of beauty filled with life.
When I look at homes in magazines or on the internet I’m not just looking at all the pretty things in them. Sure, I notice those things, but what I find most moves me is imagining what life is lived in that space. What the little details say about the life expressed there. The spaces that most attract me aren’t the most beautiful ones, but the ones that creatively enhance the life within. Spaces that motivate and cultivate a beautiful life.
As a teenager I would spend my evenings or weekends rearranging/cleaning/organizing my bedroom. I remember the feeling I had when my parents bought me a reversible floral comforter (in navy, mauve, and hunter green – it was the early 90s) that I asked for while we were on a trip. I couldn’t wait to get home and rearrange my room around it. But it wasn’t just about making my bedroom beautiful, it was about creating a space that expressed the beauty of the life lived within it.
A big part of life is the everyday things we must do to keep a home running. Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, getting ready to meet the world outside, coming in from being in the world outside. In my 18 years of homemaking I have found small ways to bring beauty into these regular, everyday tasks. Ways to elevate them from the mundane, necessary things, to the beautiful, joy-filled things that enhance our lives.
This has become especially important to me over the last two years of living in tiny spaces. Storage must be used for the more necessary things, while everyday things must be out in the open. Finding ways to add beauty to the everyday things has not only allowed me to have the aesthetic I prefer in my home, but has added a joy and delight to doing those everyday things.
I am still learning much about elevating the everyday, so if any of the posts spark ideas for you or remind you of ways you have discovered to elevate the everyday, please share them in the comments. I would love to learn from you as well.