There is a constant collision going on in my brain - how do my passions and my purpose intersect and work together? I'm often confronted with the ways my love of beautiful home design seemingly collides with my call as a Christian. I know that as a follower of Christ I'm called to live for a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one. I know I was created for relationship - with God and others, not to consume stuff. I know this world is not my final home. So, is it right for me to care so deeply about a beautifully curated home?
I'm reminded of the early chapters of Genesis, where God unveiled the most perfect, truly creative ("out of nothing") masterpiece of all - His world. He contrasted light with dark, created colors, texture, pattern, and materials. He built a cosmos of perfection - filled with expressions of His creative nature, the pinnacle being the creation of man and woman. They were made in God's image and were given dominion over God's earth. He invited them into His world as caretakers and stewards and reflectors of His glory. God still invites us (as fallen humans) to be caretakers, stewards, and reflectors - and to be creatives.
I move on in Scripture and find that God gives careful instructions to His people regarding how to build their places of worship - first the tabernacle and later the temple. The writers devote page after page of the Old Testament to specifics regarding the furnishings, precious metals, fabrics, and layout of the house of worship. We find out that God doesn't disregard the beautiful, the well-thought-through, or the details - He values them.
I look even further in Scripture and find that God's promise of careful preparation in our eternal home is reiterated over and over. We know from the book of Revelation that the new heaven and new earth are going to be places of astounding beauty, detail, and perfection.
God in His grace and goodness gifts each person He creates with unique interests, abilities, and passions to be used to reflect His glory. We were created to create - to image our Maker! God is the master Artist - His canvas, the universe. I am but a whisper of His artistry - my canvas, my home.
Curating a beautifully designed home isn't about the exact look I decide on. I could choose from a myriad of styles, colors, textures, and layouts. It's all about the feeling I create. I want my home to exude warmth and welcome. I want people who enter to feel cared for, at ease, and valued. Home should be a place of respite and retreat. Even how it smells makes a difference - which is why I'm constantly diffusing essential oils or burning candles. Inviting smells combined with a visually beautiful space makes home feel like a restful retreat.
My home creates a frame for living life. We spend the majority of our time within our home's walls but the space we create is about much more than walls (and flooring, paint, furniture, decor). Home is the context where we live out our life with the people who are closest to us. Its contents and the way they're arranged and organized have a huge affect on how we feel. A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. Keeping my possessions minimal frees up my time. The less stuff I own, the less upkeep is required. "A place for everything and everything in its place" gives me more time with my family and more time pursuing my passions.
Home design also expresses what's unique about me. If you walked into my home, you would figure out a little bit about me before ever meeting me. Words that would probably come to mind:
Eclectic - I love soooo many styles and cannot commit to just one.
Tidy - Being tidy comes naturally for me - I believe it's genetic!
Neutral - I usually play it safe with color, though I'm branching out!
Uncluttered - I don't keep a lot of knick knacks and take a long time to commit to hanging things on the walls.
Natural - I keep a constant rotation of plants throughout my home - I cannot get enough!
Personal - I try to fill my home with unique pieces - tokens from our travels, pieces I've picked up second hand, DIY projects, and things I've bought at local markets.
Functional - I'm not a fussy person and I certainly don't keep fancy things in my house. Most everything has a function!
A Work in Progress - By no means is everything in our home just the way we want it. We have a long list of projects to accomplish over the next few years. I am a steward and do my best with what we have and what we can afford!
I've come to embrace the fact that taking time to create a home that beautifully reflects who I am is not a waste of time or money or resources. It's not frivolous or worthless. And it's not inherently materialistic. It's an expression of my God-given creative nature and is a way I create a solace for my family.