Thursday, June 6, 2013

Decorating: What's the point anyway?

I recently picked up a new-to-me book written by Deborah Needleman, the founding editor of Dominio magazine, titled The Perfectly Imperfect Home.  Within sentences of the introduction, I was hooked!  It quickly became my favorite shelter book to date!

Although much more eloquent than anything I could ever write, I felt as though someone had extracted my thoughts and put them on paper!  Seriously, this book is packed FULL of insightful, practical ideas that really capture what decorating should be all about (in my humble opinion of course... ;)!  I highly recommend you pick up a copy.  There may be others out there, but I've never come across another shelter book that so beautifully captures the philosophy of decorating in a way that is relevant to anyone.  And the illustrations?...absolutely gorgeous!

Here are two quotes from Ms. Needleman found in the introduction that immediately struck a chord with me....
"The point of decorating, as far as I can tell, is to create the background for the best life you can have."
"Decoration can be life-enhancing.  It can make dinner parties more fun, kids happier, relaxing easier, talks more intimate, guests at ease.  And to think decorating is often considered frivolous." 
In a few short sentences, she exposes the revelant reasons "to decorate" and mentions a common misconception as well.  Before I can in good conscience continue writing a blog about lampshades, antique furniture, and buffalo check well as how much I *love* all of those things, I feel it necessary to address this misconception and share my perspective regarding how decorating fits into the big picture of my life.

When I first began to contemplate writing a blog, I had one main concern holding me back.  The stigma that decorating is a trivial way to spend ones time seems to be widely accepted.  Even I have questioned its worth on occasion.  I've often wondered why of all the passions in the world was this the one that I was given.  Seriously, how does a love for decorating translate into something meaningful?  Why wasn't I given a passion for medicine to save lives or for educating children other than my own??  Those pastimes seem much more worthwhile as far as the potential scope of an impact on the world.  When my thoughts lead me down this path I have to stop and remind myself of these passages from Romans and Colossians.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 NIV
It is also my belief that as women we are hardwired to create a "nest" to nurture our families.  Proverbs 31 is an entire chapter speaking of the virtures of a "good wife".  A window into the essence of God's design for women can be found here whether or not "wife" fits your job description.  The woman described in this chapter is a pretty tough act to follow, however, the larger point, as I understand it, is more about her intention to honor her family and her heavenly Father with each "task" she preforms.  All things considered, it seems it's not always "what" we are doing that matters, but the "how" and the "why" behind our actions.  Decorating may be only one facet of the "nest", but to characterize decorating as "frivolous" seems to contradict an aspect of the way women are designed.

Obviously, I decided to forge ahead with the blogging plans because I really do feel it will be a great way to record our achievements!  As an added bonus, I find the writing process incredibly therapeutic!  I never realized that writing down my thoughts could somehow organize the chaos that shows up in my brain from time to time!  Who knew!?  However, even with all the positives, the dark cloud was still looming above.  Would someone come across this blog and question what is most important in my life?  I suppose, given it's stigma, that is a hazard of speaking on this topic.  Truthfully, it is important to me, but maybe not in the way one would suspect.  It absolutely is a "backdrop for my best life" which includes the things that *are* the very most important to family, my friends, and my faith.

Onwards and upwards my friends!


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