Introspection: Home

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my home says about me. Does it hold within it my values? What does it say about how I feel about my family, my friends? How does this place reflect my role in the world? How I feel about religion, and politics, and rights, and the city, and the dirt on which we’re built?

I’ve never looked around my home and thought it beautiful. Comfortable, yes. Cute. Sure. Coming along. Definitely. I recognize that my home is in a constant state of progress but that I have no innate talents when it comes to decorating. I will be surprised if my home is ever featured between the covers of the likes of Style at Home or House Beautiful. But, I’m beginning to realize that my home is so much more than the beautiful things it contains. I’m sure you’ve heard this quote:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to beautiful.

I don’t believe it.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a nice idea and something I believe interior designers should take into consideration with each and every client they work with. But if my home is a reflection of myself – something I truly hope it is – this idea falls short. I am not always beautiful. I am not always useful. More importantly, there are things that are important to me or important to the Husband that are not always beautiful and not always useful. I am not about to hide those things in a space that is meant to be completely and utterly us.

For example. I am a voracious reader. Problem: I don’t find books to be a particularly attractive way to decorate a room. Ah! But they’re useful! Except that they’re not. I read a book once and I’m unlikely to pick it up again. And yet, our home is full of books. I’ve toyed with boxing them all up and dropping them off at the nearly thrift store, filling my bookshelves with pretty trinkets instead. And yet, I can’t. They are neither beautiful nor useful, and yet, I love them. I love them because they are part of me.

I would like to refocus. I’m stepping back from the goal of creating a beautiful home. I’m leaving William Morris behind. Rather, I want my home to be passionate. I want it to be a place that reminds us what we care about. I want our home to be a place in which we can be grounded, in which we completely and utterly know who we are. In which we, husband and wife, support each other wholeheartedly, and from which we reach out to offer care and support to those around us.

Home begins and ends with the people. I’m sure no one would argue when I say that home is so much more than the beautiful things a house contains. So, this is my new vision for my home: to be intentional about allowing it to reflect all that I – that we – believe, know, care for, and desire.

Who knows what that looks like.

0 thoughts on “Introspection: Home

  1. My house is full of books, but unlike you I am a re-reader. (Except for maybe my university textbooks) I think they are beautiful and useful. You can use them for pressing flowers. Holding open doors?widows (see above university text books). Plus looking at them on my bookshelves makes me happy, and if that isn't a useful and beautiful thing I don't know what is.

    Janet Levis

  2. Oh, I know that my opinion about the beauty of books on a bookshelf is not shared by everyone. My best friend loves how they look. Books are merely are an example of something I care about that, for me, fits into neither the beautiful, nor useful category, but that have an important place in my home as something that reflects my personality.

    Thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad I'm not the only book lover!

  3. I agree! I want my home to be passionate and a place where reflects me and Franky's personality and style. We have a lot of books and university textbooks in our room but i categorize them by color that way I try to make them look kind of "pretty" around our room.

  4. I agree! There are most assuredly things in my home right now that aren't beautiful, but that's okay because they are in the home I've made for myself – the one I'm filling with second hand furniture and DIY projects because that's what I enjoy, not because a shelter magazine told me it was 'in' or popular.

  5. Such a beautiful post Nette, I think it's most important that our home reflects US, who we are, at all times , but I can't deny that I am a fan of that quote by Morris!

  6. I have a similar problem with parting with books. I keep the ones that hold meaning, even if I know I will never read them again. I managed to pack up one box of books this year to donate – a little part of me wanted to scream when I saw the staff immediately throw them into the recycling. I knew I didn't need them anymore (mostly old editions of textbooks), but I felt that someone could use them. I wasn't able to get them back, but I'll now ask questions before making a donation to make sure the items will be put to use.

    Also, this post made me think of your Husband's Cosmo Kramer print.

  7. first time stopping by and i would have to agree.. although i love many of the homes in magazines i personally want our home to be us.. pretty of course… but us through and through. looking forward to reading more.

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