Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club: Interior Decorating, Remix

Express yourself not only in selecting things to buy, not only in your choice from many things displayed in a store, but aso in what you can produce yourself, with some degree of originality, craftsmanship or artistic creativity.

hidden art of homemaking clothes strewn

So the other day I developed this thought about expressing personality in unconventional decorating from chapter 5 of Hidden Art of Homemaking, but there was another quote that caught my attention and cut me to the quick:

Interior Decoration, as I intimated before, is not just one’s artistic efforts, but is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are ‘decorating’ with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched or broken furniture – it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future.

hidden art of homemaking boots

Well, Mystie’s misty future includes a someday where the following scenes are not part of my interior decorations. I do know that I should be working toward a better grip on my housekeeping, but at the same time I must also find contentment on where I am now and what is reasonable.

I can’t even always blame the children. It is my own boots that are just as likely to be left out and in the way as much as anyone else’s. But it’s much easier to get mad and frustrated with everyone else’s left out boots.

hidden art of homemaking laundry basket

While not decorating with strewn clothes and books and dust and flour is a lesson I am still working on and still have a long way to go toward mastering, along the way I need to maintain perspective and see the beauty in the mess, as well. It turns out that this second lesson is even harder than the first.

round button chicken

This is one reason why I enjoy participating in Like Mother Like Daughter’s “Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real” link-up. It gives me the occasion to look at my home with fresh eyes and see the beauty and potential contentment even in those scenes that might otherwise cause my eyes to narrow and my brow to furrow. “Around Here” and “Reading Room” are my two favorites in this exercise.

hidden art of sisters

Do I see the sisters playing together and forming a relationship that will last their whole lives?

Or do I see the oatmeal that’s left from when the children got their own breakfast because I didn’t get up on time (the day before)?

Though the camera’s lens makes it clear what is the focus of this picture, so often when just walking by and taking it in, I narrow in on the crumbs, the toys, and begin the litany in my own head of #fail, #fail, #fail.

I need to get out of my own little narrow obsessions and see the big picture, the children having a grand time with one another and who would love to share the moment with me, as well, if I’d only pause to see them and smile.

hidden art blanket waterfall

But, instead, I walk around and huff.

I see a hazard, a mess, a stream of blankets that I had just folded and put away now littering the stairs.

The children see a waterfall, an adventure.

Is it really worth getting myself all in a tither? Can I let it go, knowing it will be addressed during the afternoon clean-up time?

Can I wait until then without being annoyed every time I see it in the in-between time?

Can I say, “My hidden art, the art hidden there in this home and even in this waterfall, is raising happy, secure children. That affects my home decorating style, and that’s ok. It’s not a big deal.”

Blow it out. Get a grip. It’s a good life.

Live it. Love it. Own it. It’s ok.

Even when I spend several hours cleaning up, putting things back into place, straightening surfaces and closet shelves, and feeling like those hours hardly made a difference, can I still own this hidden art of raising children enough to love the signs of life more than I wish for Legos to not litter every nook and cranny?

decorating with legosbookshelf scenes

Is my art a well-decorated, clean house or is my art making a home for this handful of other people who will make themselves evident in said house?

My art is growing people, and it’s ok when that art leaves its impression around the home.

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  1. Exactly!

    Plus I’d be more worried about the status of a family whose home is so pristine that it didnt look lived in

  2. I ADORE this post! I am learning this very lesson as we’ve come to the end of our first year of homeschooling…. a situation in which three of us and two large dogs are in this military base housing (read: never enough room or storage) ALL. DAY. LONG. I’m trying to replace “the litany in my own head of #fail, #fail, #fail” with “you know what? WE LIVE HERE. This is NOT a magazine photo. We LIVE here. And anyone who chooses to see the mess instead of the people can turn around and walk right back out the front door (including ME).” I’ve even been known to go back out the front door and come back in, choosing to focus on something positive instead of a mess. Thank you for the reminder!!

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