Many of us wear a lot of hats – wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend—and often one of those hats is a job outside the home. But at the end of the day, we all have a common destination we call home. Home may be a house, an apartment, a basement, or a bedroom. Wherever it is, it is your home and you get to decide if it is a place of peace and restoration or simply a place to exist between activities in your “real” life.
Homemaking is not Donna Reed (oh, I just really dated myself) wearing pumps and pearls and making sure the kids look spiffy to welcome home the hubby with a hot, made-from-scratch dinner. Nor is it creating a magazine-worthy decor that could be featured in House Beautiful where nothing is ever out of place and you always eat out because you don’t want to mess up the kitchen.
Homemaking is defined as “the establishment or management of a home” (dictionary.com). In practical terms it is creating and keeping a place of comfort and rest where your heart feels at home, and that is going to look very different for each one of us.
Take a moment to look around your “home” and think about what it says about you.
Does it reflect you, your likes, and your interests or the most recent decorating fad that you thought was how your home is “supposed” to look? Do you see order or chaos? Does it call you to peaceful rest or is it simply a place to drop off the remnants of an activity, shower, change, and rush out to the next activity?
There are two definitions of home (dictionary.com) that resonate with me: 1) “the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered”, and 2) “any place of residence or refuge.” For me, home is a space that has been lovingly created (and is continually being created and recreated) to be a place of rest and refuge.
So how do you move from uncomfortable to restful, from chaos to order, from stopover to abode? Here are the first three of six keys that I have learned over the years:
1. Homemaking is a continuing creative process. The rental duplex that we live in is not at all like the first apartment that we had after we got married or the first home we bought after our first child or the townhouse we moved into on our oldest son’s first day of kindergarten or the home we lived in for almost twenty years and raised our three sons. I’ve gone through “decor phases” of various styles and colors, and have probably driven my family nuts at time. But now as a fifty-something, I have grown to realize that it is really is about peace, rest, and comfort. Even with that discovery, my home is not stagnate. I am always making little tweaks, additions and subtractions, to create and maintain greater peace and comfort.
2. There really is no right or wrong. Now there are some basic rules of physical and spatial balance but trust yourself to recognize them. When you put a table created from an old painted milk can next to a modern sofa, does something in your brain clang with discord or is there visual rest in the contrast? It’s okay to mix new and old, antique and modern, glossy and matte, manufactured and homemade, country and contemporary, cottage and traditional. It’s all about the feelings that the are created by arrangements and vignettes, and whether you like it.
3. If you don’t like it, remove it. This one can be a challenge. It seems there is always that one item that was a gift from a well-meaning friend or family member that just doesn’t fit. But you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, so it continues to find a place in your decor even though you don’t like it and it disrupts the restfulness of your space. (Or worse, you hide it in a closet and only display it when the giver comes to visit.) When your colors and style change, it’s okay to remove what doesn’t work. If the giver asks, kindly explain that it no longer fit so you gifted it to someone else so that it could continue to be enjoyed. To be honest, keeping what you don’t like results in clutter and dissidence, and it is not worth losing the peace and calm you are trying to create.
Homemaking doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating. It’s all about finding your comfort zone. Tomorrow, I’ll share three more keys to creating your nest.
Blessed to share my heart 4 home!