Build My House Thursday - A Place for Beauty


If the voice of your home were an audible sound, what would it say today? That may sound like a silly question because, unless your home groans with age or creeks from the fierce winds that blow against it, it probably doesn't speak aloud. But don't think for a minute that your house doesn't have something to say. In fact, it speaks loud and clear to all who enter it or even those who pass by. 

"Naturally, our homes don't speak with words per se," writes George Andersen in his book Silent Witness, "but they subtly reveal so much:... interests and priorities...the place God has in our lives...our concerns for others...the value that we put on our we spend our time. Thus, our homes become 'silent witnesses' to the multifaceted work of God in our lives."

If my home speaks silently, with subtlety, of my God, I think I should take the time to make sure the "voice" with which it speaks is a lovely, beautiful, and appealing one. Even though its voice may be silent, my house can speak with harsh tones or gentle ones, arrogance or enthusiasm. It can whisper gently or yell at those who enter its doors. And it can soothe, encourage, and bless, or it can criticize, unsettle, and disturb. How? Through its silent voice, its tone.

When God created the earth, He created a beautiful world that both excites and calms, energizes and puts to rest, invigorates and soothes. How? Through a multitude of elements of beauty. He used color, texture, fragrance, sound, and even tastes to create a lovely voice for all that He wanted to say to us through His created world. And we can do the same with our homes. Humble as they may be, we can use those very same elements to create beautiful atmospheres through which our stories and the story of our God can best be expressed.

It takes effort to make things beautiful. Quite honestly, it also often takes money, time, and know-how.

I'm not a great decorator. I'm the kind of interior designer who pours through magazines, examines other peoples' homes, and watches the home and garden channels just so I can select a color of paint for a room. I don't have the kind of budget that allows me to hire a professional decorator, redo an entire room at one time, or reproduce a designer's show room in my home. Like most of you, I have to do a little decorating at a time, copy the designer showcases with a dime and a little creativity, and even create a lot of my own decorations.

I sewed my own drapes ...


and used the leftovers to make accent pillows. (The pillows are used in different rooms than the drapes so my house doesn't look like a home interior line of Garanimals! I least I hope it doesn't...)


I took drapes from my last house and re-sewed them into cushions for my rocking chair. 

And I recently made coasters for my potted violets from scraps left over from another project.

If I want to make things beautiful in my home, I have to be resourceful. I'd love to hear how you have used your limited resources to create loveliness in your environment.

I tell you all of this so that you'll know I don't claim to be an expert on creating beauty in our homes. I do the best I can, but no one has ever asked me to come help them decorate their home, so that tells me I still rank as an amateur. But I do make beauty a priority in my home.

Why? Because I believe my family and our guests deserve a little beauty. Quite honestly, my teenagers would probably say they could care less if things look nice, but I don't believe them. Even if the folks in your home never tell you your homemade curtains look nice or the flowers on the table are a lovely touch, I think they reap the benefits of those pretty touches. Beauty speaks to the soul even when we're not really listening. 

Like I said, I'm no expert, but I thought I'd offer a few pointers that might jump start your creativity and get you thinking about how to kick up the beauty meter in your home a notch.

 (Did you see my mini-daisy arrangements? Nice and easy!)

 (When I first painted my kitchen green, it turned out a distinctively "hospital green"! That wouldn't work! So I had to paint the whole thing again. But it was relatively easy and cheap.)
So now it's your turn. What do you do in your home to create a little beauty? I really want to know!

And one more thing. The book I quoted earlier by Georg Andersen is a lovely home decorator book by a Christian and for Christians. I gave you a link to get it on Amazon if you're interested.

Have a beautiful day!