Abode {W}

Sunday, August 28, 2011

beautiful, useful, and happy!

Treasures, displayed on a rack built by my husband.
Vintage Fisher Price little people

More little people, and, to the left, Urdu the statue.
 One year, early in our marriage, I bought my husband a little book containing pictures of William Morris wallpapers. We both love his prints, and at the time, lived in a circa 1912 Craftsman style bungalow. We could totally picture the room papered in a Morris print. Now we live in a circa 1979 farmhouse, so the little book sits neglected on the shelf. However, Morris's decorating maxim is still my ideal-"Have nothing in your home which you know not to be either beautiful or useful!" I think this is excellent advice, and always keep it in mind when deciding to buy something or get rid of something.

That said, I think dear old Morris misses something altogether, and that is having things in your home that are not beautiful or useful, but just make you happy! My vintage Fisher Price little people make me happy! The ugly statue dubbed Urdu by my sister makes me happy! The little Maori lodge from my grandma makes me happy! These things are not beautiful, and not particularly useful, but they bring me joy, and so they have a place of honor in my home! And, that is a good thing. I want my home to be beautiful, and I don't want it to be filled with meaningless junk. But having things around you just because you like them is also an important decorating tip. It makes my house a home, uniquely mine.It is not just a canvas to fill, but a place to gather the things and people that I love.

Now, obviously the most important things in a home are the people, and I do not love my things more than my family. If it was all taken from me, I could still be happy. I get lots of reminders that the things I own will not last forever, and that I must hold them loosely. No amount of beautiful objects can remove the sting of a harsh word, no useful object will make up for being treated unkindly. Without love, even the most beautiful home becomes ugly. However, trying to make my home beautiful, and trying to fill it with things that are useful and make me happy is elevating. It helps me remember beauty, and the importance of it in our lives, both internally and externally. Those little things in my home that make me happy serve as a reminder to me that happiness (and love) are what make a home, not beauty or usefulness!

1 comment:

  1. I agree! I have an old print that hangs in my hall, it doesn't 'go' with anything, but it makes me happy. I smile everytime I look at it. Our homes Should make us happy! xx