**I am reposting this page because I’ve updated almost every room and I want to have a page on the blog with all the links in one place.
I really want our home to be a haven from the world, a place dedicated to the Lord where we can recharge and also serve others in hospitality. As a homekeeper/keeper-at-home/homemaker/whatever-you-call-it, I think that involves three main realms of responsibility (not including responsibilities as a wife and a mother): household cleaning/organization, decorating, and atmosphere.
HOUSEHOLD CLEANING & ORGANIZATION
For the household cleaning/organization, I turn to Auntie Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter. She has an excellent SERIES ON CLEANING. And she shares a bit on her cleaning philosophy here: We are not about perfection. We are about competence. AND We are about trying to have a minimum of order so that we can pursue the wonder — order in the home, order in our days — wonder in our time together as family and friends and with God.
For the decorating, I turn to Darlene at Fieldstone Hill Design blog. This is just a lovely house, so there really isn’t much that I could do to mess it up decorating-wise. But, if I don’t have a plan, I could spend good money on things that don’t look good together, don’t work in the room, etc. . . . Since nobody likes to waste money, Darlene suggests thinking about your personal design style and writing down a list of words – in order to help you buy only things that you really really love. So when you hold out for the things that you LOVE and DON’T buy things that you just like, even though they were on sale, etc., it saves you money and your house isn’t filled with stuff that you feel so-so about. That really resonated with me. So, now I’m trying to be really intentional about what I bring into the house and getting rid of as much stuff as I can if I don’t REALLY love it. And, I am trying to be patient until I find just the right thing.
Nicole’s Personal Design Style Words
glamorous, sophisticated. For example: turned wooden furniture legs on casters, Carrera marble (I want this for my dream kitchen counters – I even love marble when it is stained and not perfect – it is still lovely to me), crystal chandeliers, and un-lacquered brass fixtures — but only in applications that won’t get ruined by an active family
farmhouse, utilitarian, hard-working, enduring, durable, easy-care (wipeable), rugged matte-finish metals, raw/distressed wood — for furniture items that get USED and abused – like the dining room table, flooring, and seating.
airy, breathes, flows (more of a feeling than any particular color or fabric)
serene, uncluttered, organized, clear surfaces (i.e. no decor items on tables, etc. so you can actually use them without having to clear it off first)
unique, wood (grey, white, medium/natural, weathered, limewash), lots of natural elements, interesting textures
Classic & Timeless
This is a slippery slope for me because while I really do love classics, I do NOT want my house to look like old people live here! I am attracted to a lot of old things, but I need to remember to mix in some modern things to keep it from feeling frumpy and boring (see next). I love carved wood, but I really prefer Louie XVI with straight lines to the easier-to-find-on-craigslist Queen Anne or Louie XV curvy styles.
with Unexpected Touches of Whimsy
So, while I want to furnish my home in mostly solid, neutral colors (gray, beige, linen, leather, wood, etc.), I also want to add pattern/bold color/pattern in TEMPORARY applications and SMALL doses (Darlene calls them punch colors) like fresh flowers, accessories, pillows, etc.. NO patterns or colors on major pieces of furniture (unless it is easy and inexpensive to change when I get tired of it).
ATMOSPHERE & ATTITUDE
Finally, my job is to set the right atmosphere in the home (i.e. have a good attitude). And nothing can spoil my attitude like a spirit of discontentment (which is the same as ungratitude, i.e. the opposite of eucharisteo). So, I remind myself that this world is not my home – my real home is a palace in heaven. My job is to be a good steward of God’s possessions (including this house) while I am here on earth. And I am trying really hard to hold this home (and all my other blessings) with a loose hand because God owes me NOTHING. So, I will live gratefully in this house as long as we live here, and I will live gratefully wherever I live next. I’d rather have a shack built upon the Rock than a palace built on the sand.
So, without further ado, here is our new house!
laundry chute room (Eleanor’s nursery)