The Priceless Elements of Home Design are the feelings you have when you are home, the intangibles that mean more than appearances.
Have you ever gone into a home that is a bit messy, cluttered or even dirty, but you left feeling loved and warm? I have had this experience many times. It even seems that those people that are a little less concerned with the appearance of their home are actually more willing to have guests anytime.
I have wondered why this is. The answer is that a home a lot like a person. The outward appearance is not as important as the heart.
I will give you a personal example. We recently had a guest over. I spent the latter part of the day cleaning and preparing the meal. I actually like having guests because it motivates me to get more done than I would do without the pressure. The problem didn’t arise until the guest was soon to arrive. I had sent the girls done to the basement to play while I cleaned, but then they came up and started to spread stickers all around the living room. Everything was clean and tidy, but I was starting to stress out that all the work that I had done would be lost in the five minutes before the guest arrived as the girls were playing. I know it sounds silly, but in the moment I felt justified in getting upset with the girls. I tried to control everyone and it didn’t work. Right before I should have been feeling warm, fuzzy and welcoming; I felt uptight and frustrated.
When our guest finally arrived, the girls ran to the door and showed their excitement, smiles and kindness. I lagged behind trying to reset my mind. My children taught me about the heart of a home…love, kindness and sincerity.
I’m not saying that cleaning your house is a waste; I am just saying that my guest probably wouldn’t have noticed the stickers on the ground, but he likely noticed that I didn’t come to the door right away. The feelings in our homes are just as important as the appearance. I want my family and my guests to feel comfortable, welcome and eager to stay. That is not just about the perfect accessory or quality of furniture; it is about the love and patience in my heart. Real life doesn’t look like a magazine and no one that lives in your home or you invite to your home will expect it.
So, all of you home creators, learn from your kids. Focus on showing enthusiasm for life and keep learning how to improve all the aspects of your home…especially the heart of the home.
Here are a few things you can do to create more heart in your home.
Fill your home with positivity and hope.
You are the gatekeeper of this truly sacred space. This is where you rest, dream, eat, and play. Friends and family will gather for games, laughs and good food. This is your classroom where children will learn lessons they will carry for a lifetime. This space should be a safe place where love and hope are dominant. Think about all that takes place in this space, and consider if it deserves your attention.
I have to tell you that this list is generated partly from the things that I need to work on to make my home a more joyful place.
- Language: How are you speaking to each other? Speak softly and kindly. I am not good at this. My family I grew up with is generally loud and each of us was convinced that we are right about nearly everything.
- Gratitude: Are you taking note of the things that you are grateful for? Are you expressing your gratitude out loud?
- Love: Are we expressing love for each other through service and kind words?
- Learning: Are we taking time to learn and teach? Your home will be filled with goodness if you continue to progress towards your personal and family goals. Try not to miss opportunities to teach a truth.
- Faith: Are you living out the beliefs that you hold dear? What is one thing you could do to improve your faith? Do you connect to your “source energy” often?
- Time: Are you spending your time wisely? Is your time spent on the things you love most like your family, your personal development and service to those in need? How much time have you spent on media? It may be time for a media fast. Are you focussed on you instead of others?
Make it function for you. Keep it Real.
- Everyday: The things we do the most of in our space is eat, sleep and work. Do you have places for each of these basic tasks that are functioning well? For example, can you find the kitchen tools you need when you need it? Are you constantly picking up the same item and placing it in a different spot each time? Does your bedroom help you feel rested and peaceful before you go to bed? Is there a place your mind can be distraction free so you can focus on the work that needs your attention?
- Learning: Is there a space to read and relax. It is so important to invite yourself and your family to slow down and learn more about themselves and the world around them. Maybe it is a reading nook under the stairs or a desk and chairs in the basement. Wherever it is, let it be an organized space with all the tools you need to learn.
- Entertainment: To feel real satisfaction in your space, you need to be able to invite others in with pride and joy. Get out your best dishes, scrub surfaces, put on your favorite outfit and celebrate life. Don’t wait to share the goodness of your home.
Focus on People
For you. Everyone needs to have a place where their mind can be clear to meditate, brainstorm and and rest. My most productive space is in my bedroom and in my front room because there are strict rules for these spaces: No clutter, no kids, and filled with beautiful things that bring me joy.
For Your Spouse. The core of the family and a heavenly home is a man and wife that love each other. That relationship deserves some spaces. I have three little girls, so I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel like there is a space for Cody and I to be man and wife, but I have been surprised at the spaces that bring us joy. The kitchen is a place where we cook and talk, dance around the kitchen and tease and question our children as they eat on their barstools. Cody will kiss and hug me in front of the children and our kids see our love in this space. It does not matter what size your kitchen is; it is a gathering space and as long as you are there together, it can be a haven.
Another obvious space for a marriage is the master bedroom. We don’t really have a “suite,” but it is where we can be alone together without interruption–sometimes. We have had some really great conversations and have been able to enjoy being close without Jane saying “Gross” or Brooklyn screaming because she is mad that Cody is holding me. 😉
For your children. Honestly, since I have small children, my whole house is made with them in mind, but there are some designated spaces that I created for them. One space is their reading space. This space has books accessible to them, a comfortable place to read and blanket. The other space is the playroom in the basement. All of their toys have a place in the basement and they have space to play, rest and run. They love to roam around and they carry their toys all over the house. Creating a space for them to be authentic is a way to show your love for them!
Where does your family spend most of their time?
What memories are you making in your home?
How do you feel when you are home?
Comment below and let me know how you keep heart in your home.
Here is a beautiful song that speaks of the authenticity of children and the messy beauty and wonder in raising children. My favorite line: “The first things that she took from me were selfishness and sleep. She broke a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep. She filled my life with color, canceled plans and trashed my car, but none of that was never who we are.” Also, check out this blog post I wrote about motherhood.