“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
I am a firm believer in this philosophy. It’s the guide I use when going about my daily tasks, decorating our home, or considering purchases for our home.
I didn’t always abide by this philosophy in recent years. But I’ve got a better grip on my identity, style, and comforts now (all part of growing older), and I’ve come to appreciate objects that are beautiful, practical, functional, and those that bring me joy.
Some may consider analyzing items of the home to be unnecessary or selfish, but I see it a different way:
My home is my comfort. It’s my private space. It’s where I work, sleep, eat, play, cry, sing, pray. This environment has to be able to withstand all of the activity that goes on within it. For that reason, I don’t think it’s unnecessary or selfish to desire objects that bring me peace, joy, comfort, and hope; that help to ease pain and cure discomfort; that allow me to fully be generous and gracious and welcoming.
A few examples of useful, beautiful swaps in our home —
– glass amber bottles: when I have to clean the house, using homemade cleaning solutions in glass amber bottles makes cleaning surfaces and messes more enjoyable (or rather, not so mundane) simply because 1) the cleaning solutions are non-toxic, creating a healthy environment for all, and 2) an amber bottle looks and feels lovelier than a plastic one when it sits on a table or the countertop.
– glass storage jars: when I’m cooking meals in the kitchen, having all of our pantry items in glass Ball jars not only makes it easier to see the actual ingredient and the quantity of it, but it also makes meal prep a little less stressful because the pantry is more uniform and organized.
– cloth hankies: using cloth hankies in lieu of tissues ensures that we won’t get sore noses, and they are much less wasteful!
– beeswax candles: a safer, healthier alternative to traditional scented & chemical-filled candles, beeswax candles make a simple and lovely addition to our home decor because their gold color is so warm and inviting.
Intentionally seeking beautiful items does not mean that I should go out and spend a lot of money on things that make me happy — personally, I believe quite the opposite is true! I adore thrifted, used, and secondhand items that still have a lot of life left in them and would love to tell their story in our home. In addition, I’ve found that handmade and homegrown items (like cloth hankies, rolled beeswax candles, homemade meals) are more meaningful, offer the opportunity for creativity and skill building, and almost always hold a special place in someone’s heart.
Over the years, I have rid myself of excess clutter and “things” to instead make room for updated items that are more beautiful, longer lasting, serve a purpose, and are functional enough to be used often. Most of our home is filled with thrifted treasures, giving new life and love to pieces no longer wanted or needed. Collecting these items has taken years, slowly but surely, just as it should.
Do you agree with the quote above? Do you enjoy making your home beautiful with items that bring you joy and spark inspiration? What are some of your favorite items in your home?