Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Interior Decoration, Part 1

Chapter 5 - Interior Decoration When I talked about Chapter 4 I mentioned that I had felt kind of lacking in the drawing department, but that doesn't really compare how much I lack in when it comes to interior decoration! Thankfully, Mrs. Schaeffer defines 'Interior Decoration' as:
...anything we do with the place where we are living for any length of time at all. p. 66
I can relate to this statement since I have attempted to do something starting in my teens with my bedroom, college dorm room, and then after getting married every house we lived in, even when I don't have an 'eye' for it. I have to admit this hasn't been an easy thing for me to do and since we have lived in mostly rental homes it can be very challenging. I would like to think though that I have accomplished in a small part Mrs. Schaeffer's advice when she says:
This place should be expressing something of yourself. It should be communicating something of you to your visitors, but it should also satisfy something with you. You should feel 'at home' here, because you have made it home with something of yourself. p.66

When we lived in Texas we lived in a small house owned by the church we were working in. This was not the nicest house and when I first walked into I almost cried. Thankfully, the pastor's wife, who was a wonderful decorator came and brought us paint for the walls and papered the bathroom and helped me see the possibility that it had and make it our own.

While living there my husband decided to he was going to paint the cupboard doors in the kitchen and removed them off top cupboards. Well, for various reasons the whole time we lived there he never did it. So I lived with all my dishes piled on the shelves for any guest to see. It wasn't until the last year we lived there that I finally realized that I should put them on display like in a store and it was truly amazing the difference it made.  We then had a group of men over for dinner and when they saw the cupboards they all wanted to go home and do the same thing. (My husband came out looking like a genius, though I did tell him that didn't excuse him for not putting those doors back up!)

I have collected thimbles since my early teens and outside of when I
was in Bible Collegethey have been displayed everywhere
I have lived.

I think moving quite a bit and renting a house brings a set of challenges to it that can make interior decorating seem futile. When you are looking at paying $20 for screws in the wall you really think about what you are going to put up in your house. There is also the limitation of what paint you can use. One of my biggest frustrations is having a piece of furniture that was needed in one house and then moving to another only to find that no matter what you do you can't find a place for that piece of furniture, or picture, etc. Right now I have a box of apple items that hung in my kitchen from our last house that I haven't been able to find the best place for in our current home. In fact, now that I think on it my garage is full of items that I think I just might need when we one day can buy a house. There are a few things that have gone with me for a big part of my journey.


My kitchen/dining room table was bought before we got married and
it still is going strong, though it doesn't look very nice. 
Since we only had bought five chairs we have had to add
another non-matching chair to the table. When we
have guests it is either eat around, use the piano bench,
or put the kids' in the garage.
(Picture taken Jan. 2012)
For me, interior decoration has looked different in every season of life, but in the last few years I felt like I've had more of sense of what I like in home decor, but I am going to save that for a second post since I've become very long-winded on this topic.

I am linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris.

More from this series:


  1. Despite your disclaimer, I think you are putting into Mrs Schaeffer's ideas/suggestions. Like the thimble collection. I think the kitchen/dining table is the.most.important. piece of furniture in our homes ~

  2. I agree about the rental homes but I love the story of your cupboards. A change of perspective and voila! art or at least decorating.

  3. What IS it about this chapter? I also feel that I need to do a 2nd post. My first post I kind of poured out my heart and feelings, and didn't really address the book. I relate with so much you've said, about moving a lot, about renting, about the futility of decorating a space that doesn't work with your stuff, with limited $$, limited options. You seem so cheerful though. That's great! This is one of the areas where I struggle a bit with covetousness. It's so useful to see happy families with bits and pieces of furniture, piano benches around the table -- but lots of loving people to fill the space! Yay!

  4. I like your story about the kitchen cabinets. Sounds like you were ahead of the times, because taking the doors off the cupboards is all the rage now! Isn't it amazing how a small thing like rearranging the dishes can make such a big impact? At no cost.
    And a gallon or two of paint can give new life to an old room.
    I think you captured the spirit of Mrs. Schaeffer's ideas of interior decoration beautifully. Thanks for sharing!



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