Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Creative Home as Sanctuary

"Who loves the rain
  And loves his home
  And looks on life
  with quiet eyes."
        Francis Shaw

Currently, I am finally beginning to beautify the home I've been living in for the past one and a half years.  Having painted an accent wall in the living room, all the bathroom and the bedroom, I find myself daydreaming constantly of colors for the other rooms to match the existing ones, which are in gradated shades of soft yellow, from palest pale to deepest gold.  The kitchen backsplash is lime.
Running through my head also are ideas for furniture and accessories, preferably trash-to-treasure and artful, respectively.  My favorite accessories would include pictures, pillows, plants, books, lighting, hanging paper mobiles and gifts from friends.  All of these items are related to my interests.

But more important than all these thoughts is that I want a space that is not only beautiful, but also imparts a feeling of stepping into another world, a visual sanctuary where I can always feel safe and relaxed and where visitors can feel welcome, happy and stimulated by their surroundings.  I want them to leave with a sense of having learned more about me based on my surroundings.

Ambitious? No.  I feel that a comfortable and beautiful home is a major component in contributing to one's sense of well-being.  It has been a life-long need that I must be surrounded by beauty at home in order to be fulfilled.  When I was younger, I thought I was odd in this strong need for beauty and comfort, but seeing other lovely homes in real life and in books changed my thinking.

Some favorite books in my library include "Feeling at Home" by Alexandra Stoddard, "Sacred Space" by Denise Linn and  "HouseBeautiful Art, Decorating with Art at Home."  The respective websites are and  There is much valuable information in all three books about  making your house into a home.  I was inspired to push forth in my beautification quest after reviewing them once again.

After painting the mentioned rooms, I began looking for fabric to make a special bedspread and pillows for my bed.  I also hung from the middle window panel five small hand-painted elephants suspended on golden thread.  I love waking each morning and looking at them because they were given to me by a friend, and were packed away in boxes until recently.  Objects like these become treasured friends over time, an integral part of your home.
 Step by step, I hope to have made good progress toward creating the type of atmosphere I desire in my space.  I will keep you posted.  Please feel free to comment on your own beautification adventures, be it home or garden.