“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.”Isaiah 32:18
God wants us to be content and secure in our homes. Certainly, this involves so much more than the brick and mortar, or the knick knacks that aline our shelves, but those, too, have a place in the peace process. I cannot work in a cluttered workspace. Yet, my home has fallen short in this department on more than one occasion… especially as I have gotten older. Clutter has taken over and my “style” has reflected my attitudes of “tired” and “run-down”. Plus… I’m cheap. Depressingly so. We have been blessed with an adequate bank balance but I cringe every time I make a “frivolous” purchase. Could I make that cheaper? Could I get it second hand (even if we spend all the money we save on gas travelling to get it?) Do I really need that $10 candle even though our house smells of slightly skunked dog? It’s a funny little debate I have going on in my head… on one hand I crave the Fixer Upper farmhouse decor and the designing trends of HGTV, and on the other, I once again accept the 80’s hand-me-down furniture with hopes to refinish it into a more modern, shabby chic piece…someday. Am I alone in this conflict? Help a girl out… tell me you all struggle with this too!
I share this inner turmoil with you so you will see how delighted I was with one of this month’s books on my review list. Home Made Lovely by Shannon Acheson popped up in the early fall on some of my blogger-friend’s feeds and I instantly wanted to get my hands on it! Number one, the author is from Toronto, Canada! (which is important because her resources are accessible here, in Canada and don’t have to be shipped in from the US!) and she is a Christian decorator/entrepreneur (which means she balances her work with her faith). Let me tell you, the book did not disappoint! I read it from cover to cover. Yes, read her words, not just looked at the pretty pictures!
And there are pretty pictures. It’s a great coffee table type book, with a hard cover and thick pages… the kind of book you could give as a housewarming gift or wedding shower! Still, it was the balance of the book that I was impressed with. True to decorating do-it-yourself form, Acheson includes a 3-step decorating process on finding your style, looking at colour wheels and furniture layouts, but her book also includes being grateful for the home you have and sharing hospitality… no matter what the state of your home.
Chapter 3 is dedicated to well, dedication. Acheson shares how to fill your home with written scripture (with plenty of examples and resources!) as well as how to have a “house blessing”. The hubby and I did this for our current home, way back when we first purchased it, and I can tell you, we have seen God bless in our home, in our neighbourhood, and in the friends we have shared it with. It’s a pleasant addition to a “decorating book”.
The final chapters include some easy-to-make recipes and some descriptions on the gift of hospitality… again balancing faith with creating pretty table displays. Honestly, it has me craving dinner parties and breakfast brunches with my neighbourhood ladies! (Stupid Covid-19 Pandemic!) Maybe I need to pull out the fancy dishes for the teenagers? Naaaah.
And so my friends, I’ve been candid with you on the state of my house before (see these posts: The Green Debate, If the Shoe Fits, or How Much is too Much? ) and you know enough about me to appreciate my, ahem, frugality, shall we say? But I am turning a new leaf! We had a new shower put in our basement recently (finally… thanks again to the pandemic!). It’s forced us to “touch up” some baseboards and molding… not to mention tackle the dust layer leftover from drywall sanding…maybe we should paint and think about guest soap… or try and achieve the spa look with teak tiles from Ikea (this is tip number 36 in the “75 budget decorating ideas” chapter!!). Yup, I’m inspired! Stay tuned … because the hubby just ran panic stricken at the thoughts of another home renovation. And I am sure decorating will lead to some interesting muses to write about. Join my in this adventure! (perhaps this is a good time to suggest signing up for my weekly muses via your email inbox??) Click here if you want to see me miserably fail at making my home lovely!