Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Surrounding yourself with Peace

I tweaked the larger tea table in the Study by adding the vintage typewriter reproduction statue and a plant.

I missed chatting on Saturday but I ended up being away from home most of the day.  When I arrived home late last night, it was so nice to grab my pillow and collapse stretch out on the sofa to relax after a very long day.

I've put in a lot of thinking and doing and frugal shopping through the years to make the look of our home peaceful.  I can't say it has always been a home full of peace as fallen humanity and a few drama queen cats have lived here.  Which is why I need it to have a feel of peacefulness.

A long time ago in a universe far far away... oh, no... that was the movie we saw last night.  Ummm... a few decades ago, like in the early 1980s, I began keeping a file of magazine pages and photos that represented rooms I loved.  Designers will tell you not to over think your reaction until you have a good amount of such magazine pages so I probably had a minimum of twenty-four or so collected (adding up to dozens later) before taking the time to make careful ponderings.

What jumped out at me immediately were the colors I was most attracted to (different in the kitchen than other rooms), my preference for the way the Brits hang their artwork, Early American furniture, the occasional Primitive pieces, the look of lace and the silver collections in Victoria, bright yellow and red in the kitchen, candles, vintage books, and plants... lots of plants.

Of course, today you can do the same thing on your Pinterest board but I'm old fashioned enough to keep my magazine page file folders.  Through the years, I've changed a little... throwing away some of the much dated 80s era photos and including the occasional cottage style article.  However, mostly I've stayed surprisingly the same in what I find beautiful.

I am fortunate that the furniture inherited from both mothers were all in styles I love, which made our home look nice when they were all included.  But mostly what makes our home warm and cozy are the objects which have been collected for decades at garage sales, thrift stores, etc.

There are a few pieces of "good furniture" purchased during those years but they offer only the bones of the design.  The real Beauty is found in the details and it is in that search that the real creativity (and may I add, the fun) was found.

If there is one lesson I've learned over the years as I made the home my favorite creative canvas, it is to add what I love and everything will pretty much work together.  I also have to remind myself that mixing styles is not only permissible but creates a home that uniquely reflects our family.

Each of our homes create a backdrop to the kind of life we want to live.  Not always the life we are living but by creating a place of Beauty and Peace, it is far more likely we will add to our days what we love to do than if no one was giving such surroundings any thought.

For instance, I love the idea of afternoon tea but it was pretty much impossible when life was crazy busy.  Then there came a time when illness forced my days to slow down but somehow afternoon tea rarely happened.  But when my younger child grew up and went to college and got married and I cried and then realized, wait... I can have his room!!!... I decorated it for Peace, and Creativity, and Making Art, and... the taking of tea.

Not that you have to wait until your children all grow up to have afternoon tea.  I did collect teacups and teapots (often for a dollar or two each) and I did at times enjoy afternoon tea earlier.  But there is something about having a Place for such things that reminds me to enjoy that time often.

You may have already guessed that I must be surrounded with books.  My "Close Friends" are all in special bookshelves but I have hundreds of books which are well loved acquaintances.   We once had a friend helping us move and after the twentieth or so box of books, he looked at me and asked if I'd ever heard of the library? 

I haven't had many plants lately, as much as I find them adding so much Peace to a room.  A large number of magazine pages in my files show rooms full of plants.  We used all of our "plant budget" on the garden, and the deck, and the front porch.  But we've made a decision these past few months to purchase a small plant now and then to help clean the air and we get Beauty as a bonus.

I hope you know your importance as an artist for that is what you are.  Whenever you use your budget of time and finances to create a warm and cozy home... a refuge from the storms of life... you are doing so as one who needs to create... being filled with the breath of the Creator of all things.

Of course, when you live with other people you will make your home comfortable for all... taking into consideration various preferences.  But even then it will be uniquely yours as my home is uniquely mine.  I need to take into account what my husband likes and he reminds me of what... he does not. 

Just this past week I put a decoration I had in the small bathroom in a box I had going to charity as he reminded me he absolutely hates it.  We compromise on dislike but I don't keep in mutual rooms what he hates.

I hope when you walk through the front door of your house or apartment or mansion or cottage or castle or hut... that you can look around and sigh and feel yourself relaxing.  If that isn't possible, create one corner of a room that has the same affect and when you need to feel cozy... you head for that chair with that table and that lamp and that book waiting to be finished and hopefully a well worn Bible and a cup with a much needed beverage.

We lived in apartments for much of our early years of marriage and I had my favorite corner of the sofa that was "my special place".   Now that my children are raised, most of the house is "my special place" in which to create.  Only an abundance of photos bring back memories of the younger kids and pets who were part of our various homes in those years.

My house mostly stays the same but the accessories change now and then.  I've been known to change the artwork around to freshen the line of site in each room.  Sometimes a new old teacup is found at a charity shop or I include a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store which are inexpensive.

Just as in cooking, the decorating of homes is something we are always learning about and tweaking and trying new things.  Until that Day when the Master Carpenter shows us our Heavenly Home.  I have a feeling when we see that house, we will know we have truly arrived home.


Anonymous said...

I love seeing pics of your cozy home. I, too, used to collect photos of rooms I loved but mine turned out completely different than yours. When we took vacations I'd choose what I thought I loved - cabins with dark browns and wood - and I realized that what I really, really need is white and light. Who knew?! I'm just glad that I figured it out before we could remodel our home. : 0)

I got tired of the comments about all my books ; 0) so we built in bookshelves in the master bedroom for my stash. Ahhhh, much better!! A library is wonderful but they can't keep all my favorites on hand! They have to cull out all the time to bring in new. I cull too but I keep what I LOVE! Pam (SD)

Anonymous said...

Lovely, true thoughts. Gail

Lee Ann said...

I love the photos of your home. Warm and cozy

Anonymous said...

Loved this!! Especially the paragraph where you said, "I hope you know your importance as an artist for that is what you are........creating a warm and cozy home...a refuge from the storm...doing so as one who needs to create.....being filled with the breath of the Creator of all things." Beautifully put! Our homes really are a reflection of us. I never thought of myself as much of a decorator, so have always found inspiration in magazines. Last year while pining for Spring, I kept buying small houseplants! I needed something green and growing! Finding out they are good for cleaning the air was a bonus! I'm thankful my hubby loves books as much as I do, too, although we have run out of room on our bookshelves! Guess it's time to weed out the ones we no longer need to keep. Missed your Saturday Pantry Post yesterday and wondered if you were sick. So thankful to find out that wasn't the case. Thanks for sharing.
Laura C. (WA)

Vee said...

I don't always say "ahhhh" upon arriving home. I am likely to feel that way here. I remember those commercials about mothers having to fake sadness when the recently sprung chick returned to find his or her room made over. When I finally had a spare room, I turned it into a sewing/craft room. Sometimes, I think it should have remained a guest room. I never have a place for guests.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We are so much alike! I love this post!

Sandi said...

I'm curious! How do Brits hang their artwork?

Deb said...

Enjoyed your post, Brenda...especially the last line about arriving Home. That will definitely be an aaahhh moment!

I think our home is quite relaxing. Most people refer to it as "homey." Actually, in my mind's eye I would love for my home to look classy and try to add a few things that equal...classy. But the next guests arrive and say, "Your place is so homey." Or, "I love the homeyness of everything!" seems I've achieved a place of relaxation..hopefully with a slight touch of class.

Debby said...

"my preference for the way the Brits hang their artwork".....I've been wondering what this means? Hmmm...I've tried to "Google" it with no luck. I hope you will kindly shed some light on this for me!!!

Unknown said...

I really enjoy reading your post! Thanks for sharing so lovely, their things that we are doing it the same.