My husband and I don’t binge on television often, but when we do, it’s something along the lines of HGTV. Whether it’s the gold standard of Fixer Upper, House Hunters, or our latest favorite home renovation show Dream Home Makeover, there is just something about seeing beautiful homes and dreaming about what we might be able to do to ours.
Oftentimes, our desires point to something deeper. They spring from the three transcendentals: the good, the true, and the beautiful. These attributes belong to everyone and are a reflection of God Himself.
So how does a desire to make our homes warm, beautiful, and welcoming reflect a greater truth? What is the basis of books like Theology of the Home or Magnolia Magazine?
In the words of English Dominican Friar, Father Bede Jarret, “The harmonies of music, the appeal of color, the delicious charms of perfume and taste have all been laid under contribution in order to express as energetically as possible the wonderful joy of heaven.” We long for beauty, peace, comfort, and goodness. I think this is why we try to create it in our homes.
Having a space that feels peaceful and aesthetically pleasing can be a helpful tool to grow in virtue, and this doesn’t have to include a major home renovation. It can be as simple as creating an area in your home for prayer or meditation—a small corner set apart with intentionality so that it invites you in to rest. Pick a corner, move a chair into the nook, and add in things which foster calmness and renewal, like a warm blanket, the soft glow of a candle, and a favorite book.
As Joanna Gaines once said, “be intentional with your space. Don’t be afraid to step on a limb and design your home the way you love it.” It’s not about creating spaces that are “perfect” because perfection is not the goal. It’s about creating spaces, even just tiny little nooks, that we enjoy spending time in and bring us and our families peace
And that peace that we create inside our homes will impact whoever we invite through our door. When we open our home to others, we are inviting them into a part of our heart. Our homes are where we do life; it’s a type of sanctuary. People get to know you better by reading through the titles of your books or looking at what you have placed on your shelves. They will find out what you value by the things you choose to hang on the wall or the photos you display. So, oftentimes, this type of interaction prompts a deeper fellowship with friends and acquaintances.
Ultimately, a home becomes warm and welcoming because of the people inside, not because of custom-ordered furnishings or perfectly curated rooms. It is when we greet guests with a smile, and quickly plac a drink in their hand (whether it be water or wine), and usher guests to “come in, come in” that makes a house a home!
So be free to design the home you love, whether this means moving the furniture around, buying a new piece of it, or simply repainting a room. Because our efforts to create spaces that are comfortable and beautiful to spend time in, are a way of bringing comfort and peace to others—a glimpse, as Jarret says, “of the wonderful joy of heaven”.