A little of what we love

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. — Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Up to my elbows in spring cleaning and redecorating this spring, I’ve been thinking about how we humans express our style and creativity in our homes.  I like to imagine that our rooms are 3-D scrapbooks of our lives, honoring the places we’ve traveled and the things we love. My favorite homes to visit are always the ones that truly reflect the personalities of their owners.

Even our bathrooms reveal a little of who we are. My own bathroom, for instance, is barely big enough to hold a sink, tub, toilet, and cast-iron radiator — yet I still try to make it an inspiring place in which to begin the morning.

It doesn’t take much to thrill me. In my private world, the smallest details illuminate and elevate the ordinary.

Shopping at Target last month, I discovered a set of bathroom accessories that spoke to my love of all things French. (I’ve been lucky enough to visit France twice.) The pieces coordinated perfectly with the color scheme, and helped me organize the toiletries I keep near the sink. And I even found a cool bar of French-milled soap at Anthropologie. My husband made me a copy of a vintage print of the Eiffel Tower to hang on the wall — and voila! — the tiny space now looks like a powder room in a Parisian hotel.

Do you have spaces in your home that showcase your interests, travels, or creative spirit? Which room is the best expression of who you are? — CL

11 thoughts on “A little of what we love

  1. I love how so much of our lives becomes a form of personal art, like how we decorate our homes. I’d have to say my family room best expresses my self. It’s got dark paneling on half the walls, topped with a swirling vine wallpaper (my garden passion). Built in bookshelves are chock full of all types of books (the writer/reader in me). There are comfortable upholstered chairs and brass floor lamps conducive to reading, or just relaxing and listening to music on the stereo, filling the space with the art of song. And there’s plenty of table space to set down that cup of java! That would have to be “my” room.

  2. My half bath is where I display the seasonal towels that always tempt me at Kohl’s. The entire condo receives attention for major holidays, but the half bath celebrates all of the special days with pretty towels and candles!

  3. I am a big nester. My home is my haven and I love having it reflect my style and my family’s interests.

    Currently, I am sharing a bathroom with my husband, but I am wishing for a small bathroom all to myself.

  4. My kitchen. It’s oh so country cottagey. Eat-in kitchen, cafe curtains, Glass-front upper cabinets, coffee mugs hanging on hooks, cafe curtains, old canister re-purposed cooking utensils holder, and baskets galore serving all kinds of purposes.

  5. My home office. Relatively organized, but it could use some spring cleaning, too. But that will have to wait until I’m done with my two classes this semester! Then I want to switch around some furniture and recycle some old papers, files and books.

    By the way, Cindy, I love your metaphor that our homes are like 3-D scrapbooks! Lovely idea!

  6. My bathroom is one of my favorite places and it is decorated in a way that makes it feel like a retreat, spa like, but still cozy.

    My bookshelves and color choices in my studio space are the best reflection of who I am, where I’ve been, even a bit of where I hope to go.

    I don’t know if you have noticed when you’ve been by my place, but Paris is high on my list of favorite places too. I have had the good fortune to spend two New Year’s Eves there and recently, my honeymoon where I took this picture.

    http://giftsofthejourney.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/paristhen-now/

  7. There must be something in the air, I did the same thing this weekend!
    And I wholeheartedly agree, a home should reflect the people who live there. I think every room in my home speaks of me.
    I like it to say, ” Come on in, sit down and make yourself at home.”
    I would love to see your home:)

  8. Cindy, I love your quote, and I have been cleaning over here lately, I feel I keep emptying out what is already minimized and yet it is fun and rewarding and I am readying to welcome in the new! So I it is great! 😉 I only want that which I love! Right now I am enjoying ‘clear space’ for it most represents me … and then hopefully the artistic journey will begin to trickle in soon with a few items as they connect with the heart. hugs to you! And I love french items and cuisine also! luv Jenn

  9. Love the quote , Cindy. So true.
    The paint colour looks perfect.

    I’ve been feeling the itch to do our kitchen, but the budget is a little slower on the idea. I think I’m going to revamp our bedroom. I nodded a big me too when you posted about yours. Ours is so the extra tv room, laundry holding spot, too small bed, etc. I’m collecting inspiration…

  10. Add me to the “nester” category.

    It’s a toss-up between kitchen and living room. In my kitchen, there are cooking utensils and cookbooks arranged on the counters, ingredients of all sorts in the cupboards, and meaningful memorabilia displayed on the window ledge overlooking the little secluded garden behind my house.

    But my living room is where I have my cozy library area, complete with comfy chair, more memorabilia, and a view of the lake and mountains to the north.

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