Making a Beautiful Home by Rayia Soderberg

I’m always inspired by women like my friend, Rayia Soderberg, who make all things beautiful.  No matter where she goes, Rayia leaves a trail of beauty and inspiration behind her. So as you can imagine, I’m delighted to have her on the blog today.

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Making a Beautiful Home
By Rayia Soderberg

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work is our hands.”
Psalm 90:17

The Bible is filled from beginning to end with creation, design and beauty. God delighting in His people and expressing it through glorious creation. Gifting us with wonder and designs too amazing for us to comprehend.

Dwellings are important to God, as we see so clearly in the Old Testament when he gave very specific instructions for the design and building of his tabernacle and temple. Every detail and item not only served a purpose, but were made to be beautiful.

He gave Adam and Eve a garden as the very first home here on earth and Jesus said he is preparing a place for us in heaven. He has and is still creating home for us. Because of that, I believe creation, design and beauty is important work for Christians.

It is one of the many ways we can emulate our heavenly Father. As wives and mothers we have the privilege of creating a world within the world for our families. Each as unique and personal as the people in them. It is no small task. God created for six days and rested. He knows it is hard but good work. During the sunniest of times, this can be a challenging task. During difficult times it can seem like an impossible one. Right now the world is under quarantine. Everyone is home. Dwellings have become multipurpose, serving as school, workplace and the hub for all activities. Our worlds all just got much smaller. Many of us are stretched thinner than we are used too!

I think now more than ever the above verse is a very important one. We need the beauty of the Lord to be upon us and establish the work of our hands. The work we do now matters perhaps more then ever. We are creating memories and experiences for our children that will leave impressions for many years to come.

How many of us have grandparents that went through the Depression and have stories of their parents creating beauty, joy and memories out of next to nothing. The impression it made on their lives and the lives of their children lives on. Crepe paper flowers dipped in wax for Christmas. Sheets of Jello cut out in fun shapes because it made an otherwise uneventful birthday, something special. Every meal shared around a set table. Dresses and quilts made from flour sacks became treasures. The stories go on and on. Mothers creating as lovely a world as possible with whatever they had. What a wonderful example to us!

Following in their footsteps and giving our children sweet and beautiful memories from this historical time will be a part of who they are and how they see the world. Creating a peaceful and lovely home in the midst of worldwide fear and uncertainty, is a tremendous witness to our children and those around us.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

“She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

Not sure where to start or even if you can? God delights to answer prayers!
Ask God to establish the work of your hands, and show you how you can create a beautiful home that glorifies him and blesses your family during these difficult days.

One of the many ways to create a beautiful home is with decor. I love decorating and creating beautiful spaces and would love to share some fun and practical ways for you to decorate, design and create beauty during quarantine.

1. Get the kids involved!
In my experience kids really enjoy being a part of decorating and creating. Rotate children on weeknights and have each one in turn set the table “all pretty.” Get out your nice things and enjoy using them!
Maybe let your preteen decorate the mantle. Or try decorating their own room. Now is also great time for kids to create art! Buy cheap frames and have a whole gallery wall of “quarantine art.”

2. Get colorful!
Bring out the colors and patterns. Color naturally brightens a mood and lifts the spirits! Now is a great time to experiment with new colors and go crazy in your space. For some, going crazy might mean adding one color to their neutral decor, and that’s just fine.

This quarantine won’t last forever so don’t feel the need to keep things bright and colorful if that’s not your natural bent, but I think you’ll find it helps for now.

And get flowers! As many as you can afford. They brighten up any space! Faux or real plants help bring the outdoors in and can keep a room from feeling stuffy.

3. Rearrange and refresh!
Keep things fresh and try rearranging your furniture and decor. Everyone is home all the time, so things can start to feel cramped and tired. A reset feels fresh and fun, even if you don’t keep it that way long term. Some ideas for furniture arrangements would be…moving your beds so you have a better view out your window when you wake up. I did this and love it! Arrange the living room furniture to maximize conversation space. Try putting a small table in your living room so there is always a space for creativity even if others are playing a game or watching TV.

Also remember to make room for the kids (and husbands) who are now at home. They don’t want to feel like they don’t have a place to work or play. Make sure there is space for them to be creative too. The only thing worse than being quarantined in your home is being quarantined in a museum!

4. Ask your husband!
This is probably something you’ve all done before, but now is a great time to ask again. If he’s home all the time now, he may have some new ideas or thoughts that would be a blessing to him. He may not, but I bet he’d appreciate being asked anyway. Designing/planning a master bedroom makeover can be a fun thing to do together!

5. Get those house projects done!
Not only will your homes look and feel better but you will love seeing the finished product and how great to cross things off your list!
Paint that room or deck you’ve been putting off. Sew some new pillow covers. Change out the curtains. Hang that gallery wall. Wallpaper (add or remove). Switch out the 90’s faucets in your bathroom. Refinish that piece of furniture. Or make your children something special just for them.

6. Start designing and decorating your home!
If you’ve been putting it off because you don’t have money right now to do the home the way you want to, stop letting that stop you. Your circumstances probably won’t change that much in the next few years, but your kids will. Start creating and designing a space right now, with whatever budget you have! Beautiful doesn’t mean expensive, new or perfect. A beautiful home is a home filled with love and care. Some of the loveliest homes I’ve been in are simple, but personal and thoughtful. They don’t look like they are straight out of a magazine, nor do they look like a giant yard-sale heap. They look like they have been thoughtfully created with love and everyone feels comfortable and welcome in them.

If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself how you would like your home to feel (bright, airy, fresh, cozy, warm, inviting). Then look for examples of different styles (traditional, modern, farmhouse, eclectic, Scandinavian, minimalist) on Pinterest and explore. If you are on a tight budget, search “decorating on a budget” and you will find a host a great ideas to get you started.

7. Have fun with it!
Don’t get caught up on decorating rules. Now is a great time to experiment and play around with ideas , try that thing you’ve always wanted to try and have a good laugh at any mistakes. Work hard, love your family and smile at the future. You are doing kingdom work!

I hope those ideas spark some inspiration and help keep you motivated during quarantine.

May the Beauty of the Lord shine upon you and establish the good and faithful work of your hands!

Love,
Rayia

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