Last week I shared about my struggles to be authentic both online and off, and shared a concrete tool you can use if you'd like to meet your authetnic self. It's been quite the week, as I sat with the cotnent and actually did the Post-it note exercise myself. I even Periscoped it- which was crazy scary. From all my Post-its, I came up with a few sentences that in a sense summarize all the sentiments expressed in my exercise:
Family life at home is beautiful.
Motherhood is beautiful.
Speaking truth is beautiful.
Your home life can be well designed.
Your work life can be well designed.
Your life can be well designed.
Those six statements really sum up the core of who I am, what I find easy to talk about and what excites me. So much of what fuels my interior design business is the concept of families thriving at home. Through my 2-hour consutlations, I use my strategy skills to ensure that this home is going to serve a family so well, set them up for functional success and set the stage for making memories and finding joy. I'm kinda obsessed with this notion!
Sitting with all this content (and reading all these books on the content of vulnerability- Brené Brown you are amazing!) I've realized how much authenticity translates into home decor as well. When I look at my favourite rooms on the internet or in my portfolio, they all speak LOUD AND CLEAR about the people who inhabit it. Your home should really tell the story of who you are as a family- if you looked around right now what story are you telling?
If you'd like your home to reveal more of you, here are 5 ways to make your home decorating more authentic.
1. USE MEANINGFUL PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographs are an amazing way to tell an authentic story in a space- and they are probably the fastest and simplest way to infuse originality and share something meaningful. This is a shot from our home office. Above the desk is a photo of the interior of the church we got married in, but from the 1950's. My husband stumbled upon this photo in archives and we both just love the reverence and simplicity of the image. This image depicts a part of the liturgy that is very sacred, and it's meaningful for us to look at when hard at work at the desk. Photographs are a great way to tell a family's story as you can print them as large scale or small scale as you like, and at a relatively low cost- this project cost about $75 for the oversize print and store bought frame. Also consider a grouping of shots that can illustrate family history or meaningful memories.
2. COMMISSION ORIGINAL ART
My husband does a yearly trip with university students to areas in south and central America, working with local communities to do volunteer initiatives. It's amazing work, and changes lives, and when our first child was 14 months we had the experience to go alongside Josh and a group of students to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was an intense time- I was very challenged by the poverty I saw, and completely transformed by the faith I witnessed in people who had so little. I knew I wanted to have something in my home to remind me of the experience, so I had my friend Becky Simpson create this encaustic painting of the Rio skyline. Original art is, as the name suggests, original! And if budget allows is a beautiful way to tell your story.
3. USE HEIRLOOM FAMILY FURNITURE
This dressing table belonged to my grand mother, my mom, to me and now to my daughter. There is something so beautiful and meaningful about a furniture piece that has passed through the hands of several family members. Consider changing hardware or giving the piece a new coat of paint to make it work with your current decor.
Books are another relatively inexpensive way to tell the story of who you are. Coffee table books not only look beautiful, but the titles and textures tell a compelling story of your interests and values as well. In my own living room it's always a mix of decorating, religious, and kids' books : )
5. Meaningful handwritten quotes
I love typography as art- but let's keep it real there is A LOT of cheesy stuff out there. But, when done beautifully, elegantly, and by hand- like this gorgeous print by Dear Lillie, I think it can speak quite literally of your family's values and what you stand for. It can act as a family motto of sorts displayed in a public space, or a motivational quote in an office or bedroom.
I'd love to know what you do in your home to express your authentic story- please tag me on instagram @lisacanning with an image of your own space!