I am well aware that when most of us hear or see the phrase “home is where the heart is,” we may give an eye roll or imagine the fifty hobby lobby signs with those words plastered across them. However, I am a staunch believer that your home can often serve as a reflection of your heart. Granted, I admittedly view the home in a more existential way than the average person, but I think there are lessons within this that all of us can glean from, regardless of where you are on the home styling spectrum.
Most of us fall within the following categories when it comes to the way we view styling our home: we feel that our home looks and feels exactly how we want it, we feel like our home does not look like how we want it to and don’t know where to start, we don’t really care that much about home styling, or we don’t want to invest in items if we are not yet in our “forever” home. My hope is to bring a perspective that can speak to each point on this spectrum so that we can all feel more envisioned to creating a true sense of home that reflects what is in our hearts in any season of life.
In the world we live in today, we are inundated with all kinds of trends and ideas for how to style the home. While having these outlets as inspiration can certainly be helpful, it can be hard to identify what your true style is that actually reflects who you are. Even when I was a kid, I always wanted to rearrange my room and style the items I had to create a better version of my personal style. Since I moved away from home, from my college dorm room to my current home five moves later, I have only learned more about my personal style as I have learned more about myself. There are things that I can picture in my mind that I used to style my first college apartment (particularly two large red and glitter chevron paintings) that make me cringe, but it was all a part of the process of discovering what my style is. In the same way that you discover what styles, cuts, and colors look best on you over time, potentially after making some more regrettable fashion decisions (look back at your old MySpace pics for reference), we can also learn over time what home style is best suited for us. Note that this is likely going to be different than those around us and that is okay – in fact, that is ideal. If you have found the items for your home that make you happy and reflect your own personal sense of style that is true to you, then that is what matters most.
For me personally, I recently saw the term “classically eccentric” as a home style, and I instantly took to it. I desire for my home to be full of classic, timeless pieces that will stand the test of trends that come and go, but also including eccentric and moody touches that reflect my personality. I have lived in my current home since 2019, and just now feel that I have the cohesive look I want – for now. I have found that the highest praise I can receive when someone is in my home is “this home is so cozy” because I desire for my home to be a place where people can feel at home. To be fair, I am just now feeling that I have a clear idea and lane of what my true style is, and that has been a process of seeing ideas or inspiration, trial and error, and some personal introspection.
While I am a huge proponent of taking the time to discover what your personal style is as you
discover more about yourself, I am an equally strong proponent of taking the time to make home wherever you are, even if you are not in your forever home. While I can definitely see the perspective of not wanting to invest too much into a space that you know won’t last forever, I feel that is not the best way to live your life. If we are just waiting for the next thing or the next season to create a sense of home where we are, we are missing out on the joy of creating home where you are with what you have. You do not need to have a lot of money to do this – in fact, I pride myself on being a frequent patron of Dirt Cheap and Facebook Marketplace. It just takes a conscious investment in discovering what style reflects your heart, and how you can do that with what you have – even if you know that you’ll only be in that place for a short season.
When you create home where you are, you are creating a place of peace where your heart can be at rest. To me, that is something worth doing in any season, because I am not trying to wait to be at rest in my home until I finally move into that European cottage of my dreams. I want my home, whether it is 800 square feet or 8,000 square feet, to be a dwelling place for peace and ultimately the presence of the Lord. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that your home can also be a reflection of the heart. Please do not think that I am saying that if you don’t have a handle on your home style your heart is on the fritz. For me personally, I believe that since the Word says that God has chosen to dwell with us, we are His dwelling place (Ephesians 2:22). With that said, just as I want the home of my heart to be a place where God’s presence can dwell, I want that to reflect into the home that I live in – a place where the people of God can dwell and know that He is near.
The way that I do this is by allowing Him to speak to me about who I am and what I want in a home and ultimately inviting Him into the process, even if that means inviting Him into the aisles of Dirt Cheap as I am trying to find a bargain. This also looks like trusting Him with the process, believing that as I open my heart into whatever home I have, it will only help to prepare me for my forever home, just as He is doing that in my heart to prepare me for my forever home with Him in eternity. I understand that some may think it is a stretch to connect the home to the heart and then to God, but it truly is a place and process where I feel His nearness and hope that as you ask these questions and sort these things out, you can experience it as well.
Whether you are a full-blown stylist or a full-blown novice, I encourage you to take a step back and reflect on what the heart of your style is and what you want the heart of your home to be. This is not just for those that feel they are creative – it is for anyone and everyone, just take it one step at a time, one piece at a time, and enjoy the Lord’s nearness in the process as you create the dwelling place that is within your heart into your home.