An Interior Life

I can not remember a time when I did not take great pleasure in crafting interior space. Back before Instagram and DIY blogs were actual paper things, called catalogues and magazines. My mom, like many women got lots of shelter magazines, and as soon as the mail came in I was on the sofa, studying the pages and imagining myself living inside. Eventually it wasn’t enough to imagine myself inside the pages. I wanted more, I started looking the these images not as fodder to fantasize, but as inspiration to action. How could I take what drew me to the image of a room, and create that in my own world, in the place I was. That hunger has never left me, and I have come to the realization that I don’t think it ever will.

To be quite honest I have never really been this candid about my love for interior design and decorating. I could never really reconcile my desire to love and serve God with my passion for interior design. It always seemed so superficial to me. As a high school and college student, I wanted to change the world. I wanted to roll up my sleeves and take this broken world head and heal it. I never saw how interior decorating could help me achieve that. I left it behind and told myself it could be a hobby, but that I really ought to pursue a profession that did a greater service to humanity. So I studied counseling. I think I did a lot of good as a counselor, I walked alongside people going through major crises and played role in helping them get to the other side of their difficulties, some of them with stakes that would mean life or death. I saw people go from deep despair to true happiness. However, I never felt at home in my work, I always felt out of place. I couldn’t understand how I might not belong there, I was doing good, doing God’s work. What was wrong.

Regret over not studying design often crept into my mind. But every time I would remind myself that interior design was in no way necessary to the betterment of the world and therefore was not worth pursuing. I know now how naïve I was. I could never stop thinking about decorating rooms. Slowly began to realize that I needed to give more stock to these recurring thoughts of interior decorating. Getting married, purchasing our first home and having children really woke me up to this.

Now I had my own home. I went to work decorating, I found so much fulfillment in making beautiful space for my family to live in and for us to entertain our friends. Friends would compliment my home and tell me “you need to do this” implying that I needed to offer my services to others. I saw that I didn’t need to be on the streets of Calcutta so to speak in order to do good. St. Mother Teresa herself says if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Creating a beautiful home really felt like an act of love. I truly believe that putting beauty into the world for others to see is an act of charity and a sign of hope. I really don’t mean to over spiritualize the issue, but I think it is worth acknowledging that there is great need for beauty in the world, and that if we want to change the world, one way we can do that is to create beautiful homes in which we can raise our families and entertain guests and friends. So when they leave they will be renewed and looking forward to coming again. I could say so much more about home, and beauty, hope…but I will save it for another day.