One of the things I really appreciate about The Creative Family, aside from the great practical ideas on how to create as a family, is the general mantra to keep beauty and creativity in your home. I believe Amanda advocates simple living in her own unique way, because the things she recommends are not things a family can do if they’re filled to the brim with television, too many after-school activities, and other busyness.
A complicated life doesn’t have time to slow down and create.
In order to create as a family, to make your home more beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing with your own creations, you have to make the time to do it.
That’s why for me, I set aside one block of time each week to create – just a few hours, really. Creating relaxes me, fuels me, and exercises my thinking. I can attest from experience that I am a better wife, mother, and friend when I take the time to be creative.
Now, “creating” can be a whole slew of things, which is really part of its beauty. The options are nearly endless if you’re searching for ways to imbibe a bit more creativity into your everyday family life. Right now, mine are:
- graphic design, and
These are the creative arts that tend to come easiest for me, so this is what I gravitate to when I need to relax and use my hands. Everyone is different, and we each have different skills and passions.
This brings me to one idea in The Creative Family I truly appreciate – an inspiration board. This is common practice in the interior decorating world, as well as many other fields of artistry. But Amanda suggests creating your own inspiration board in your home that you can let evolve and metamorphize over time, free of boundaries and limits. In short, this is a little area designated just for you to place the things that inspire you.
Mine is a simple bulletin board. I removed the cheap frame so that I was left with cork, and I wrapped it in sturdy denim fabric. It is propped against the wall of my desk, resting just behind my laptop – an ideal viewing area for me as I write and design.
Next – I simply hang what inspires me. I tend to thrive when I celebrate the seasons, so right now, mine has a very summery feel. I”m also itching for the fall already (yes, I know it’s July), so there are a few items that keep me jazzed about the upcoming cooler weather. There’s family photos, a snippet of typography I admire, Flickr photos I found and love, and magazine clippings that use great color and design. It might have a flower my daughter picks for me, a pretty wine label, or a quote I read and jotted down.
The beauty of inspiration boards are that:
There are no rules – whatever inspires you, go with it!
- It’s free, or at least very cheap
- It’s an easy creative outlet that has no end
- It instantly adds color and art to your home
- It’s a good idea for the whole family – Amanda advocates letting the kids have one, too
Your inspiration board can be anything – a cork board like mine, a wire with clothespins for hanging, an empty frame you hang on the wall and fill with whatever, a cookie sheet with magnets. Maybe even a refrigerator door.
The beauty of this idea is found in its simplicity. It forces you to slow down and appreciate beauty in everyday things, and then to enliven your home and make it more of a haven. It provides a sacred place for the things you find lovely, and are just waiting to blossom into something usefully creative. It aligns with my favorite quote and homemaking philosophy – “Have nothing in your home that you do not find to be beautiful or know to be useful” (William Morris). The things on my inspiration board, to me, are beautiful.
Do you have a space in your home designated soley for you? What do you do with it? If you don’t, does an inspiration board sound like something you’d enjoy? What’s keeping you from doing it?