senses + design
I love good food, y'all. ( I know, I know, what does this have to do with interiors? Just go with it for a second...) I love the way food jazzes up tastebuds, scents my home, the visual of dishes prepped with color and texture in mind. And then of course, sitting down with people, engaging in something that is so necessary to survival, the thankfulness of every meal, realizing that you have been given something that so many people are lacking even in the modern world. I don't want to take food for granted. You know the "there's nothing to eat!" when you're staring into a full fridge type greed. That's for the birds.
I have always loved good food, and in the past several years I have found that the distinctive ways food pulls attention to my senses, great design and decor implementation can do the same in their own flavor. Anything from a lush bedroom where you share naps with your babies and sweet moments with your husband, to a dining table backdropped with heirloom silk curtains. There are stories to hear, candles to smell, glorious meals to eat, textures soft for baby feet or roughly hewn by calloused hands, and a color palette established by a generous God to lavish it all with. Spaces I don't want to take for granted, or find myself wishing I had more to fill it with than what my season is providing. Similar to the "there's nothing to eat" type thing, but maybe even more profound in the ways that shaping and designing your home can shape and design gratitude that spills over in everything seen, done, created, heard, spoken, felt, and tasted there.
Evan and I co-led a small group this Spring, one night raising the question, "what makes a comfortable environment?" In that moment I just felt the heaviest Holy Spirit deposit that it is the ways in which we interact and fill the senses that the Lord has already established in us, that lend themselves to comfort and a connectivity. Maybe it was something I needed to hear as we were preparing to make a move, something whispered so I would buck up, look past the boxes, and see instead the gratitude that overflows when moving into a new season of life in a new home. I just haven't been able to shake that concept since.
Think about all your favorite places and moments in life, I imagine they are all tied to a subconscious sensory overload. I'm not talking only about the things money and Anthropologie's home section provide. I remember being on a mission trip in Belize during high school and having one of those said moments: sitting in a leaky, tarantella friendly, wooden, and stilt raised hut, rain pounding the tin roof, howler monkeys screaming from neighbor trees, dim reading lights lighting up silhouettes of bodies around me. A small bunkbed maze of friends and Belizean locals, talking about the ways we experienced seeing real poverty for the first time up close in person that day, and how the village women made tortillas better than any sweet corn we'd ever tasted. Moments full of senses alive, spirits vibrant.
An essence I hope my home will capture. I have been doing design decision making for our most recent move based off of sensory benefits, and sticking to what I like, not what trends are telling me to be lovely and appropriate. It feels right. If you're in a design rut, or feel uninspired, lacking in energy when home, give it a try. After all, basic holiness has the power to permeate both things and people, and if we can somehow engage that concept via the gift of our God given senses, why shouldn't that start in our homes?