You may have heard it said that “beauty will save the world,” but can beauty really help during a global pandemic?
While it can’t cure physical disease, beauty can bring healing to a world struggling to hold on to hope and see God in the midst of darkness. It reminds us what it means to be human — beauty reminds us what we were made for.
And because we are all still spending a lot more time at home, where better to cultivate beauty in your life than the space where you live?
Bringing more beauty into your home doesn’t necessitate a trip to an expensive home goods store — a few simple and meaningful actions can fill your home with more life and light.
Create daily rituals
Having daily rituals brings order to our home, grounds us in reality, and helps to better dispose our hearts and minds to recognize, receive, and be transformed by beauty.
If you’re not one for keeping a planner, don’t worry. Establishing daily rituals doesn’t mean you have to stick to a rigorous schedule of your day. You can create a sort of rhythm for your daily activities in your home by choosing to do them with intentionality and purpose.
Consider establishing a morning routine that starts your day on the right foot or an evening routine that invites you to put down your phone and pick up a book. You can even make your afternoon cup of coffee a daily ritual by taking some silent time to prepare and enjoy it.
Make sure you incorporate rhythms of rest and renewal throughout your day, especially if you now find yourself working from home. We need leisure in order to live a beautiful and meaningful life.
Nothing brightens up a room or rebels against a culture that celebrates productivity more than a vase of fresh flowers.
Flowers don’t offer anything “useful” to a home; rather, they give the observer a simple opportunity to delight in something. Flower remind us to (literally) stop and smell the roses.
You can pick some up some flowers next time you head to the supermarket for pantry staples, buy them from a local farmer’s market, or even pick some from your backyard. Make sure you change the water in the vase or jar when it starts to get cloudy so you can keep the flowers looking fresh.
Play good music
Playing good music enlivens every corner of your home.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that music is the universal language of humanity. Beautiful music speaks to the very heart of the human person and leaves us captivated. It makes the truth — about humanity, God, and everything in between — radiant.
Don’t just listen to music because it “has a good beat.” Play music in your home that invites you to explore life’s important questions and that helps you more clearly recognize goodness, truth, and beauty.
Turn on a record while you’re cooking. Create a Spotify playlist. Or expand your musical horizons by listening to new genres or even learning an instrument. Make good music the soundtrack of your life.
Displaying paintings, sculptures, or other forms of visual art in your home can not only bring a unique flavor to a space but can also give you a way to make transcendental values and ideals real. Art is a way to depict invisible realities such as hope or grief or longing — bringing these visuals into your home allows you to dwell with these realities.
Unlike listening to music or reading books, having art adorn your home is a more tangible and ever-present form of beauty.
You don’t have to cover your walls with expensive original art or facsimiles of the great masters (though you totally can!). You can often find some lovely reproductions at a thrift store or maybe passed down from a family member.
And if you are currently quarantining at home, you can take advantage of the free virtual tours currently offered by many museums around the world so you can enjoy some of the finest pieces of art from throughout history right from your own living room.
Set the table
The kitchen is often called the heart and soul of the home. In our American culture, however, we often view it as a pit stop — a place to get fuel to go about our work.
Your kitchen or dining room table is meant to be a space for connection and revitalization, so don’t neglect these spaces. Add beauty to your home by taking the time and effort to make mealtime special.
While you might not be having too many dinner parties during this pandemic, you can still take time to set your table with lovely dishes, a nice tablecloth, or a burning candle for softer light.
Consider picking a new recipe from that cookbook collecting dust on your shelf, or find a dish that will cook over the course of several hours. Take joy in the ingredients you choose for your meal, and revel in the aromas they produce as they simmer on your stove or bake in your oven. Reclaim mealtime as something to celebrate, savor, and enjoy.
In the past, your home might have served as a place to catch your breath as you went about your busy life, but now that you’re spending more time there, give some thought to investing in the space. During this season of social distancing and uncertainty, cultivating beauty within our four walls is an investment in joy and peace.