Our home is the most central outward expression of the love and pride we have for our family and race. Whether we live in a big house of our own, a small rental, or a city apartment, all can be a home of simple beauty that reflects our WN values.
We should make our home a celebration of heritage and family: a place of solace, one which our children can express playful joy, a parent’s bedroom that expresses love and intimacy, and a home we want to share with others. Take a moment to re-evaluate your home. It doesn’t have to look like a magazine article but it should reflect your love of family and pride in heritage. As with most things, the best decorating secrets are simple ideas that work well.
Go out to the walkway and evaluate the house entrance. Is it welcoming? The Amish have not so much in material things but the entryway to their homes is always a bouquet of flowerbeds – at the cost of a few packages of seeds. A simple potted geranium is lovely in an entranceway, especially if surrounded by other contrasting plants. It says ‘welcome’ more than any welcome mat ever could. In other seasons the best option is to keep the entryway tidy, well-kept up and, perhaps adorned with a tasteful seasonal door decoration, such as a wreath.
Open the front door and take a look with ‘fresh eyes’. Clutter is probably our #1 enemy. The secret to really making an appealing decorating scheme is to keep all things orderly and beautiful. Order is such a nice concept yet probably is the most difficult to get the kids to adhere to! Some keep a toy-free zone so that at least one room is not littered with toys. Another idea is to keep a basket in the corner to tastefully stash stray toys that land in the living room. Whatever works!
Clearly, today’s style adapts old with new. Thrift shop finds rest side-by-side with passed-down family antiques on the mantle. Pulling together a real style is personal but usually involves a blend of textures, interesting objects, and a calming color scheme that blend different shades of 3 colors. Paint is the cheapest addition in decorating – don’t be afraid of color. Big throw pillows are another inexpensive way of adding color and texture- and easily self made. Two yards of tapestry can make two pillows or an interesting wall hanging – it doesn’t have to be expensive!
Display your own crafts, found objects, or things that you cherish. This handiwork adds personality to the home. Let your family enjoy the quilts, crafts and paintings made both by your hand and the creations of your child. Additionally, explore and display the richness of our own European heritage- with objects, artwork,and style. A combination of these elements will create the space you will feel comfortable in and reflects who you are.
All family members need to adhere to the “Pick it up– don’t pass it up” way of living together. Mom can’t do everything and we aren’t helping our kids by being their maids. Cups left on tables, candy wrappers, bits of paper cut from art projects, towels or clothes left on the floor or on the back of a chair all can not be allowed. It takes discipline to get the kids to consistently be helpers! They will need a lot of encouragement to stay the course.
Kids rooms can be carefully planned with a theme or just a kaleidescope of childhood things — as long as the room is neat and tidy. Kids should be taught to make up their own beds as soon as they are old enough. This teaches them personal pride. There is no use expecting the kids to put away their toys when they don’t know where to put them! Help them keep organized with under-bed Tupperware-type storage boxes. These things are great!
Books are more important than any TV! Spend what you would on cable each month and amass a library which enriches their imaginations and explores the rich lore of our ancestors. Thrift shops and church sales are fantastic places to find well-cared for books that are fantastic additions to any family library. For children’s books, look for old ones (pre-1970) that contain more positive imagery. Especially recommended for children is the Childcraft set of books, again, the older sets are better. If children have access to such books, creative art materials, and music they will never miss that bastion of the brain-on-stun set, the tv, again.
We are passing down and sharing our view of life with our children. It should display what we cherish — our spirituality, our family and heritage. By creating a home full of pride and love, we create a tapestry of our heritage for our children where they begin to know the greatness of our people’s past and present.