A Little Understanding – Landscape and Décor (part 3)

A Little Understanding – “How-to” Décor and Staging Books

There are so many decorating styles for your home. There’s Rustic, Contemporary, American Gothic, Eclectic, Hollywood Regency, Arts and Crafts, Cottage, Mid Century Modern, Industrial, Traditional, Minimalist, I could go on and on. Actually, I personally couldn’t go on and on but I could have listed more names I found on the internet. The one thing you will find when it comes to the topic of décor, something is always in and something is always out.

With an unlimited amount of money…

…you can keep up with the trends but most of us don’t have an unlimited amount of money. There are two other possible approaches to being on the cutting edge of décor. You can commit to the trendy style that’s in vogue at the time you are decorating, invite people over until it goes out of style, then wait until it comes back in style to invite people over again. The other thing you can try is pick one you like and stick with it, calling it retro when it isn’t in style…

If I wrote a book on décor…

…I would say the look of a house should not be dictated by a style as much as by the use of each room. A formal living room should be just that, formal. A kid’s room should be kid friendly, with limited sophistication and maximum fun. A family room should have as many chairs as the family needs and a layout that allows the family to do all the things the family likes doing. The kitchen should be designed around the limitation of the cooks. Some should be wall to wall microwaves and freezers to store and heat the premade meals that are the main staple of their diet. Others may require restaurant grade appliances and lots of prep room. Of course there is nothing wrong with making a room look good, as a matter of fact it should be encouraged, but form and function have to be in balance, they must be held in tension, at least in my world of interior decorating.

If you are selling the house or making it décor book ready…

…my previous instructions have to go out the window, along with anything that is comfortable, functional or useful in your house. If you like the paint colour chances are it is wrong. If your kitchen works, most likely it needs a major renovation. Your family room should be as family unfriendly as possible in case the buyer doesn’t like families, the living room should look like no one has ever lived in it, and the dining room should have the table set for a five course meal even though most people eat pizza on a napkin in the kitchen. Again, I could go on and on but I think you understand what I am saying.

Décor magazines and home staging…

…aren’t about what it takes to make a house livable, they are about what a house would look like if no one lived in it at all. The quality workmanship that goes into pouring strong footings and foundation do not conform to any known style and certainly don’t look glitzy and glamourous. The supporting beams and walls are hidden by the latest shade of desert fog or marshy beach paint (just made those names up) and are simply forgotten. A book on décor is only going to be about décor, anything else, however necessary, doesn’t make the house look good so it isn’t part of the décor.

A Little Understanding – “How-to” Do Life/Church Books

…If we use the word décor to represent the presentation of who we are as Christ followers and the collective of Christ followers then there must be a need to make us look presentable. I think we can all agree that what people see when they visit our home needs to be a bit better than what we see when we come home, but that’s where the ability to agree usually ends. We don’t seem to be able to agree on what better looks like.

From dirty clothes on the floor to the cover of a decorating magazine and all points in between, what does better/presentable look like? The Christian version of a décor magazine, the “how-to” do church and life books, are often very similar to the all form no function, glitz and glamour of a staged home or the pages of a decorating magazine.

Never let anyone suspect that there is something more to following Christ than an entertaining Sunday morning and a carefree life full of God’s blessings.

Perhaps you are thinking…

I am being too hard on the “how-to” do church and life books. I’m okay with that because I think someone needs to be hard on those who have shown no interest in the structural necessities of the Christ follower and collective of Christ followers. Anyone who makes our Christ following lives marketable and the meetings of the collective of Christ followers into a crowd pleasing performance should be called out for building a house on the sand rather than a firm foundation.

Stay tuned A Little Understanding – Landscape and Décor part 4 will be posted in Febuary 2020.

From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.For more excerpts and quotes from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”


  1. You hardly need my advice. But be cautious about contracting w/ a publisher, even if the process does take time. Anxious to move forward, I self-published w/ a company that identified itself as “Christian” but did little or nothing to market my books, and was later indicted for fraud. As a result, my books are now out of print.

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