I am a great believer in enjoying the simple things in life and finding beauty in the small moments. A cup of tea in my favourite mug, writing in a lovely notebook with a nice pen, watching a storm-filled sky from the comfort of my old armchair wrapped in a cosy blanket. All those routine details that we can so easily take for granted or even rush by without a pause. Yet it’s worth considering that even the most mundane and everyday items can add a little beauty to our days.
Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are
Unfortunately in our consumer driven society I think the line between need and want is becoming increasingly blurred and we are filling our homes with more and more ‘things’, much of them mass-produced. While some of what we want may purely be for its aesthetic value I often find myself searching for the most beautiful version of what I actually need (at least within my price range!).
Why hurry over beautiful things? Why not linger and enjoy them?
I have discovered that I would rather pay more for one good quality item that is aesthetically pleasing (and, if possible, is bespoke and supports individual artists) than have multiple items that are generic and merely functional. It is also an unfortunate truth that many mass-produced items carry a cost in terms of human suffering at the production end.
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
I think that beauty is essential for the soul’s wellbeing, even if our personal definitions vary. If we can find the functional in a form that we also find beautiful then even the most mundane of tasks can be made more enjoyable. While I am not suggesting that anyone spend three times as much on a pretty designer kettle than a non-designer version that does the same job (nor am I equating ‘designer’ with art), I do think that to enjoy beauty where we can find (and create) it lifts the soul and brings joy to our days.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
There may well be items in our home that are neither beautiful nor useful but are kept because of sentimental or monetary value, so it could be argued that William Morris’ statement is far too simplistic. Yet I wholeheartedly agree with the principle. Giving thought to the small choices in our days, including what we bring into our homes, can add to the quality of our lives as well as the lives of those that may benefit from our decisions. Whether you are an artist or not your home is your sanctuary – may the possessions you fill it with have a purpose for being there and if possible may they be beautiful.