This is Day 27 of our 31 Days of Less and More series.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day 1 and check out our overview page to see the topics for the entire month.

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“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel.  Life is art.”

There is absolutely nothing in my house that inspires me more than the collections of things I love—whether it be walls full of beautiful, meaningful art, or a stack of old, tattered books.   We all have made the mistake of buying stuff for our walls or our homes, just because it seemed in style or was the “right” color.  Those things will probably look like clutter in a year or two and end up in a yard sale.  But if we fill our homes with things we love—things that are meaningful and useful and beautiful—then we will begin making our homes a reflection of our hearts.

We want to create spaces that inspire us into becoming what we were made to be.

When we rebuilt our house after the fire, I was very intentional about creating a certain environment in my house.  It took me a while to collect things that I dearly loved.  I was homeschooling our girls at the time (read here about Why I Gave Up Homeschooling) and I wanted our home to inspire learning and thinking and appreciating the beauty all around us.  It’s not perfect, but it does teach a lesson all on its own.  The gallery wall beckons you to create and paint, the workroom begs you to pick up a book and read.

Our homes are sending a message loud and clear.

Have we been intentional about what that message is?  Is it time to rewrite that message with something more in line with our passions and beliefs?   I know it can feel overwhelming to begin.  I’ve started from scratch before, too.  But, it’s so worth the time and effort you will spend in editing your spaces—removing stuff that’s cluttering up your life and adding things that make your house a home.

Your house is not a showroom.  It’s a very personal, living space.  It’s where you are raising children, cooking meals, making a marriage work, making dreams come true.  It’s the most important place you spend your time, second only to your place of worship.  Don’t be afraid to make it your own.  Don’t worry about decorating rules.  Surround yourself with the things you love—things that inspire you to be a better mom, wife, chef, photographer, listener, nurse, lover…………

All of life is art.  Embrace it with full abandon.

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Here are 10 ways to add beautiful, meaningful art to your home:

1.  Make a gallery wall, full of your favorite pieces

2.  Print some oversize photos and mount to foam board.

3.  Frame meaningful prints.

4.  Frame children’s art work. (see the chicken above!)

5.  Shop thrift stores for oil paintings.

6.  Paint an abstract painting yourself.

7.  Tape posters to the wall using duct or washi tape.

8.  Group like things together in collections.

9.  Take everything out of the room for awhile and let the room breathe.

10.  When you put things back into your spaces, edit them so that it only contains things you love.

 Challenge Day 22:  Take a walk through your home and ask yourself,  “What is the unspoken message my home sends?”  Consider following in the footsteps of our dear friend, Myquillin, and pick one room to completely clear the surfaces.  Take everything off of every horizontal surface and leave it that way for 24 hours and see how that feels.  Once you’ve experienced a whole day of clutter free living, take some time to put back only the things you love.  Take before and after photos and share on Instagram or Facebook, using the hashtag #31dayslessmore.

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(unable to source the author of the quote.  any help?)

Be sure to check out Ruth’s corresponding post, Less Surface Clutter.

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Today in celebration of art, we’re giving away a copy of  some great new music by Reeve Coobs – singer, songwriter,  and artist. Reeve’s new album What Love is All About officially releases this week and you can win a copy simply by leaving a comment.  Giveaway closes at midnight. Here’s a little sampling of her beautiful voice!

53 comments on “31 Days of Less and More, Day 29 {More Art} {And a Giveaway}”

  1. I just love that song. As it begins and shes strumming along, I couldn’t quite figure out what kind of voice she’d have but then she starts to sing- and it’s like you feel her come alive. you see her.

    love the song. love the art. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey Edie! -Been reading you for quite a while and enjoyed you at Becoming this year!!

    I would love to have my own copy of Reeve’s new CD! She has an amazing voice, one that is calming and smoothe.

    Have a great day!!

  3. I love your gallery wall, such a great collection. I’m a big fan of original oil paintings, have been filling my house with them for years. I think my love of them began when I was a child–my grandfather taught me house to oil paint landscapes, and I’ve fiddled around with them ever since as a hobby. The beautiful thing about trying to capture God’s creation on canvas is that even if all it ever amounts to is a ‘hobby’, it will forever transform the way you see the world. Because I learned to spend so much time observing the landscapes I painted, I now see colors I would have otherwise missed in the marshes, the clouds, even in the darkest shadows. Cultivating the habit of creating art has magnified my senses.

    I love this girl Reeve’s voice! Never heard her music before, but sure I would love it.

  4. Hah- I just cleared a whole area to let it breathe and give it an artistic, functional, beautiful, family loving reset, and your post confirms the effort and value of the project.
    Lots of little nuggets to mull on in this post…I’m particularly thinking of the importance of place and where we dwell, and am slowly turning over the idea that a sense of being “emplaced” gives way for home to become both a common and sacred place of worship, as well as our houses of worship.
    Had just come across Reeve Coobs on another blog recently – beautiful.
    xoxo
    laura

  5. We moved into our house in February and I’m still trying to figure out the art thing… We had no budget for decor at our old house and I had framed fabric and things like that… but now my philosophy is to save up for what you really love. But what do I love??? (and more importantly, will my husband and I ever agree on it???)… I’m thinking of working on a gallery wall, thanks for the inspiration.

  6. We are in the process of getting our home set up after a move, and I really appreciate this post. It will help me think and decide, for sure.

    Also, thank you for your session at Allume.

    And – thank you for the video. I so appreciate the beauty in her art and voice!

  7. I have a room that I would like to take everything out of and then plan what to put back in it. The room is trying to serve too many purposes and it’s where my “office” is. I, too, am a stacker/piler of paper so I struggle with that as well. But I am holding firmly on to hope. I have a lot of pictures I love, I just struggle with furniture placement which keeps me from hanging the pictures until I know what will be around them, below them, etc. I will keep trying. We’ve only been in our home for 8 years! Ha!

    Thanks for the beautiful song at the end. Her voice is awesome and I love her reaction at the end when all her friends applaud. I think she wipes a tear. She definitely has a gift that’s meant to be shared with the world!

  8. I am engulfed by this series. Loving every second of it. Thinking of putting together your goals for each day to print with some cute color and hang in my office. I want to make sure I am staying in line. I need reminders frequently. Maybe a buzzer or electric shock. Or a 2×4. 🙂

  9. Edie, I’ve been an avid follower for a year now and find such encouragement in your posts. I’m loving your 31 day series. It is such a blessing. I would love to win a copy of Reeves cd. I heard about her via Nester and enjoy her amazing music. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

  10. Reeve’s voice gave me chills. I would love this CD! My husband is an awesome woodworker, I so appreciate his art. For Christmas I am asking him to build me some shelves for a gallery wall that I keep wanting when I open up my Pottery Barn Magazine. Loving this series, Edie!

  11. I’ve been thinking about art and its purpose as well–Just posted some thoughts about making it and appreciating it. Lately I’ve been seriously pursuing improvement in oil painting so these questions are particularly relevant and significant to me. Thanks for always provoking thought, Edie.

  12. I am enjoying this series. I have so much stuff and so much love in my life that I was afraid I was going to have to downsize. But I get what these words mean! I have been spending years having only what is beautiful, useful or for learning in our homes. Most of what I have added is vintage family items, handmade, homemade and very personal. We are blessed to have several homes, but we share and give, so many people benefit from our choices.
    Today I was reading the blog “Iheartart” and Wilna’s homeschooling stories and her own decision to make more art made me think of you. You are 2 lovely ladies.

  13. We moved into our home (our first house!) in January, and I have hardly done any decorating… It does feel overwhelming and I don’t have a lot of pieces that I LOVE… Part of me doesn’t want to put any holes in the wall or decorate “wrong” – ha! Will have to start 🙂

  14. I love what you had to say today. It has spoken to my heart for a number of reasons. I did crack up when I read your last line about Ruth’s post: Less Wall Clutter. You put up a great photo in contrast. 🙂

    After doing my 31 days of things that make me smile, I’ve decided to get rid of things that don’t have that effect on me. What a novel idea. 🙂 <3

  15. I’ve been following 31 Days for the past few years, and this is by far my favorite series that I’ve found! I have a 3 month old little boy, and I “save” your and Ruth’s posts for my middle of the night feeding-reading. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!

  16. I just love your site…this is my first time here. Great work and what an awesome story you share. I can see God’s abounding grace streaming down on you. You inspire me! I am following your blog now.

  17. Please tell me I am not too late to enter this giveaway!! I would so love to win one of Reeve’s cd’s!! Hoping against hope!!

  18. Hi Edie, I won the CM Home for the Holidays and yours was the first craft I made! So love your decorating style,but most of all how you honor the Lord and the way that you look at things. I too went through a time of loss when Hurricane Andrew blew through our town in 1992. We lost everything except a pair of shoes, some dishes, and some of our clothes. But my entire family (that includes my extended family and our neighbors) all survived in my parent’s house0 without a scratch through Category 5 hurricane. We learned to mourn our loss and that was okay, we learned to finally think of our things as just STUFF, we learned that people can be amazingly giving, we refer to things till this day as before and after Andrew, but most of all we learned to trust God more and realize what really matters is each other! Thank you for this Less is More series. It really spoke to my heart. I need to focus on what makes my family happy and dwelling in that. So glad I met you through the class! God bless you and yours!

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