Decorating With a Purpose: Why What’s on Your Walls Really Matters

As a parent, I want my kids to know which things I value most. One of the ways I do that is actually through my home decorating. While I love pretty things as much as the next person, I have always made sure that the things I pick to put on my walls or shelves are things that carry deep meaning for me.

Did you know you can teach your children what you value by simply decorating your home? #overstuffedlife

I do have a few things here and there that are put up purely because they are pretty. But everything else is put up because it has meaning, and because I want my children to be surrounded by those things. My biggest goal in decorating my house is to create a spiritual and loving environment for my children.

I want my home to feel like a refuge for my kids.

As I type this, I am in my office. I am not including any photos of my office because it is currently a little too messy for public consumption, but I have a lot of photos and art in here. I have two paintings of Jesus Christ, I have two framed inspiring quotes, I have some framed artwork done by my children, I have six framed photos of my kids and my husband, and I have a framed poem that my middle daughter wrote for me.

Messy though it is, anyone can see what’s important to me by looking at the items I have displayed. I love my Savior, I love my family, I want to be a better person.

I’m hoping that my children will also know what’s most important to me by looking at the way I have decorated the house. I do have photos of other, less messy, rooms to share with you, so you can see the types of things I personally love to decorate with.

Here are 10 lessons I am hoping they learn via the environment I have created in our home:

I want them to know I value FAMILY.

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I want them to know that I love JESUS.

I want them to know that HAPPINESS is a choice.

I like to hang meaningful words and quotes. These are both in my kitchen and remind me to be happy and to laugh with the people I love.

I want them to know that they— MY CHILDREN—are my most prized possession.

The photo above features a favorite family photo as well as a quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a leader in the LDS Church. In it, he is speaking to young women and reminding them that they are princesses—daughters of a Heavenly King. I love the quote, and since I have all daughters, it hangs in our family room.

I want them to remember that they LOVE each other.

I display this photo and others like it because it proves that these sisters adore each other. Even though they don’t always act like it, they are the best of friends, and I want to remind them of that on a daily basis.

I want to remind them of our yearly FAMILY THEME.

Each school year, we pick a new family theme. This year’s theme is “Do What is Right, Let the Consequence Follow.” Every year, I create a printable that I can frame and display prominently somewhere so that they can remember it. Many past themes are still displayed in various parts of the house, too.

See all of our past themes here: Family Themes and Back-to-School Feasts

I want them to remember GRATITUDE.

I want them to develop their TALENTS.

The painting in this photo was painted by my husband’s grandmother. She was an avid painter, and when she passed away, every member of the family got one of her paintings. We chose this violinist girl, which had always been our favorite among her work, because of our strong musical background. I hope that it reminds my children to develop their talents just as their great-grandmother did—whether those talents be in art or music or something else entirely.

I want them to develop GOOD MANNERS.

The girls’ bathroom is full of photos of the three of them together (see more of that bathroom here: Bathroom decor), a framed quote reminding them to LOVE, and most importantly, a reminder to flush the toilet! Are my kids the only ones who can’t do that regularly? (I am guessing not, since somebody made the sign and it was being sold in a store!)

And, I want them to appreciate MUSIC.

Out main bathroom is decorated with Puccini opera posters. It makes me happy. Opera is a big part of my life, and a way I have developed my own talents. And Puccini is my favorite.

What I’ve shown you is a very small portion of what is actually hanging on my walls and adorning my shelves and tables. I love to decorate my house. It is mostly full of family photos because that is what I hold most dear to me. But every single thing I’ve used to decorate with is somehow meaningful to me (and to my husband—he’s actually a great partner when it comes to decor).

Finally, I love how this has translated into my own daughters’ rooms. I went into the big girls’ room tonight and snapped a couple photos (My youngest was already asleep, but she also puts the things that are important to her on her walls).

This is my oldest daughter’s side of the room:

She’s got a LOT of stuff on her walls, but I love all of it. I love that she has things pertaining to church, school awards, a temple, photos of her sisters, things about the violin, movies she loves, etc. I used to not want them to decorate their rooms in this manner, but I realized it wasn’t a battle worth fighting. And I’m glad I didn’t stick to my guns, because it allows them to express themselves and show me the things they value.

Here’s my middle daughter’s side of the room:

Hers is a bit more sparse, but she has similar types of photos. The prophet, Jesus, her sisters, her sports ribbons, inspiring quotes, photos of her friends.

I love to see this in my home. I love to know what my children value.

This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series. 

To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home

This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.
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