Recently we moved, and I had the opportunity to make our new house into a home. And so, I had fun injecting my personal tastes into my surroundings while I went about decorating. Paint colors, furniture placement, light fixtures, window coverings—from small to big, there were lots of decisions to make.

Being an independent thinker, I had definite tastes of how I wanted my home to look. But I also became aware of a current trend in home décor that I related to.

The popular trend is not to be too “matchy matchy”: that a room shouldn’t look too “staged” by professional decorators; that it shouldn’t look too “perfect.”

The idea is to bring your own personality and life story into your surroundings, and make your rooms reflect who you are. Your home should tell “your story”—not a decorator’s story—of your personal history, your background, your likes, interests and hobbies.

The colors you choose should reflect your moods, not necessarily what’s “in.” The mementos you exhibit should reveal your dreams and past (or current) experiences. The artwork you display is less about flawless techniques or artistic disciplines, and more about how it reflects your inner self and inner world.

So, beauty nowadays, at least in our homes, isn’t about perfect symmetry or perfectly matching decorative pillows, but is more about expressing our own unique individuality.

Our sages describe the purpose of the creation of our world as G‑d wanting a “home here in our physical reality.”

G‑d specifically wanted a home here in the mundane physical world, which is seemingly inhospitable to spirituality, that could be transformed into a place where He feels comfortable, into an environment that reflects His truth.

On the one hand, the physical world is the greatest concealment of divine truth. The physical seems to deny a spiritual reality, or anything other than the very existence of its own material self.

But on the other hand, the very fact that we can take this reality and imbue it with a higher G‑dly meaning makes it the greatest expression of how even something mundane can be sanctified to serve its Creator.

This is the meaning of the “décor” in the Holy Temple. We were given exact specifications on how to build it, including which materials to use, such as gold, silver, copper, and purple- and blue-dyed material. G‑d is telling us to use our “gold,” all our material reality, and build it into an environment that will make Him feel “at home.”

And the same is true with our homes.

So, the current trend advises us, don’t make your home décor imitate the physical tastes of what others consider pretty. Let it reflect you.

Judaism teaches us that our homes can be a mikdash me’at, a miniature Holy Temple, reflecting our inner, spiritual selves.

None of us are picture-perfect. But all of us are unique. Your home is more than a physical structure of wood or stone; it is a spiritual temple where your true self, your inner beauty and soul can feel at home.

© Davora Lilian
© Davora Lilian

Something to think about the next time you select something as part of your home décor . . .