31 Days:: What No One Ever Says

the purpose of home

Yesterday we talked about the purpose of our home.

Take those words. The ones you thought of after reading yesterday’s post, and look around your house.  Do the words you choose describe the space? Start with one room, maybe the family room.  Are you accomplishing the goal you have for that room?

Here are some of the words that we said we wanted our home to feel like:

what is home

There’s no right or wrong answer for the purpose of YOUR home–YOU get to decide.  But I have noticed something…

No one ever says they want their home to feel unwelcoming.  Or cold or unfriendly or unaccepting or harsh or lifeless or have a sense of fear. No one ever says they want their home to be boring or vanilla or average or store-bought.  No one wants their home to be stressful. Believe it or not I don’t think I’ve ever heard any real, non-TV person say they want their home to be prettier than all their friends and full of the nicest, most perfect specimens.

But sometimes we approach decorating and designing in a way opposite to how we hope our home will feel. We make decisions as if we are being graded. We are afraid to create the home we’ve always dreamed of because we are afraid of being judged or laughed at or mocked.  We worry and fret and procrastinate and ultimately waste years not enjoying home and making our family miserable along the way as we whine and complain and wish and verbalize our disappointment in our home.

Not that I’ve ever done that or anything.

The purpose of your home isn’t about the stuff, it’s about the people. The people who live there, the people who come there.

A home’s greatest purpose is to serve people. Amen.


This is the 3rd post in a 31 Day Series: Home. On purpose. Start from the beginning here.

Over 1100 bloggers are joining in writing a 31 Day series, find a few that interest you and check them out.

Pin It


  1. SO true. Our stuff comes and goes. Our stuff sparkles and then later fades. But people, relationships and fellowship are forever.

  2. I love the way this series is developing!

    • Lori, thank you! I am a little nervous about it. It got much deeper much faster than I anticipated, “wait a second, I wanted to have one fun photo and encouraging words…what have I gotten myself into?”…thanks for letting me work this out here in words

      • I agree. I love this series so far. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed with inspiring photos and it’s nice to be given a purpose for it all.


      • Remember*your* blog purpose isn’t just pretty pictures! :) I like when you talk about the deeper stuff too.

        The part about making our family miserable when we are disappointed in our house … sadly, I know. It isn’t very pretty to hear *my* house complaints come out of my little ones’ mouths.

  3. Wow. There is so much wisdom in this post–so, so much food for thought. Thank you so much for doing this topic. I am so excited about this series.

  4. Thank you for your inspiration, Nester! Sometimes it’s easy to let your house rule you instead of the other way around… It’s hard being patient at the “process” sometimes :)

  5. Beautifully said!

  6. I am really enjoying these posts..I don’t think I have really ever considered the purpose of my home as such and am looking forward to whereever you are taking us in this series. I am sure I am going to learn a lot that I will want to put into use.

  7. Oh this is so good, so thought-provoking, we’re going deep and I love it! {mmm … can you tell I’m a counselor or what?!}

    Ah … but you already helped me see that my home has a purpose that matters. It’s a haven, not a fortress, not just a place to display stuff …

    Thank you!

    And I am loving this 31 days … hard to check everyone out, but so far, there are 4 writiers I am following and they are so out-of-the-box fabulous!

  8. Great post! So very true, and so well put.

  9. I painted that quote on the wall of my dining room. I’m really enjoying this series, Nester!

  10. That does it! I want a disco ball.

  11. Girl, you are on fire. This post is so encouraging. “No one ever says…”

    what a great way to think about that.

  12. I think it is great that you have gotten deeper so quickly to truly give these posts the meaning I know you want to express. You are talking about something we all get caught up in. We DO worry that people will judge or our home is not as well decorated as another. With age, it just happens that you realize all that is not what is important. It really IS what memories you create with the people that come and go in our homes that is important. This is a wonderful series and so glad we are given the chance to really think about these things. Great work as usual!

  13. I was absolutely the whiner and complainer about my home for a long time, thank you so much for helping me break out of that box!! This post is sure to help many others do the same thing!

  14. “making our family miserable along the way as we whine and complain and wish and verbalize our disappointment in our home.”

    I second the “girl, you are on fire” motion from Emily.

  15. I think it’s neat that you are working in the ideas from the comments in your posts as you go. I love the summary of what we want home to be. The fonts are really great and I know from tinkering with words like as such that it took some time to do. (But if I’m wrong and you are amazingly fast at whipping up a graphic like that, I’d love to hear your secrets.)

  16. Well said! I think the home has to “serve” those who live in it. It looks different in every home and family, doesn’t it?

  17. I live in a world of “oh I can’t do that! We need to resell this house eventually!” Why do I care so much when we won’t be moving out of here for at LEAST 5 years? lol. I WILL be painting our pantry a fun bright color because I can always repaint it in 5 years… and probably will. :) It’s hard to stop thinking so far in the future. I need to remember to be present in my own home.

  18. love this… and I struggle with it!

  19. Thanks so much for posting this. I have lived in many apartments, but just moved into my own apartment. Trying to piece it all together has led to many unexpected identity-crisis questions. Your post just put everything into perspective. To echo the sentiment of so many others, thank you!

  20. i am finally starting to get this through my thick head. so hard but we are enjoying our home so much more now that i am making it work for us, not worrying about what is the *right* way to do things…

  21. I love where you’re going with this series. And FUN as a descriptor? Yes, please. I desperately need to add this element into our home. There may be a disco ball in my future.

  22. Great words to live by, as usual! I just browsed through all the participants…well a fraction of them, actually. Lots of talent to share! Wow!

  23. I think one of the reasons we feel like we are being graded is because we kinda ARE. I mean, if I had a nickle for every time my husband responded to one of my decorating or upgrading ideas with, “But that won’t be good for resale.”

    And how many times when people walk into our homes do they comment on some decorating element, “Oh I LOVE this paint color” or “where did you get that mirror?”

    Or how many times do you hear other women describe women by the beauty of their home? Things like, “we had dinner at Sarah’s–her house is amazing.”

    So, subtly, we have this inner poking and prodding that tells us, “Decorate for THEM.”

    I only say this because I’m in the midst of re-doing HUGE things in my house and I’m wrestling with this very thing. Who is this house for, anyway?

    The good news is, after 8 years in this home, I finally convinced my husband to convert our dining room to an office where I can write. Such a better use of the space. I’m in here constantly, now. But it was only after he saw the brand new homes at Home-a-rama this year with dining rooms-turned-to-offices that he agreed. See what I mean??? It was good enough that it made sense for US. He had to know that it made sense to prospective buyers. Even though we are not selling our house any time soon–that I know of.

    Thanks for letting me write this long comment. :)


  24. I love this post!

    Your picture made me wonder where I can get something with mirrors that would reflect light all over without being a shiny projectile for my two under 5’s to throw at the cat.

    • I think about hunting down a disco ball every time I see it in one of Nester’s posts. In the bedroom, living room, on the mantle.

      There is just something MAGICAL about that reflected light, isn’t there?

  25. we always tell our kids when they’re whining “what do whiners get?” the answer? “Nothing!”

    i’m going to stop whining & complaining about the slightest disappointment in my home. thanks for asking me the question “what do whiners get?”

    loving this series.

  26. Great post! Couldn’t have said it better myself! Love the quote that says “living rooms are for living.” So true! My mom used to say people remember you for the time you spend with them, not how clean your house is. I change it up a bit and say people remember your house for the happy times spent in it. It’s about creating beautiful memories together more than it is about creating beauty!

  27. Beautifully written, and I agree. I love the quotes. xo

  28. Much needed encouragement…I want my home to be worn and lived in like a comforable pair of jeans…home is a safe place to fail…

  29. I totally agree with your philosophy. I have had a life changing year and I have used my decorating muse to help me recreate the home that I want to live in. I feel empowered and purposeful and blessed to have such a home.

  30. Right on, Nester! I get hung up on decorating and home projects because I want them to be perfect. I’m an interior decorator so feel like I’m judged at a higher standard when people come in my home. But seriously, who is really “judging” me? If my friends are doing it then they are not really friends… and I’m pretty sure most of them aren’t. I’m my biggest judge and I’m working on telling myself to shut up.

  31. This is so true! In the past I fell prey to running to Hobby Lobby and picking some things up to “decorate.” Only to get it home and realize it was pretty and all, but it didn’t feel “right” for our home. I’m really a bad decorator. Like really bad, but I’m trying!

  32. I am lovin’ this series so far! We just bought our first home earlier this year and I am so *scared* to decorate! Well, money is an issue for one, but two, I’m just scared to “ruin” our home. This post is beautiful and I’m holding it close to my heart. So, so true. I’m just going to start digging in and throw the fear out the window (well, okay, I might have to dangle it a few minutes first -wink- but I’ll throw it eventually!).

  33. I’m really loving where you’re going with this series. No, I would never choose an unpleasant word to describe my purpose for my home, but it is true that I often make it an unpleasant place by longing for stuff that I think might somehow make it better.

  34. I really try to think about how each person lies in my home. It prompted me to buy a swivel rocker for the living room so hubby can watch football OR mesmerize himself watching his fish tank. That fish tank is a testament of my love for him! Houses are for the people who live there.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog about the Izannah Walker doll. i am sooooo excited!!!

  35. I’m loving this series. We have been in our home for a year and a half and are just starting to make it our own. I really don’t have one word or even a vision for what the space should be like. I do want it to be comfortable with pops of style. But I’ve never been good at decorating so I get a little lost. I hope your series will help me turn my home into what we want it to be.

    Lovin’ the 31 days link up. It’s my first time linking up and I am just so excited that this gave me the motivation to do the 30-day Shred.

  36. I love this.

  37. Beautiful. I love this!

  38. Great post! Love this!

  39. I wonder how many other people are like I am – in need of a series like this… It has always been a chore for me to decorate or even clean house. Even though I knew it was for my family’s benefit. I would rather splatter paint with the kids or work in the yard. My four kids never heard me say that I had to clean up before we played. HOWEVER, as nice as this sounds, they get to an age where this has to stop and the house needs to look like civilized people live in it. The homey feeling the decorations provide is almost as important as what we do in the house. I am learning, and just in time, now that my kids are older and bringing friends that are too old not to notice!

  40. I love this! And its so true…the home is so much more than the physcial beauty that decorating and furniture can bring. I’ve been having it on my heart to be very intentional about the home I want to build and protect. Out there is the battle zone, but I want the home to be a place of safety, and you better believe Im going to protect that ;).

  41. I have been thinking about this post all day long. This is a game changer for me. For many years, I have been discouraged because I am not very good at decorating and it is not a priority in our budget. But my goal is not a pin worthy home. My goal is a home that is inviting, relaxing and with space to create. Never before, have I really considered how that translates into my decorating. For me it translates into a home that is neat and orderly with some empty spaces. I can do that without spending money or being good at decorating. My fall mantle is a perfect example. On it is a book page pumpkin that I made last year and a potted plant and a vase that I thought looked good on it. But there is also a painting my daughter put up there when she was inspired by her lava lamp and a clay dog made by my son. Thank you for helping me be content with my home and loving what I have.

  42. Love this. I’ve decided to homeschool so I need to accept that sometimes my home will look like learning goes on there! And working on being brave enough to change my little front sitting room into a dining room so maybe we will feel more comfortable. Thanks for the encouragement!

  43. Great post! I so agree with what you have said about your home being about the people your service to them. For the longest time we would get caught up in the decorating as if House Beautiful was going to stop by at any moment. On top of that, we are neat freaks so we were constantly picking up. We are the types that would take your glass before you were finished with it. So needless to say, we weren’t very fun to be with even though we love to entertain. Over the years we have focused on making comfortable but with an atmosphere that welcomed our guest and nurtured them while they were there.

  44. Oh I wish I had read this blog years ago. This is a wonderful consequence of your blog! It makes me see for sure I am not alone. I wonder if it would have made a difference years ago. When I was so busy comparing…so busy being disappointed that my house wasn’t good enough, neat enough, creative enough, etc. Taking a deep breath. And thankful that it really is about people being welcomed into my home. I think of Karen Ehman’s book A Life That Says Welcome. Yes, that’s what I want my life to say! I bet my home will follow.

  45. Amen! You’ve summed it up perfectly. Thanks for this reminder of what all our homes should be.

  46. Very good thoughts here :). This is a good series for me. You are right; you can spend lots of time not enjoying your home and not doing anything about it. I talk about how my apartment (which for all purposes, I call my ‘home’) drives me crazy, but I don’t do much to change that. Thanks for the encouragement.

  47. I regularly feel the responsibility of allowing my home to serve people in the best way possible. My mom is a wonderful hostess and also a great housekeeper. When I’m at her house, I don’t feel the clutter of things to keep me from totally relaxing. This is a long-term goal, but I am really trying to think about how to make my home a place that people walk into an instantly exhale their stress so that my home can better serve them. Thanks for emphasizing that again for me!

  48. Yes! Amen!! I like what you’re doing with this series. A lot.

    I’m hosting a weekly link party (which must surely be the smallest link party in the entire blogosphere, but that’s okay) called “Grace at Home”–all about celebrating the things we do to make our homes places of grace. Why? Because that’s what I want to celebrate. That’s what I want my own home to be about. But it had become easy for me to focus on the wrong things. Hosting that little party every week has helped me remember what’s what.

    Love you, girl! I want to come to your real, inspiring, comfortable, peaceful, nurturing, cozy home again!

  49. This is no understatement: you are changing the way I view my home.


  50. This is an awesome series. I love your topic. You really made me stop and think about my home. There are things I want to do with our home for us and we just haven’t made the time. Now I want to have a dinner party and invite all our friend over and have “fun” in our home. I love when our home is full of laughter. Can’t wait to read the rest of your series.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.