Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Favorite Quotes In Decor

When I was in middle school I spent hours filling a little notebook with my favorite quotes from books and songs and famous people and friends and saints, and I've realized that I still like them incorporated into my life in other ways.

I'm not much of a "live, laugh, love" in 12 inch swirly type kind of girl, but I do like visual reminders of beautiful thoughts that help me to refocus as I go about my day. I think that when they are done well--meaning they are authentic and heart-felt--they can be beautiful and personal, not trite or insincere.

Quotes and candles sounds like a recipe for a cheesy commercial, right? Well, I really like the Paddywax Library candles that West Elm used to carry. The one I have in Saf's room (above) has one of my favorite quotes by Tolstoy: "All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love"--so true my friends!

I also like reading them in other people's homes because I think they can say a lot about who lives there. My in-laws have a little poem in their bathroom that my mother-on-law inherited from her grandmother. I think it sums up how their family lives, and because of that, it's precious and personal.  I love it so much that I've incorporated it into my own home too, appropriately stamped on the wall of our "small means" room, the one that we made-over with $50 :)

I think I've shared it before, but it's William Henry Channing's My Symphony (which I might have written off as cheesy if I hadn't met a whole family who totally lived it out):
To live content with small means; 
to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; 
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; 
to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; 
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common
this is my symphony.

So friends, what about you? Do you cringe at the idea of quotes in homes? Do you love it? What are your favorites?


  1. Awe I love the family quote! So good! I recently bought a canvas with family rules inscribed on it, I love what it says but desire to make our own family rules! But of course out of rusted metal...

  2. I have several quotes around...and have shown them on my blog...the ones now are on blackboard, but don't want to change them! I remember when the kiddles were little and taking baths, I would spend a little time each bath painting a quote on the inside of the medicine cabinet (Ralph Waldo Emerson)...often wonder if it still there (two houses ago)

    Love the quote you posted, and I, too, know several that have lived it!

  3. "Cringe" is the wrong word. "Pause" is probably more accurate. Or maybe pause, then cringe. But that's just me.

    Actually, the only time I've ever lived in a house with a quote was when I was a kid. One year, my mother--the world's worst cook--in what, I'm sure, was a moment of martini-fueled inspiration, one that combined Carl Larson's hominess with Dorothy Parker's cynicism, lettered a line from Dante's Divine Comedy above our dining room door: LASCIATE OGNI SPERANZA, VOI CH' ENTRATE--Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. And she wasn't kidding. If it weren't for toast, I wouldn't be here today.

    So do I have any decorative quotes? No, not on the walls, anyway. But I do have a quote that I try to live by, and it's about decorating, if that counts. It's Magnaverde Rule No. 16: Decorate for the life you really have, not the life you wish you had.

  4. I also keep a book so that I can jot down inspiring or interesting quotes but that's the extent of quotes in our house.

  5. Quotes are like tatoos. You will probably get tired of them over time.


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