Rethinking Religious Décor: How to Elegantly Style Your Home Catholic

THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY MY GOOD FRIEND, CHRISTINA COLLIER, INTERIOR DESIGNER AND OWNER OF THE DOGWOOD HOME

CATHOLIC HOME DESIGN

 

As Catholics, we believe our homes to be domestic churches, the central place outside of our parishes to raise strong and faithful families. As a designer, my faith works hand in hand with my love of design in order to decorate a home that is not only beautiful and functional, but also spiritually meaningful. I believe design can not only give your home beauty and character, but also let all who walk into it know what is important to your family.

When it comes to displaying home décor that represents your faith, many people have a hard time doing this beyond the classic crucifix over the door. Or perhaps when you think of Catholic décor, you think of overly ornate and dated designs that don’t fit in with modern aesthetics. I believe there is a way to integrate religious art into your home,so that it makes a statement, but still tastefully flows with your décor, adding an intimate soulfulness that is representative of your family and faith.

Need some help achieving this? Here are my tips for integrating faith into your home décor in a stylish and intentional manner…
 

Heirlooms First

In my opinion, there is nothing better than a family heirloom, especially when it comes to religious pieces. Inherited pieces are not only a beautiful memory, but they are infinitely meaningful, and usually something you could never find in a store today. Religious items are not meant to follow the trends, so don’t worry if something seems ‘dated’. If it is special to you, display it! I consider religious items like neutrals. They can go with anything and you can have them in every room. I guarantee you visitors in your home will admire and ask about your special item, most likely because they probably have never seen anything like it before. These opportunities to share your family’s story and faith through home decor is an extra blessing that decorating with intention can offer.

If you are a convert, or don’t have any religious heirlooms, you can always see what treasures are in your community by frequenting antique stores, estate, garage sales, or even thrift stores. It is crazy to see what people get rid of, but you can be the one to save something and give it a welcoming new home!

Now, I’m a sucker for antiques, so that is my first go to, but if you prefer new goods there are many wonderful options online (House of Joppa and Etsy are two of my favorite online places to shop of religious goods.) Don’t forget to check out your local Catholic Shop. The Catholic décor community has come a long way and there really is something now for everyone’s taste - just make sure it has meaning to you and is not just something filling a space. Take time when shopping for these items, you may not find that special piece right away but it is always worth the wait when you do!

 

Travel with a purpose!

What is a better souvenir from a visited country than a piece of religious art? Before you leave for a trip, look around your house and take note of what you could use décor-wise. Especially when it comes from places like Europe, or Eastern countries, the colors and patterns on these items make them true statement pieces. Don’t underestimate traveling stateside though too. Some of my favorite Catholic artwork comes from the Southwestern United States. Ceramics, coffee table books and street painter’s artwork are definitely some of my favorite items to look out for when traveling.

 

It’s all about the display

Part of the art of decorating is noticing the world around you and taking note of what you find beautiful and recreating it in your home. While traveling, visiting other homes, stores, or even restaurants that you find particularly well decorated, take notice of the colors and patterns they use, the way they layer and combine items and recreate that in your own home.

When working with clients, before even purchasing anything new for the home, I love to do a sweep through the house and grab things (new and old, religious and secular) that maybe have been hiding in less noticeable parts of the home (or hidden away in cabinets) and relocate them to other areas and pair them with items so that they display in an interesting and beautiful manner.

 

It doesn’t have to be obviously Catholic…

One of my favorite aspects of our Catholic faith are all the legends and stories that enrich it. Do you know the religious stories behind the dogwood, pelican or stag? All of these seemingly secular symbols have deep religious meaning. Finding wall and table top décor (I’m always on the lookout for vintage brass figurines) or even fabrics with ‘hidden’ religious meaning is a great way to surround yourself with religious décor in a more subtle manner keeping it effortless, casual and comfortable.

 

Research what interests & inspires YOU

There really is a religious piece of art for anything your heart may desire! Is there a virtue you are trying to increase in your life, do you love nature, sports, or cooking? Find the patron for those things. Displaying religious items that also reflect your interests makes our faith even more relatable, bringing you to a more personal relationship with Christ.

 

Put religious items on display

Drape your rosary over your family photo frame, place grandmother’s bible on your coffee table vignette (oh, and if you have young children and this isn’t feasible for you right now, that’s ok! It will be in time. Wall and shelf décor may be your best friends during this season). Sweet little touches like this, not only create wonderful layering, but putting them out, easily accessible, will serve as a daily reminder to use the items…and that’s what is really all about, isn’t it!

 

Happy holy decorating!

 

 About Christina

Christina Collier has always had a passion for interior design and recently launched her own design business, The Dogwood Home. She is passionate about incorporating her clients' personal tastes, interests and hobbies into their home decor. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and three amazing boys. 


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