9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned

9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned are reflections drawn from our work on house projects over the years. This wisdom can surely be learned across plenty of other disciplines beyond DIY home improvement. But remodeling and designing have been exceptional teachers for us and occupied a chunk of our time.

Rustic oak Belgian antique cupboard in European country styled living room by Hello Lovely Studio
9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Inspirational faith quote from John Ortberg on Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #faith #spirituality #christianity

9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned

But first THIS blessing you must hear to the end:

1. Soul is an Indispensable Design Element

What does spirit have to do with home improvement? For me, the creative endeavor, investment of time and tears, and commitment to redesign or renovation are rooted in the soul.

Belgian style living room with fan windows, French fireplace, and antique sideboard - design by Hello Lovely Studio.

A desire to live with beauty springs from a place of creativity, longing, and passion below the surface. I know this isn’t the sole motivation of every person with an interest in renovation since it is a profitable business.

Minuet Viatera quartz countertop in our classic white kitchen with Shaker cabinets and stainless appliances. #hellolovelystudio #whitequartz #countertops #kitchendesign #minuet #viateraquartz #lgviatera

But the fact that creating beauty is profitable speaks to how many others value such beauty!

Tone on tone palette at cozy window seat with pillows and candlelight - Hello Lovely Studio. #windowseat #allwhitedecor #scandinavianstyle #interiordesign
9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned as well as glimpses of our renovated cottage

Home improvement and interior design for me become soulful matters inasmuch as the goal is to create atmospheres to nurture, reinforce, and enhance daily living and learning.

Interiors can reflect interior states to which we aspire, and the objects we choose to live amongst can bring depth, history, and food for the soul.

Romantic Belgian linen accent chair with antiqued silver table in bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio.

When design is customized for its inhabitants, it is harmonious with unique daily rhythms, physical needs, and emotional well being. Personal spaces at home should provide the backdrop for what we require to feel more secure, hopeful, energized, and healthy.

Antique Belgian sideboard and Belgian linen chaise in our living room - Hello Lovely Studio. #belgianstyle #sideboard #livingroom #interiordesign
9 Home Renovation Spiritual Lessons Learned
32" Concrete Base Table Lamp
Concrete Base Table Lamps: FIND HERE

Ultimately, home should reflect our deepest held values as well as the character and beauty we aim to project.

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio about seeing: The way we choose to see the world, creates the world we see.

2. Things Get Worse Before They Improve

Gutted bathrooms and making do without a kitchen for months? These typical whole house renovation challenges quickly dispel romance about the DIY journey which is rarely smooth or easy. It’s just impossible to foresee all of the unexpected surprises, challenges, and obstacles that pop up along the way.

Modern farmhouse white kitchen with farm sink and Shaker cabinets by Hello Lovely Studio
Bridge Kitchen Faucet #bridgefaucet
EXACT KITCHEN FAUCET: Kohler Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Vibrant Stainless): FIND HERE

For example, you believe you are simply upgrading a floor until you realize the sub-floor is not level which uncovers a separate issue requiring a structural engineer or architect! Like the spiritual journey toward truth, things often become miserable before they get better.

Peaceful and serene kitchen with window seat, neutral decor, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio

3. Trust the Process

Because of the uncertainty and hard work involved in home renovation, the process demands a measure of trust between parties involved in the work. For our whole house DIY renovation, there were hundreds of decisions to be made as a couple. Without a flow of trust between us, we could not keep the progress steadily going.

Masculine, modern, and European inspired study with swivel chair from RH - Hello Lovely Studio.

Patience is another virtue that enters into the equation daily. There were so many invisible tasks to perform (behind the walls, hidden electrical, plumbing, subfloors, insulation…) before introducing aesthetics! Additionally, the order of renovation projects is a part of DIY reality that demands patience.

Inspirational quote about struggle: Let difficulty transform you Pema Chodon quote - Hello Lovely Studio

Take a kitchen renovation for example. When an issue arises slowing down kitchen cabinet installation, this impacts the countertop install date which in turn likely delays the tile backsplash job. The degree to which you are able to practice patience, maintain an eye on the prize, and roll with resiliency and trust matters.

Vintage chair, white painted farmhouse bench, and animal print throw - Hello Lovely Studio

Find options for animal print throws HERE.

4. Be Resilient…You’ll Get Good at It!

Our kitchen here at the fixer upper required total gutting, and the renovation process came with its share of disappointments. For example, we discovered we would not be able to eliminate the wall adjacent to the dining room to expand the kitchen’s square footage and create a more spacious hub for family to gather.

Classic white traditional bathroom design with carrara topped vanity and Kohler Purist bathroom faucet - Hello Lovely Studio.

While we were left with a smaller kitchen, we gained the gift of cozy intimacy. If you live with a small kitchen, then you get it. Rubbing shoulders with people you love and hearing whispers? Not the worst compromise one must make.

Inspirational faith quote from John Ortberg on Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #faith #spirituality #christianity

5. Let Yourself Be Open & Surprised

When we inherited this fixer upper, one of its features I did not admire were the fan windows. I wrote about them when I was chronicling our adventures weekly, and a blog reader who admired them sweetly suggested they were ‘churchy or chapel-like.’

Black and white vignette with Child perfume and white roses in a bathroom by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Child Perfume Roll-on, 1/3 oz: BUY IT HERE

While it may strike you as silly that a simple comment could create a shift in my spirit and mind, it did! Turns out, there are always going to be opportunities to replace groans of unhappiness with creative thinking. If I had approached this whole house makeover with an attitude of “no compromises for me, m’am” it would have been anything but joyful.

Classic white bathroom with vintage clawfoot tub, plantation shutters, abstract art, and staggered tile floor - Hello Lovely Studio.

Staying open both in the spiritual life and home renovation is critical. The reward for such openheartedness is how mysteriously subtle shifts in perspective teach you to refine your lens…a lesson that will serve you well in all of life.

Romantic cottage bedroom with Belgian linen accent chair, white oak flooring, and rustic alder door - Hello Lovely Studio.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is campaign-style-end-table-300x300.jpg
In case you’re in the market for a similar side table: Find it HERE!
Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio: The past is your lesson. The future is your motivation. The present is your gift.

6. Letting Go Creates Space

Our French country courtyard’s creation is one I have shared on the blog as one of the easiest yet dramatic projects here at home. When we bought the house, weeds and dead shrubbery had completely overtaken the front entry area. You might never know it from the street below our hill though. Weeds and overgrown bushes completely shielded the entire house exterior from the road!

Detail of vintage clawfoot bathtub and porcelain tile floor - Hello Lovely Studio.
Picadilly 59" x 28.75" Soaking Bathtub

THIS TUB IS SIMILAR: Clawfoot Tub: FIND HERE.

The remedy for all of the overgrowth entailed broad strokes of subtraction and restraint when adding the new.

French country Provence inspired pea gravel courtyard with boxwood, bench, and vintage decor by Hello Lovely Studio

Since the budget was teeny anyway, we extracted everything except a burning bush then planted boxwood and lavender. Wheelbarrows of pea gravel came to live with cement pavers which cost less than a dollar each. We placed them as stepping stones in the gravel as well as atop eroded stone walls.

Exterior of our home on a hill - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

With labor and love, we created an airy, French-inspired courtyard canopied by mature trees; just right for meditative mornings with the birds.

Letting go can be tricky on a soulful level where unhealthy habits of being, reacting, and thinking have become firmly rooted. Old ways of coping, analyzing, and behaving may not easily budge because of tendency to cling to them.

Vintage rusty white bicycle against stone wall in pea gravel and fallen leaves by Hello Lovely Studio

Gardening is an excellent prescription for spiritual “stuckness” indeed. Digging in the dirt with an open heart seeking the grace to let go is powerfully good soul work.

Galvanized buckets and pinecones in fall by Hello Lovely Studio

The thing is, when space in the soul grows wider from tending it, pruning, and letting go, a new capacity to RECEIVE emerges! More spaciousness for the flow of love and light to enter and have its way with us!

Every act of love is a work of peace - custom sign on Hello Lovely Studio.
English Trough Planter Basket
24″ English Trough Planter Basket…certainly lovely indeed.

7. Work Slow & Smart

Sometimes we are unaware of what may be waiting for us when we slow down to work. Does slowing down to work sound like an oxymoron? Because work need not always be a feverish hustle to the finish line (read THIS).

Romantic vintage style white bathroom with clawfoot tub and Louis French chair - Hello Lovely Studio.
Purist Widespread Bathroom Sink Faucet with Low Cross Handles and Low Gooseneck Spout
EXACT PRODUCT: Kohler Purist Bathroom Faucet with Cross Handles (Polished Chrome): FIND HERE

Wisdom school (yes, it really is a thing!) taught me to work from and in stillness. The work which was always sacred begins to resonate with your heart as sacred. If you are after interiors which radiate tranquility, calm, serenity, and heartfulness, I can think of no better approach than to adopt them in your spirit of labor.

White vintage style bathroom with clawfoot tub, French Louis chair, freestanding vanities, and tile floor - Hello Lovely Studio.
Martha Stewart Living Seal Harbor Sconce. #vanitysconce #bathroomsconce #marthastewart
Martha Stewart Living Seal Harbor Sconce: FIND HERE.
32" Single Bathroom Vanity Set
THIS VANITY IS SIMILAR: 32″ Single Bathroom Vanity With Top: FIND HERE

8. Stay Centered in Your Heart

Is classical music your passion? Let it fill your ears as your muscles address tedious tasks at home you dread. Are there home improvement projects demanding hours of physical labor but only limited concentration? Listen to podcasts that enrich the soul and mind. (I listened to recordings of a favorite teaching pastor while I painted ceilings, and the time flew!)

Abstract painting in blue-grey by Michele of Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational and faith quote on Hello Lovely Studio: Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway.
Hello Lovely Studio
White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Holborn Lantern Pendant
Rustic End Table
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
Antiqued Sunburst Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Boheme Madera Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
Detail of a bathroom sink vanity in a white vintage style bathroom - Hello Lovely Studio.

9. Authentic Transformation

Real life renovation involves weeks of dust and chaos, sleepless nights, and stressful check writing. Even if you aren’t renovating DIY style, the headaches from contractors, subcontractors, permit pulling, and architectural review boards are REAL.

The spiritual journey can also feel like a rollercoaster ride. As you do the work of excavating the soul and unconscious material is uncovered, all the disorder and ego-demo (ha!), makes for a bumpy ride.

White bathroom with staggered porcelain tile floor and clawfoot tub - Hello Lovely Studio.

In my own experience, it is the daily work, the disciplined commitment to daily transformation that eventually leads to mindfulness, peacefulness, and freedom.

Inspirational faith quote from John Ortberg on Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #faith #spirituality #christianity

It isn’t a one and done job and then coasting; rather, you keep at it, keep stumbling and relearning, and keep finding yourself at different places on a spiral.

And let’s be honest. The work is never really complete. As soon as one area is done, the roof begins to leak or your needs change or funds run out.

But when you hold it all loosely while staying anchored in what matters most, miracles, serendipity, and blessings arrive. I don’t understand the mechanics of how this works, I only know I want to stay within the flow.

Hello Lovely Studio's pale neutrals, serene decor, and an ethereal mood permeate this French Nordic style bedroom with reclaimed wood statement wall - Hello Lovely Studio. #serenedecor #NordicFrench #bedroomdecor #frenchnordicstyle

Bedding is PIU BELLE…Options HERE.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR ENTERTAINING THESE REFLECTIONS…I’d love to hear from you.

p.s.

Only rarely do we now get to see authentic renovations by regular people on television. Here’s a renovation story uncommonly rooted in reality (a charming French cottage in the South of France).

Also see these recent stories related to the pandemic:

What I ordered for my quarantine pantry

Good news to cheer you during the crisis

Soulful shifts to cope with pandemic

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shopping for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE (not just items mentioned in posts) or home decor keeps decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chair Set
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool
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2 Comments

  1. March 26, 2020 / 8:24 am

    Michele: I wake almost every morning and open up your blog. I can always count on you for quiet LOVELY content. It is peaceful, and so full of inspiration. I am in the midst of a DIY renovation in our small 40 year old home and you are absolutely right it does take soul. There isn’t anything I’de rather be doing. . Hello Lovely is aptly titled. Stay well.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 26, 2020 / 9:57 am

      So wonderful to hear from you, Shelley. Thank you for adding to the beauty here. Wishing you added reserves of strength and assurance as you tackle the renovation. Are we gutsy or half nuts? I think it may be that we have so much love overflowing, it just feels right to pour it into something that needs it. 🙂 Peace to you.

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