Decorating or Renovating your home? Gotta have this…

One word

Is all you need when decorating your home


It’s not easy to find

And you can’t buy it in a shop

But it’s an essential aspect of quality decorating

Integrity sets you, and your home or office, apart

People notice a person with integrity

They also notice a room filled with character

And meaning

Meaningfulness is an important addition to beauty

Here’s the main point of this article…

Point 1. When decorating, it’s better to have one main feature in a room, than heaps of meaningless junk

Decorating with integrity by Simon Brushfield Decorating or Renovating your home? Gotta have this…

An original pelican painting created by Simon Brushfield (2012) Acrylic on Canvas 1m x 1m

But here’s the problem…

There is so much junk being sold in magazines, shops and advertisements that people lose themselves. When decorating, people lose direction and forget what is really important

Over time, we get distracted

And become confused as to what we really need to buy

It doesn’t matter what the television says

Or the newspaper

Nor those beautiful glossy home decorating magazines

Here’s what matters most when decorating…


And personal integrity

Following are 3 questions I constantly ask myself…

1. What do I love most?

2. What is most meaningful to me?

3. What is most important in my life?

This is the essence of quality decorating…

The answer to those questions is where your integrity comes from

It’s found in the heart

And once the heart is engaged, your decorating will come alive

Point 2. When someone is true to themselves and has much personal integrity, there’s little contradiction between their words and actions when decorating

But here’s the main problem in our society…

The commercial world is very influential

We become enticed

And addicted to junk

We lust after things that become meaningless after one season. Then waste more money the next season! Our lives become filled with futile stuff that clever salespeople convince us is important

But is that stuff really meaningful to you?

Often not

Mostly it’s a waste of time and money

Ending up in our garage with all the other junk from last season

If people are not familiar operating from their own personal integrity

Here’s what happens…

We make silly buying decisions, and fill our lives with rubbish

Point 3. A far better solution is to build your own solid brand of personal integrity, where nobody can persuade you otherwise

Using your personal integrity makes decorating much easier

Okay, so how do people build integrity into their lives?


Every decision that’s made is building a foundation, because those little decisions over time become big issues

We build integrity by giving the small decisions more thought than normal

Yes, it does take extra time to reflect upon our lives, but as the famous philosopher Plato once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”

When thinking about decorating, we should ask ourselves this question…

Can I really live with that everyday, or am I being poorly influenced somewhere?

Here’s probably the biggest trap for people when decorating…

Peer pressure

In western culture we call it ‘Keeping up with the Jones’

Decorating homes with the motivation to beat someone in a competition

Very silly

Or maybe in the past you’ve been persuaded by an alluring advertisement in a glossy home magazine , promising a quick fix to your decorating problem

Here’s my personal example… and hopefully it clearly illustrates what I believe personal integrity is about when decorating your home or office

My love for birds has been strong ever since early childhood

In particular, I love Australian pelican birds

For years I’ve watched them glide through the air with majestic grace

They’re absolutely beautiful creatures

And they hold a special place in my heart

I believe they fly like free flowing spirits through the sky

A picture of wonderful freedom

And pure effortlessness

As they skim land on the water

My favourite childhood movie in Australia was also about a pelican named Mr Percival in the motion picture ‘Storm Boy’

Renovating pelican by Simon Brushfield Decorating or Renovating your home? Gotta have this…

‘Proud Pelican’ (2010) Charcoal and Acrylic on paper 90cm x 60cm

That’s where my personal integrity begins

In stories

With many years and layers of experience creating rich soulful feelings attached to my stories

Integrity is who I am

My identity

And the inspiration for my life

Things I focus upon, like my fascination with pelicans, builds my integrity

But integrity can be a very subjective illusive concept, however, it’s worth thinking about because it builds understanding, insight and character into a person’s identity

Point 4. My personal integrity grows when I make decisions aligned with who I am

And it quickly evaporates the moment I start compromising my beliefs

Pelicans have always been a fascination to me

I love their character

So if I’m decorating my home or office, I look to incorporate those feelings into my space

If I need to fill a wall…I don’t want a photograph of a pelican bird because that wouldn’t be enough to express my love of such creatures

I want something special


And unique

Just like my feelings

I want something that can’t be replicated

The painting below currently hangs on our wall, and it captures what I’m talking about

Decorating Pelican painting by Simon Brushfield Decorating or Renovating your home? Gotta have this…

‘Majesty’ by Simon Brushfield (2012) Acrylic on Canvas 1m x 1m (Private Acquisition)

The boldness of a pelican

They’re large

Proud birds


And they dominate the airwaves

It appears they’re wise creatures too

To fill my walls with posters or photographs of these birds would be an easy option, but it would also cheapen myself. In my mind, it would diminish the love I have for them. I’m not willing to make that compromise, because it would impact upon my personal integrity

For me, a large photo of a pelican bird wouldn’t hold the same power

I want something valuable

Something special

To match the way I feel

Then when a visitor walks into the room and sees my original painting on the wall, the piece emanates character. It has a strong emotional value

The same thinking applies to decorating

Maybe your cushions could be covered in a special cultural pattern that you discovered when travelling overseas?

Or the walls could be painted with a colour you’ve loved since childhood?

Whatever decision you make when decorating, make sure to base the design on what you love, or what fascinates you in life

And build personal integrity into your space

Because strength of character is always evident

And it definitely enhances a room

Also, don’t be afraid of telling your story to friends and family, about why you made the choices you did, and what the story means to you

Point 5. Telling your story inspires others, and leads them into a deeper understanding of themselves, where personal integrity grows

Stories build trust

Because people are impressed when individuals words, feelings and actions match

There is congruence

Design decisions often have a story behind them, so before decorating, think about the stories in your head. People love hearing interesting stories, and they admire a person with strength to stand up for what they believe in, despite how trivial it may seem

If a story is important to you, go ahead and create a room on the theme

Make your home or office an extension of who you are

Build character into the atmosphere

Here’s what happens…

You’ll feel very content

And grow with confidence about who you are

Point 6. When I see my pelicans everyday on the walls…it makes me happy

The paintings catch my eye

And reminds me of my true love

Everyday I get to look at what touches my heart and moves me

I’m living my feelings out loud

And they’re on the wall for everyone to see

All the time my integrity grows

And other people get the opportunity to create their own interesting stories about the birds they love too. The pieces are interesting conversation starters for social situations

As my life is based more and more upon love and personal integrity, compromise becomes a thing of the past. People now encourage me to follow my heart, because they see the blessing it brings into their lives too. The same people who once held me back from following my heart, are now the very ones spurring me on, to greater heights of creativity and inspiration

But it takes time

To reflect and think about who you really are?

And what really inspires you?

Final point: The stories you remember from your childhood are often very powerful when building trust, integrity and love

Once you’re clear about your personal story, that builds integrity, then integrate it into your decorating life in a creative and interesting way for yourself and others to enjoy

If you would like advice on how you could integrate a story into your living space, just complete the form below, and we can begin the creative conversation

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Decorating or Renovating your home? You must have this…
About Simon Brushfield

Simon Brushfield is an artist whose work has been described as ‘poetic, enigmatic and dreamlike’ (Michael Berry, "Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia" book). His paintings have been exhibited and sold across Australia and internationally. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to Simons VIP list and have posts sent directly to your inbox.

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