One of the ideas that really captured my attention whilst reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happier At Home was the concept of “cultivating a shrine,” a shrine being a place in your home where a collection comes together; a place that enshrines passions and interests.
Rubin’s shrines include shrines to her family (a Valentine’s Day photograph collection of her daughters), work and children’s literature.
Whilst decluttering I realised that I have a few small collections, which are my shrines, and which fill me with happiness.
Travel Photo Gallery
Travel might be one of my favourite things to do. After university I spent five months travelling, largely by myself, across South-East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Central America. It was nothing short of awesome and it really inspired me to visit as many countries as I can and see as much of the world as I can. Out of this travelling came a plethora of travel photos which always invoke very happy memories. As a result, I created a picture gallery in our dining room.
The gallery is filled with photographs of some of my favourite places: The Whitsundays, Goa, Roatan, Paris and Puerto Escondido. Over time I have merged collections with M who has added in some of his from Cuba, Hong Kong and Thailand and now the dining room has been redecorated we’ll be extending the collection to include our latest adventures in Lisbon, Berlin and South Africa (you can read city guides here, here, here and here).
For some more inspiration:
I’ve gone for frames of varying sizes with black edgings although I do love the white borders and frames in the first picture above and the uniformity in the second picture above.
Most of my frames are from Marks & Spencer or John Lewis. However, West Elm stock some beautiful ones here including mirrored frames.
The next picture combines two of my shrines; a photograph display and a reading corner where I can read my favourite detective stories.
Reading Corner & Detective Stories
My favourite shrine, I think, is my reading corner which comprises of a red leather chair (a Laura Ashley bargain from its eBay store (barely a scratch on the arm and there was 80% off!), a footstool and a small bookcase that houses my detective stories.
Perfect spots in which to curl up with a book:
I love a detective story. Give me an episode of Inspector Morse on a Sunday afternoon with a G&T and The Times jumbo crossword and I’m in my element. Or a Miss Marple (of the Joan Hickson variety preferably). Or a Sherlock, Poirot or Endeavour.
I love reading detective stories just as much as I enjoy an adaptation and a couple of years ago I came across a copy of Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. I loved it. Then I came across Death In The Nike and so on until I have now read almost every Poirot.
I love the decorative covers especially that of Sparkling Cyanide and there’s nothing more I like than snuggling in with a good book.
What Shrines do you gave in your home? Do you find they bring happiness?