Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful

William Morris textile design

If we want art to begin at home...

Believe me if we want art to begin at home, as it must, we must clear our houses of troublesome superfluities that are for ever in our way: conventional comforts that are no real comforts, and do but make work for servants and doctors: if you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it:

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful

And if we apply that rule strictly, we shall in the first place show the builders and such-like servants of the public what we really want, we shall create a demand for real art, as the phrase goes; and in the second place, we shall surely have more money to pay for decent houses.

by William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896)
from The Beauty of Life (1880)
part of Hopes and Fears for Art
image – vidalia_11

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3 Responses to “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

  1. clarissa mcfairy Says:

    Maybe we should extend that to our minds as well. Ofcourse not quite so easy to turf out the cupboards of our minds of ‘troublesome superfluities’. Lovely expression. I always used to think the noun for ‘superfluous’ was ‘superfluosity’ (I just liked the sound of it). Thanks for ‘superfluities’. Sounds like huge cumbersome birds that can’t get airborne which is, I suppose, the nature of clutter.

  2. E. A. Able Says:

    Or the sound that dust would make while floating in the air catching sunlight, if we could hear it. 🙂

  3. starla Says:

    I really like this one!! So true if you get rid of what you dont love in your home that is like DECLUTTERING…and doing that makes for simpe beautiful home life..more peaceful and clean.
    I agree with Clarissa extending that to our minds is an excellent idea…inner decluttering…getting rid of stinking thinking makes for peace more beautiful YOU!!! :0)
    GREAT POST!

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