For years, the only Catholic “art” on display in my home was a handful of crucifixes. My husband and I strategically hung them so one was always in view no matter where in the house you were. While we loved these beautiful pieces we had collected over the years, it was often all too easy to overlook them. As much as I cringe to admit it, they are so deeply familiar. They often don’t stop me in my tracks unless I’m very purposefully paying attention.
A Beautiful and Faith-Filled Home
I’m a very visual person, deeply affected by my surroundings and passionate about creating a comfortable, beautiful home. I’m sure many of you can say the same!
When my husband expressed how much he wanted more Catholic art in our home a few years ago, I totally agreed with him on principle. But honestly, I was also a little reluctant. At that point, I had seen so few examples of religious art in home decor that didn’t stick out like a sore thumb, especially in a house like ours that has a pretty specific (white, bright, light, and airy) style. We were committed, though, so I decided to flip my reluctance on its head and turn this into a little design challenge.
It’s a Process
Our first solution was a gallery wall that combined family photos, landscapes we’ve snapped, watercolor art, calligraphy prints, and a few 3-D religious items (crucifixes, a Rosary, and even a holy water font). It took a while to curate every piece, but when everything worked with—not against—our home’s aesthetic, it brought even more life and joy to our living room.
We loved the results so much, we have brought the same strategy to other areas throughout our home, incorporating meaningful Catholic art seamlessly into our kitchen, our bedroom, and our son’s bedroom.
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How to Incorporate Religious Art Into Your Home (No Matter Your Style)
I’d love to share a few of the tricks we’ve picked up, translated for a few different home styles!
If your home is…
Light and Airy
Natural light makes your heart skip a beat and you’re forever opting for white paint and furniture? Me too.
Religious art often comes in warm tones or heavy wood frames. But don’t be afraid to be picky in order to find the right pieces for your home. Swap out the frames on pre-framed pieces for slim white frames from Ikea, Target, or West Elm. White mats in all shapes and sizes are easy to find at stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. We use mats for almost every framed item to give them more “breathing room.” If you find something special in a unique size or shape, Framebridge does incredible (and relatively affordable) custom framing for both paper and other items.
Take the time to search for silver-toned icons, white ceramic statues, light-colored Rosaries, and artwork with the light and fresh feel you love. Images of Mary are a great place to start!
Modern and Minimalist
If your style errs on the minimalist side, you probably already pour lots of care and intention into each item you select for your home.
Prioritize adding religious art to the areas where you need it most. Perhaps in your foyer, your kitchen, or beside your bed. For bold and impactful reminders, you can’t go wrong with modern-style calligraphy prints of prayers, quotes, or Scripture verses. Especially in a large scale, one bold piece may be all you need to make a statement and inspire more unceasing prayer.
Along with the prints listed below, I love Rose Harrington Shop’s Come Holy Spirit banner, Santa Clara Design’s Our Lady of Guadalupe print, and Brickhouse in the City’s Walk with Your Feet on Earth tapestry.
Cozy and Traditional
If your space is the cozy kind that makes anyone feel welcome to curl up with a cup of coffee, prioritize religious art with a story behind it.
Find a spot on your shelf for the statue of Our Lady that lived in your childhood bedroom. Hang a print of a painting that took your breath away on a pilgrimage above your mantle. Peruse Catholic bookstores and parish library sales for beautiful books that double as styling items when stacked on your shelf or coffee table.
Don’t give in to the unspoken pressure to fill a space right away. Instead, take your time finding meaningful pieces that will open the doors to many sweet conversations.
Colorful and Eclectic
Be inspired by the universality of the Church and look to other countries and cultures for plenty of colorful inspiration.
Along with keeping an eye out for beautiful pieces while traveling, many large cathedrals and basilicas carry pieces online (the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception’s shop, for example, is a great source of icons and artwork). Tuck Mexican prayer candles into cozy corners of your shelves, or opt for Providential Co.’s modern twist on them. Frame the Marian bandana from Be a Heart for your wall.
Choose house plants and flowers for your home that have religious meanings. And of course, keep an eye out for colorful scenes in God’s creation that you can photograph and print. Social Print Studio can turn your photos into the coolest wood or metal prints.
It’s an Adventure
If you take your time collecting and styling, you will end up with a thoughtfully-curated collection that fits seamlessly with your style. And the hunt is almost sure to create its own stories and memories.
How do you incorporate religious art into your home? Add your tips, ideas, and favorite sources in the comments below!Ideas for Incorporating Catholic Art into Your Home, No Matter Your Style #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Lisa Kirk is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a wife, mama, and writer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She loves city life, Sunday brunch, and the beauty she uncovers (almost) daily in her vocation. In between snuggling with her toddler and dating her handsome husband, she blogs about family, faith, and feminine style here.