It’s hard to hear what God is saying through His Word after you’ve just wasted 10 minutes simply trying to find your Bible. Add five more minutes to dig out the church bulletin with prayer requests and lists of those who are sick—and you’ll either give up or find yourself far from amused. The solution? Create a space dedicated to your devotional materials as a smart, stylish way to better enjoy quiet time with God. Though a revamped armoire, opposite, makes a lovely choice, you can opt for other solutions, such as a smaller cabinet or a large basket alongside a good light and a comfy chair.
A life of faith is strengthened by time with God, and creating a special place for daily devotions gathers everything at your fingertips so you can focus on what really matters. That’s the twofold beauty of this project—you’ll bring a sense of calm and order to your home while enhancing your spiritual life.
ORDER IN THE HOUSE
There are as many ways to outfit a devotional center as there are verses in Psalm 119. But the real message is to find an organizational design that speaks to your personal style and individual devotional needs. Begin by gathering Bibles, devotional books, inspirational quotes, prayer requests, spiritual journals, stationery and such desktop essentials as scissors, pens, stamps and paper clips. Check at stores and online retailers that specialize in organization for sleek metal trays, clear stacking boxes, fun fabric bins and other items designed to quell the clutter.
Storage tools may be hiding throughout your house, too. Repurpose such objects as vases for use as pencil holders or glass votives to hold push pins. It’s best to use coordinating styles and colors so containers become a decorative addition. Once you have some ideas, sketch out your armoire with measurements and design it to fit all your items. If you think you’ll want to use a laptop or write letters, consider adding a pull-out shelf or a drop-down table. See Breathing New Life into an Old Piece below.
Make every inch count by using vertical spaces. Fashion tack boards from cork board covered with upholstery fabric. Secure the fabric on the back with staples, and screw the board to the door. Disguise screw heads with glued-on silver studs or attach screw caps that lend a finishing touch. Another clever option is creating a clothesline-style feature from a ready-made line or eye hooks and wire. This inexpensive idea invites an evolving lineup of inspirational thoughts, photos and daily affirmations.
COLOR CUES AND PATTERN PLAY
A restrained palette plays a major role in creating this center’s cohesive aesthetic. By sticking with just two core colors, the mood remains invitingly serene. Warm grays on the armoire’s exterior and interior keep the backdrop neutral and clean. The consistent use of yellow as an accent makes a unifying statement, despite a playful pattern mix of florals, geometrics and animal-inspired prints. Whispers of soothing blue on book jackets enhance the core colors with a small nod to the surrounding wall color. Lesson learned? Less is more.
Keeping everything at your fingertips is rewarding, but simple embellishments can make the space even more divine. Tuck old issues of Life:Beautiful in pretty boxes and gather each issue’s Bible-reading calendars in a handy binder. Cover books with color-coded paper jackets and add labels. Design prayer-request cards and hand out to friends. When cards are returned, corral them along with and church bulletins in white baskets adorned with bright yellow labels.
Breathing New Life into an Old Piece
Not so long ago, the flat-panel television appeared, leaving millions of TV armoires with a large unused compartment in search of a second life. Instead of transforming the armoire into a linen closet, a wardrobe or a display cabinet, making it a prayer closet is an inspired choice.
We started this makeover with a stark black armoire, left, that was underused. First step was measuring that big, vacant compartment. We designed an insert with niches and a drop-down shelf for writing or using a laptop. You can do the same or work with a local cabinetmaker or skilled handyman to handle the design and construction.
Finish with a fresh coat of paint, one of decorating’s most inexpensive, yet transformative tools. Warm gray now covers the dark exterior, creating a look more welcoming and current. When repainting an old piece, evaluate the surface. Anything sleek and glossy will need to be sanded; otherwise, just make sure that the surface is clean.
Though water-base primers are improving, professionals still prefer oil-base to fully block stains and dark colors from bleeding through. Most water-base latex paints will work for the finish coat over oil-base primers but read can labels to assure compatibility. Using a lighter shade of the same hue inside is a nice way to provide subtle contrast. Once painted, personalize the piece by decoupaging or stenciling the doors, wallpapering the interior or changing out the hardware.