Search This Blog

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ten Ideas for a Welcoming Home

I was browsing around the web and stumbled upon a lovely home-making blog called The Blessed Nest (great title, don't you think??)  She recently had a post on 10 Simple Ideas For a Welcoming Home.  There are some really terrific ideas there --- I strongly recommend that you click over and see what she thinks.   I found a couple of new ideas --- you probably will too.
Blessed Nest inspired me to try my own hand at 10 Ideas for a Welcoming Home (sort of like one of those Letterman knock-offs)  
  1. Corral the clutter!!  Some simple baskets that keep the daily clutter of life under control are all it takes.  No one feels comfortable around someone else's newspapers, magazines, children's toys, dog toys etc.  Just stash it in an easily accessible basket and get it out of sight.  You'll feel better and your guests will too.  
  2. Clear the clutter on the porch and sidewalk too.  You may love looking at the tricycle your three year old left in the sidewalk, but its just an obstacle to a guest.  Obstacles are, by definition, not welcoming.  Likewise the dead flower basket that blew down in the wind storm last week, and the broom that you left leaning against the wall on the porch.  Create a clear, clean path up to and into your home.
  3. Give the windows of the door a quick swipe with Windex.  After the long winter, they're probably at least a little smudged with fingerprints, pawprints and the like.  Make them sparkle!! It only takes a minute and it makes a huge difference to the visitor walking up to your door.  Don't forget the back door too --- some company is "back door company" and usually they're the best kind.  Right??
  4. Light a candle that smells terrific.  I learned this one from my friend Patricia.  She has one of those homes that I always envy, but will never have (mostly because I will never clean the way she does).  Besides the simple clean of her home, she always has a lovely candle burning in the kitchen (she's a Yankee Candle gal, I'm too cheap for that)  The smell just welcomes you and pulls you inside.  
  5. Keep a sparkling pitcher near the fridge.  When guests arrive (even unexpected guests) fill that pitcher with a little ice and some fresh cool water.  Its amazing how welcoming a simple glass of water can feel --- and the pitcher just makes it feel special --- like someone was hoping you'd come for a visit.  
  6. Put some of those fancy, schmancy paper guest towels in your bathroom --- and forbid the family to even think about touching them!!  I'm not one for spending money frivolously -- but this little touch means I don't have to wonder about guests feeling squicky about some grimy towel with dog hair on it.  The guest towels are there in a little basket on the ledge of the sink..... Again, it makes it feel like I've been hoping you'd visit.  
  7. Actually sit down with your guests.  No one feels comfortable visiting when the hostess is struggling in the kitchen or trying to sneak clean the bathroom.  These people came to see you.  Visit with them a while. 
  8. Get in the habit of hosting Friday night dessert.  Its amazing -- Friday night seems to be the one night that stays somewhat clear in everyone's schedule.  Kids teams and practices and clubs are most often during the week or during the day on the weekend.  Adult social activities seem to be largely scheduled for Saturday nights.  Don't try for dinner --- everyone is trying to re-balance after the long work week.  Just invite someone for 8:00 dessert and coffee.  You can pick up something on your way home if need be.  
  9. Accept invitations to other homes and to group outings.  People cannot feel welcomed and comfortable in your home if they're not comfortable with YOU.  
  10. Practice relaxing --- when you're tense, you convey that tenseness to everyone around you --- your kids, the dog, your friends -- everyone.  When you relax, everyone around you can relax too.  After all, isn't that what you want in a welcoming home??? You want your guests to relax.  Relax!