Saturday, April 6, 2013

How Inviting Is Your Home?

            Admit it, we all want our home to feel inviting when we have company over. Why else would we say ‘Please make yourself at home’? We want our guests to enjoy themselves, and hopefully they will want to come back. But, before they can actually make themselves at home, they have to feel as if they are welcome and comfortable.

           Of course, (home decorating tips aside), you have to be hospitable. Period. No one wants to come over and have his or her hosts be rude. It’s simple really; it won’t matter what your home looks like, you’re not going to have any company if you’re not hospitable to your guests. Also, pick up around your house. No one wants to come into a dirty home with toys and clothes lying around. Some of you might think this is common sense, but you’d be surprised.

            Cleaning and hospitality should pretty much be a given when you’re going to have company. This is also true when it comes to your guest bathroom. Make sure everything is clean and well stocked. No one likes a dirty bathroom. Even if you did these couple of things, there are still ways to make your home more inviting. Your guests will feel much more welcome and invited if you apply even a few of these simple elements into your home.

1.    Spruce up your front door. The first place guests are going to see is the front door and patio, and since first impressions make such a big statement, you want it to be a good one.  Clean up around the front door and add some greenery. Ferns and flowers add so much, plus they add color. Put out a nice welcome mat and add a wreath on the door to make a great first impression. Have fun with the wreaths too, and change them for different seasons!


2.     Make a statement of your front entryway. Similar to the front door, when guests actually enter your home, they step into the entryway first. Keep this area simplified and well lit. When deciding on what to hang on the wall, consider a mirror. It will make the space seem larger, and guests like to be able to see themselves when they first walk in.


3.    If possible, use furniture with curves. Sofas, chairs, and tables with straight edges make a space look harsh and stiff. Adding curvature softens the space, making it more inviting and engaging to guests. Also, keep it simple. Solid and neutral colored sofas and chairs look much better, and keep the space lighter and also invites more conversation. Large and bold patterned furniture keep the space looking too busy and heavy. Instead, spice up your pillows with colors and fun patterns to add contrast to neutral furniture.


4.    Make your home personal. Throughout your home, use accessories that actually mean something to you and make them personal. Put out accessories and home décor that you love. The use of pictures is a great example. They make guests feel like they can get to know you a little better, plus they can really express who you and your family are. 
     If you collect something, then display it proudly. These unique items will really show off your personality and let your guests get to know who you are, and what you like to do. In my own home, my husband and I have started a collection of crosses. I put them in a large empty frame on a large wall of ours, which really makes it stand out.  A couple of these are from other countries, and we are always looking to collect more! 


5.    Use contrast in materials and cultures. The juxtaposition of different materials and accents creates a contrast that keeps your eyes moving from one thing to another. What I love about this is that it always keeps you engaged and interested in everything around you. There are no two things alike, and since everything is so different, it creates an atmosphere that is more homey, comfortable, and casual.


Most importantly, look at your home as though you were a guest. How does everything look? Does something need to be done differently? How would you feel in your own home? Thinking and applying just a few of these ideas is a great way to make your guests feel more comfortable and invited into your home. 

If there are other great ideas out there, please share them!

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