Your home should be a place where you and your partner want to spend time, a place where loved ones and friends will want to visit, a place where anyone could feel at home. Studies show that laughter and socializing enhances resilience, lowers stress hormones, strengthens relationships and creates a space to let go and start living more fully. Setting aside special times to have co-workers, friends, family or neighbors over may seem overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be a time intensive, fancy or complicated affair. It could be as simple as ordering take out, or asking friends over for a game night where everyone brings an appetizer. Most importantly it’s a time for you and your guests to take a break from the all of the other day to day responsibilities of work deadlines, wedding planning and home projects and just.. relax..
Getting your home ready for guests doesn’t have to be complicated or time intensive either. Try these easy decorating tips to create a welcoming atmosphere.
1. Focus on your entryway
You want guests to feel immediately comfortable entering your home, so the entryway or foyer should be the most inviting part of your house. Keep the flow open, and well lit. Add a table with a bouquet of flowers or a plant in view of the front door. You could even put a small cozy bench near the entrance.
2. Feng shui your living room
Arrange your living room furniture in a square or circular pattern so that guests can see each other. If people can sit together and easily converse without having to move chairs across the room or twisting around to hear each other, the energy of the room will circulate in a positive way.
3. Personalize your hallways
Decorate the walls of your hallways and stairway with photos of family and friends and your favorite paintings and other artwork. Bare walls have no personality, and they don’t reflect the people who live there—so don’t waste that blank space.
4. Warm your kitchen
Even if you and your partner aren’t big on cooking in your kitchen, fake it. Nothing says, “welcome home” like a warm kitchen with freshly baked cookies on the counter. The kitchen is the area that brings the family together, and it tends to remind people of their own family home. Hang your pots and pans on a rack above your kitchen island or over your oven instead of hiding them in cabinets. Put out a spice rack. Store flour, sugar and other ingredients in antique jars on the counter. Give the illusion that your kitchen is well used, even if it isn’t.
5. Don’t forget the bathroom
The bathroom is the one area of your home where guests will be completely alone, which means they’ll make the most observations. Make sure it’s clean, organized and fully stocked with the essentials. Hang paintings and other decorations. Trade that disposable soap for a classy soap dispenser or place little handmade soaps in a decorative dish. Lose the kitchen rags for more intricate hand towels. Details make a difference.
6. Clear Clutter
Clutter gives a spotless home a messy appearance and a space that is clutter-free gives a clean, fresh feel to a room (even if you haven’t had a chance to clean). To prevent rooms from looking disheveled, create easy to use, decorative storage solutions. You can use large rope baskets to store extra blankets and pillows in your living areas, a lidded ottoman or coffee table with additional storage for bulky video game controllers, and storage containers near your media center to house cd’s, video games and blue rays. Keep surfaces clear in areas where papers tend to normally pile up with file folders or bins to temporarily store any unread mail. At the start of the day or before your guests are to arrive, crank up the party jams, grab a laundry basket and take a quick walk through each of your entertaining rooms, and stick any items left out of place back into their correct spot and toss any items into the basket that don’t belong in the room to sort and put away later.