We both grew up in homes with revolving doors -- anyone was welcome and almost magically, there was always food to share. For each of us, a full house equates a full heart but in the season of early motherhood when the toys are scattered about and the laundry might be overflowing, welcoming folks into your space doesn't always feel easy.
When our friends at LUX asked us to reflect on what makes a comfortable home, we honed in on a few intentional objects and rituals that not only invite beauty and calm into our spaces on a regular basis, but also make the idea of hosting a little simpler. For example, keeping a few lovely scents at the ready (our favorites are palo santo and PF Candle Co.'s Grapefruit scent). Try stocking a nice lotion near your sink for some hand therapy after all those dishes. Or lighting some candles at a weeknight supper - who cares if it's just leftovers? Consider using linen napkins to add an intentional touch at mealtime.
Whether guests are expected or spontaneous, nothing says "sit down and stay a while" more than a well-stocked pantry. Next time you're at the market, pick out a few teas or whip up a powdered hot cocoa mix to keep on hand just for visitors. (Handmade mugs add a personal touch to any afternoon coffee date.) And while you're there, grab some disposable palm plates which look a bit nicer but won't leave with you a bunch of dirty dishes. Or throw out the plates altogether and opt for a lovely slate or wooden cutting board for your snack surface.
Home should be a place of comfort and once you feel relaxed physically, you can unwind emotionally. Invite your guests to take a load off with some extra cozy couch pillows or snag a few floor pillows to ensure that everyone has a seat and to keep the environment casual. Fresh plants or flowers are probably the quickest way to add life and color to any room and tend to instantly brighten the mood. And speaking of moods, we prefer a good ol' turntable for background music (no commercial interruptions). There's something lovely about "putting on another record." (Right now we're spinning Leon Bridges and Beirut.)
Whatever your stage of live, remember that it's not the fine china or spotless floors that folks will remember. Be it friend or family, it's the warmth and welcome, the heart of the home and the invitation for them to be themselves. And since you're the one enjoying the space everyday, why not invite as much beauty as you can?
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