For today's topic, I'd like to share some comments and tips on Creating a Welcoming Home!
Did you ever visit someone's house where you just felt GOOD when you were there? It's probably because you felt "AT HOME"! I have always really enjoyed decorating and hosting parties. But over the past few years I have had a strong desire to learn more about using these fun things that I like to do as an act of love for others. I am definitely not an expert, but I'm excited to share what I've learned with you!
Why Should We Create a Welcoming Home?
1. God is a God of love, order, peace, beauty and creativity. He created beautiful things for us to enjoy! Since we are created in His image, it's only natural that we would desire our homes to reflect love, order, peace, beauty and creativity as well!
2. The Bible tells us so! Romans 12:13 says: "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." This way of loving others (of being welcoming) is not just an emotion, but it's active love.
3. Not only does it provide beauty and joy for us, it shows love for our family, friends, and neighbors by helping them have an environment where they feel comfortable, they feel special, they feel AT HOME!
How Do We Get Started?
You may be wondering where to begin! First, pray and ask God to help you know how He wants to to serve others in this way. He knows your gifts and abilities and desires, and He knows who needs to feel the special knowledge that someone cares about them! Pray, and let God do His work through you.
Next, check out some of the wonderful books, magazines, & tv shows out there about decorating, menus, get-together ideas, organizing, etc. They can be a great source of inspiration for you as you plan how to make your home a comfortable, warm, welcoming place to be!
You just have to get started! This does NOT have to involve re-decorating the kitchen first, or a gigantic budget, in order to invite a friend for coffee! Someone once mentioned that if we waited until our houses were perfect to invite anyone over, we would NEVER GET to have anyone over :)! Have fun with making your home beautiful for yourself and your loved ones, but please give yourself permission to just "go with the flow"!
This week's tips:
Put a pot of beautiful (and fragrant) flowers by the front door. Hang a wreath, cross, or plaque on the door as a welcoming decoration. Use a little chalkboard to create a personalized greeting for your family and guests! (I had a small chalkboard by my entrance that was placed in a decorative shabby chic white plate holder screwed to the siding by the door. All together it cost under $7. I would change the greeting to reflect seasons, birthdays, or family visits. Everyone loved to read what it said, and it really put a smile on people's faces!)
Also, a cheery entrance area shouldn't be just for guests! Make the family entrance beautiful also. I have a plaque hanging INSIDE my garage, next to the door!
A certain amount of cleanliness is important :)! Take care of the clutter! It's amazing the sense of peace that you have when you aren't surrounded by piles of STUFF! Three tips for clutter control: 1.) When you receive mail, IMMEDIATELY pitch/recycle the junk mail, and put bills, magazines, and invitations where they go. NO messy paper pile on the kitchen counter! 2.)When you leave a room/go up or down the stairs take something with you that doesn't belong there and put it away! 3.) Completely clear off the front of your fridge! I'm talking no magnets, photos, artwork...Nothing! Trust me! Place things on the side of the fridge, but not the front. It will instantly make your kitchen feel cleaner and bigger!
Your decor doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to reflect YOU! It's wonderful to find out more about a person by seeing it reflected in their home! What do you collect? Find a unique way to display it. Any hobbies? If you scrapbook, leave one out on the coffeetable or on a bookshelf opened on a bookstand for others to see.
Nothing is better than giving someone a kind hug! ;-D
Well, that's all for this week! I'll give a few easy tips each Thursday for the next few weeks.