Have you ever been in one of those homes that just makes you feel good? Like it’s healing to your soul just to be there? It’s warm and inviting and comfy and cozy and you kinda just want to stay. And then when you do leave, you kinda want to figure out how to take that welcoming atmosphere back with you.
For me, that place was Emily’s house. I’ve been there only once, but that impactful visit left me pondering just what it is that makes a house feel like home—even to a guest.
I wanted to know! So I asked. 🙂 Emily doesn’t claim to be an expert on this topic, but her home, so appealing in both aesthetic and atmosphere, tells a different story. It really is that place where you just want to stay a little longer, and from which you leave feeling refreshed.
A big thank you to Emily for creating a home that inspires — and for giving us a glimpse of what it takes to do the same.
Q: What do you think are the most vital elements to a welcoming atmosphere in the home?
A: Some vital elements in making a welcoming atmosphere in your home would be first, making it a place where your guests feel comfortable and important. Ask yourself, How can I make my guests feel loved? Then, take time preparing for them. Clean your house. If you need to put everything in that “one room” and shut the door, then do it. Get out your special dishes or whatever it is that you use only for special occasions. Make your favorite recipe and light your favorite candle. Give your guests your best! Spark conversations that that are going to bring laughter and joy. Talk about things that are going to refresh them.
Q: What role does the hostess play in making her guests feel welcome?
A: The hostess has a pretty big role in making her guests feel welcome. She is the one who will be preparing in the days ahead. She will be the first one to greet her guests with a smiling face, and she will be making sure they are comfortable and having a good time. It can be a lot to prepare for guests, especially if you have little ones. If you can’t do it all then ask a good friend who is coming to maybe bring some food or plan the entertainment. She could even watch the kids before so you can prepare. This takes some of the pressure off the hostess so she can focus on enjoying her guests.
Q: What do you think it takes to make a guest feel “at home” in your home?
A: If you know your guests well then you will know what their likes/dislikes are. If you have ladies coming over, maybe do something that is relaxing and more intimate. If you are entertaining men, then the atmosphere will be different. You’ll want to make some man snacks and have their favorite beverage on hand. The point is, a guest will feel “at home” if the atmosphere is inviting to what he or she enjoys.
Q: What are some simple ways a hostess can make her home feel warm and inviting to guests?
A: There are lots of simple ways to make your home feel warm and inviting. Light some candles, light the fireplace, have comfortable seating, and buy some fresh flowers for your table. Ask your guests if they are comfortable. Sometimes it can get a little warm with lots of people, so pay attention to the temperature. I love more intimate lighting, so instead of having every light in the house on, turn on your lamps. Sending your guests home with a simple gift can be fun, too! There are lots of cheap ideas for this on Pinterest. Again, keep the conversations positive and refreshing, and make sure your guest feels special and relaxed.
Q: Does a home have to be well-decorated to feel welcoming?
A: I don’t think a home has to be well-decorated to feel welcoming. I do love to see a decorated home (I’m drawn to that type of thing), but that is not important to everyone—nor is it the most important thing. Like I said before, making your guests feel important, loved, and refreshed is what we are going for. If you aren’t into decorating your home, you could do something as simple as buying or picking some fresh flowers and putting them in a vase on your table or lighting a sweet smelling candle.
What tips would you add for creating a welcoming atmosphere in your home?
Read more from our “Home” for the Holidays series!
- Home Is Where the Heart Is
- Decorating for the Holidays with Your Kids
- Hostessing Tips for Keeping Your Stress Level Low This Holiday Season
- Holiday Traditions & Recipes from My Kitchen
- Holiday Wear Target Style 2014
- The Perfect Holiday Party