Week One: Preparing Our Homes for the SeasonDay 6 Keeping the House Cozy
If you are anything like me, you do the bulk of your seasonal decorating in a whirl over a couple days, and then aside from the odd tweaking, don't want to think too much about it after that. Especially here in Canada when Thanksgiving is already upon us in a few short days, so we're in the midst of finalizing plans for the weekend and gathering the last needs for the quickly approaching family feast.
This year my sister is hosting it at her house, which I love the idea of. She lives in a renovated old farmhouse on a small parcel of land. Her husband build her a giant wrap around porch and hopefully (fingers crossed) it will be warm enough to eat outside! The boys love going to Auntie Stephy and Uncle Cam's place, so much to explore and do, and so much space to run around in! That family feast with I think it's approaching 20+ adults now and all the kiddos, is on Sunday, and then we'll do our "smaller" feast on Monday at home.
I love the idea of sharing my home and life with people, even with strangers. We currently have 2 international high school students living with us this fall - one from Columbia and another from China. I just found out a third will be joining us just for the weekend, from Denmark. It will be an international holiday in our house (smile).
Anyways, between home schooling and having outings and guests in and out all weekend, its a trick to keep the house cozy - "Giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation" - before it gets over-run. Since I don't want to think about "decor" other than the centerpieces, I need to remember to keep things in check.
These are little extra things that you can do to vamp up the cozy, especially when you've got guests.
Have stacks of blankets in a visible spot in the main rooms where people congregate. they are easy to grab to fight off the chill in the air, soft and inviting to look at, and look great when people are snuggled up in them.
Invest in a couple of these. They are less of a fire hazard than candles and especially are handy to ward off nasty smells in bathrooms, hallways, the entrance and musty guest rooms. If you can, pick musky, spicy scents that suit the season.
Stacks of interesting books
There's something about interesting books lying in well placed spots. It wards off uncomfortable silences, can be used as icebreakers/ conversation starters and encourages more reading - always welcome in a homes chooling home.
Tray of veggies/ bowl of fruit
It speaks of welcome and abundance. People feel more at home, when they can help themselves to a snack rather than needing to ask all the time.
Same as above, but even better.
A room lit by lamps is so inviting. There's something about the shadows and bring everything and everyone closer together in the light. A well lit chair invites people to sit, relax, read or share in conversation.
If you want people to have fun together, make sure they don't have to go looking for it, if it's already at hands-reach, they'll be more likely to join in!
These are the things that are just ongoing and non-negotiable.
Keep it tidy. Recruit the kids/ hubster to help pick things up over the course of the day.
Have clear places to catch items like papers, magazines, books, games, etc.
If no one is watching it, keep the TV off. It adds to the serenity.
Pick up throw cushions and throw blankets whenever you see them on the floor.
Keep surfaces clear and throw garbage out immediately.
When a house is LIVED IN, it's going to look like it. But it can still be inviting...it should say - "we're doing life here, come join us!"