“It’s the most wonderful time of year!” Well, almost. It’s never too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve plans and preparations though! Chances are people have already started to get invitations to parties and family gatherings so if you are entertaining this festive season, it’s the perfect time to get ahead.
As a mom of twin toddlers, planning has become an integral part of our lives so everything goes as smoothly as possible and avoids stress. Particularly around this time of year, planning and preparations get more important. Tidying the house, ensuring there are enough seats for everyone, food, beverages – and generally making your home feel welcoming for your guests.
No matter how big or small your events are this year, I’m sure you can relate to this. And it’s really got me thinking – how can you make your home more inviting for guests? Without completely changing the design! Here are 5 ways to make your home more inviting this year.
An Inviting Front Door
Creating a welcoming home starts with your porch area and front door. Believe it or not, this area has a huge impact on your guests and sets the tone for the whole evening/day/event. Just like the saying “first impressions matter”, your porch and front door are the first impressions of your home for others, so don’t skip this!
Have a look at your porch area. Do you need to do a quick sweep before guests arrive? People are unlikely to use any furniture here but make sure the whole space is neatly arranged at the least. If you have limited lighting on your porch, think about hanging some outdoor string lights to use for the winter evenings.
For your front door, make sure to have a mat that guests can use to wipe or stomp their shoes on. If weather in your state is extreme during this time of year, you may also want to provide some space or a boot tray for guests’ shoes.
A personal favorite of mine is dressing the front door with a wreath. And bonus points for using the season as inspiration for the colors and foliage used! Front door wreaths help to break up the large blank canvas of the door and styles it perfectly.
Guest Friendly Entry
Next up is your entry space.
It’s important to provide your guests with an area to hang their coats up, put their shoes on/off and check their appearance. This could be a combination of different furniture pieces and accessories, or a complete built-in piece depending on the layout and design of your home.
A key piece of furniture that will help to make your entry guest-friendly is a bench or stool. This will be particularly helpful for anyone who has a health condition or is older in age and requires somewhere to sit to put their shoes on. Stools can be tucked neatly underneath a console table, and hooks can be hung beside this for hanging coats.
Another way to make your home more inviting is to provide the main space with different seating options. You should also ensure that you have enough seats available, and having different types of seating among this makes everyone feel at home and comfortable.
Sofas are great for couples or small families, while individual chairs allow for a comfortable distance between guests if they are solo. Ottomans and poufs are great to have in your “back pocket” for quick seating that may be required. If your main living space doesn’t have different chairs available, you can bring chairs from the kitchen or dining room as a supplement.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while or know me personally, you’ll know I’m a massive advocate for well-designed lighting schemes for homes! Lighting has a huge impact on how your rooms look, including the colors and textures. Not to sound too dramatic but your lighting can actually make or break a room! And has an impact on those interacting or using the space too.
Ideally, you should have adjustable lighting installed within your main entertaining spaces. The living room and dining areas in particular, or have a good amount of control over the lights in these rooms.
Adjusting the light levels based on the activities of what’s happening makes your home feel more inviting and designed with functionality in mind. Being able to dim the lights for a cocktail party but bring the levels right up for a crafts event is ideal and speaks to a well-designed lighting scheme. For dining, having a mix of lighting levels will give flexibility for the gathering.
Set the tone for your event or gathering with adjustable lighting.
Let Guests Adjust the Space!
Providing guests with flexibility is the best way to make them feel welcomed and at home within yours.
Use throw pillows and blankets to not only dress your sofas and chairs but to give your guests the opportunity to adjust the space for their comfort. This will make your home feel more inviting.
Provide coasters on side tables, coffee tables, or any other surface so guests can use them to put their drinks down without worrying about your table’s surface or spillages.
What do you think of these 5 ways to make your home more inviting? What would you add to the list? I’d love to hear all about your ideas and thoughts in the comments section!