Sunday, November 27, 2011


In the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday, I am struck by the amazing feeling that comes from being surrounded by family. It sort of wraps its arms around you with unconditional security and love. For many of us, this time of year stirs our need to let people in…into our homes, and into our hearts.

Just as we appreciate the inviting warmth of our families, we want the very same from our homes. Homes personify so much more than shelter; they are extensions of our personality, our values, and a reflection of our individuality. Our homes should not only invite us daily, but at this time of year, they need to extend their arms even further to our neighbors, families, loved ones, and friends.

So how does a home extend its invitation? The hospitality begins outside, at the approach. Are there well-lit beautiful plants and a pathway to the door? The door itself should be a pausing “moment.” Perhaps the door is over-sized and spectacular in its grandeur. Or perhaps its materials are beautifully crafted, rich in natural color. Perhaps there is some glass at the doorway, allowing visitors to see the warmth within.

The threshold is the marked transition bringing guests into our home’s embrace. There should be a momentary delightful “aaahhh.” From there all of our senses should be invited in. We might see the home’s heart, the fireplace. It should not only be a striking focal point, but it should radiate its warmth, drawing us both physically and visually. Its colors should emanate beyond the hearth. The inviting colors of coral, deep red, green, sienna, and brown remind us of the palette of nature.

The lighting can set the tone or mood in any space. While bright lighting can be visually exhausting to our eyes and better suited for tasks and work, slightly dimmed lighting offers the opportunity to soften a room. When combined, varying light sources such as lamps, overhead lighting, and candles, convey character and ambiance.

The textures throughout the house should invite comfort. Cozy knits, chenille, faux furs, tempt us to nestle. Extra throws and cushions provide that added sense of comfort. Our furniture should encourage us to recline, relax, converse, and linger.

The scent of a home can also have a powerful pull. Whether candles, flowers, or fragrance sticks permeate the air, we are drawn to the aroma of vanillas, jasmines, lavender, and cinnamon spices.

And finally, the sound of the home is equally powerful. Whether it is the crackling of the fireplace, soft music, or a soothing water fountain, we are drawn to the harmony that tranquil sounds instill.

So as the season coaxes you to welcome others in, let your home invite all their senses to the forefront. Far more than shelter, a home’s warmth wraps us in comfort, evokes security, and embraces our soul.

The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there. ~quote by Ellie Rodriguez

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