The calendar is punctuated throughout the year with holidays, special occasions, and our own unique happenings. We frequently celebrate these moments-to-remember with family and friends, and sometimes guests fill our home to overflowing. Welcoming company is always an opportunity to put our best foot forward and make our guests feel at home and appreciated.
How can you make your home inviting and comfortable for visitors? Think back to your last stay in a nice hotel and all the amenities you enjoyed. When outfitting your home for company, incorporate any features or experiences you found to be particularly special. Conversely, correct any inconveniences and misses you noticed.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS FIRST
Creating a warm welcome starts long before your company arrives at the front door. Your yard, driveway, sidewalk, and entryway create a lasting first impression. Make it the best it can be with.
Because guests can be of all ages and have very different needs, it’s good to begin by evaluating your site objectively. Think about your home and property as they look through the eyes of your guests. Is extra parking available and recognizable? Is the walk clear of objects and obstacles? Are the steps safe and the handrails secure? Is there adequate lighting? These considerations are utilitarian but nonetheless quite important.
THE SOFTER SIDE OF “WELCOME”
Decorating the outside of your home can be as much fun as decorating the inside, and thoughtful touches make your exterior warm and inviting. The energetic focal point of your home is the always the front door. Use that fact to your best advantage by focusing your efforts there and perhaps creating a special feature. One large display will draw the eye right where you want it, and that single, bold statement is much more effective than smaller items scattered about.
Colorful and boldly overflowing containers are dramatic eye-catchers and can be the basis of your design. For the strongest impact, however, it is important to move the eye to the vertical dimension. To get the biggest bang for your buck, choose colors, plant materials, and motifs that with minor tweaks can gracefully transition seasons. Matching or coordinating flowers and foliage with an accent paint color for your front door or entry is an especially striking visual “hello.” Even if rarely used, seating near the front door, kept clean and comfortable, is always welcoming. A welcome mat may display a distinctive design or seasonal greeting, and is always functional.
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