Let’s talk about your casa. Being self-conscious about our home—whether it happens to be a shoebox-sized studio or a sprawling ranch house—can really trip us up when it comes to hosting. This is one of the main reasons we tend to default to eating out, meeting at a bar or inviting ourselves to someone else’s home for gatherings instead of hosting them at our own. But it’s time to get over that fear and there’s no time like the present. Why, you say? Because welcoming people into our most intimate spaces gives them a special window into who we really are, and when people know who we really are…well, we all feel a little bit safer and happier in the world.
Here are some foolproof ideas from Wabi-Sabi Welcome (see parts I and part II for context) to help spruce up and style your home in super stress-free ways that won’t break the bank—while still allowing for those signature imperfections that make our homes unique (and perfectly imperfect) to us. It’s just the boost you need for bolstering your hosting spirit.
Unless you’re an extreme minimalist, this tip is for everyone. Look to the Danes for cues on how to pare down and still make a space feel cozy and inviting, as they seem to have perfected the balance of simple yet personal. No need to display all your favorite treasures, photographs or pillows at once. Practice a little restraint and your home will feel that much calmer to every guest who comes through your door.
A motto for life. Seriously, don’t go out and revamp your entire home, but next time you’re buying something new, think about how you might upgrade and simplify your life by investing in items that bring both beauty and practical purpose into your home. For instance, look for nice looking baskets for storage, a pretty water pitcher for the table or even a sleek looking toilet-bowl cleaner. It’s the little things.
Your home should be a direct reflection of you, and therefore, looking like you copied a page out of a home catalogue is actually pretty undesirable. Have things throughout your home that have meaning in your life and remind you who you are, like framed personal photographs, art you find interesting (save up, if you have to), mementos collected from trips and books and magazines that aren’t just for show.
Invite instant serenity with some good old-fashioned nature. Whether it’s a handful of wildflowers on the coffee-table, a nature-inspired color palette, a menagerie of hanging plants or a display of your favorite pebbles collected from the National Parks, a bit of earthiness can do wonders for everyone.
This one really lets you off the hook. Gone are the days of finely pressed linens and fretting over having the right silverware. The gatherings of today can be casual, spontaneous and spunky, and your pretty wrinkly napkins will fit right in with the spirit of things.
This isn’t so much a styling cue as just a general rule to live by. Kind of like the old Isak Dinesen quote about salt water curing anything, fresh air and natural light are major for making any space feel more inviting—and everyone more at ease. So swing open those windows, prop wide the door and let the airy lightness blow through.
Sensuous smells can cover a multitude of sins (like the dirty laundry hiding in the closet, the dog-infused couch or the stale scent of musk that’s been hovering all winter). Brighten up your space by finding one or two signature scents that speak to you and make a point of using them prior to having guests over—whether it’s simply a lit candle, a stick of incense, a diffuser with essential oils or a stovetop pot simmering full of spices (but truly, forget the Febreze).
Buy the full book, Wabi-Sabi Welcome: Learning to embrace the imperfect and entertain with thoughtfulness and ease →