|Where thou art,|
that is home.
I know that Dickinson meant "where ever you are - that is your home," but this quote also makes me think of what makes a home. My home is made up of my husband, our daughters, extended family and our friends; we have family antiques and junque passed down generations. My home is filled with photos of people here and gone. Our home is filled with books, tchotchke and collected treasures. Sometimes it feels like too much, but when I look at pruning and reducing, it is so hard to do. Home means candles and comfort and good food. It means decorating for the seasons and holidays. Home is art, too. Real art, kid art, friends' art, my parent's art, old art and new art all grace our walls.
The sum of those parts is that our environment, our home, is a welcoming one. It is one, I hope, that you could step into and feel comfortable. I would offer you a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine. Perhaps we could sit on the couch with a fire in the antique potbelly wood stove. I most likely would have cheese and crackers to offer - maybe even an assortment. We could have a conversation.
I don't think anyone would say our home is sterile, some would say it has a museum like quality, or if they have no tact, they could say it's too cluttered and junky. What I hope a guest would say is that our home is welcoming and comfortable. It may not be your style, but I hope you feel good here.
It is not by accident, and it's not easy. But creating that warm environment is not all that hard, either. It takes thought. Make a home that is welcoming by making it look lived in, but not so much that there's not a clear surface to rest your eyes. Place a pretty candle on the counter. Hang a colorful print or painting (or two or three) on the wall. Have a space for family pictures. Leave a soft pillow or throw on your couch. Buy grocery store flowers once in a while - just for you. (alstroemeria or mums last a long time) Make your house a home. Then open your home to friends.
Come over for coffee, won't you? You are welcome here.