I had coffee with a friend one morning and we were talking about the blog. She actually gave me the idea to write about this specific topic. She was complimentary on the warmth of my home. Y’all, this compliment means so much to me. I deeply care that people feel “at home” in my home. My goal is that it is pretty, yes, but mostly inviting and hospitable. Here's my "how to" on warmth.
Candles are just it. They are distinctly warm. I mean it’s a flame, obviously it’s warm. But there is something about a burning candle, the scent, the golden lighting, I LOVE them. My very favorite candle of all time burns bright in Anthropologie daily, Volcano by Capri Blue. (Picture of classic jar version above.) It is the most perfect smell of loveliness I have ever sniffed. It is not overpowering but it feels warm and sweet. EVERYONE notices it and asks about it! This one is either in my entryway or kitchen because you’re hit with it the second you step foot through our front door OR the kitchen, because it’s always a gathering place. I have a Rewind candle in my living room…a soft and light scent so it doesn’t overwhelm. Unscented small candles in my dining room to maintain the atmosphere but not compete with the smell of food. If you did NOTHING else but cook dinner (which is plenty on its own) add candles. They completely alter the way my home feels and I think it would yours.
[Dinnertime] I am going to chat about dinner lighting first. That seems to be the biggest hosting time for most. I like to call it my mood or evening lighting. Most of our lights are on sliders, if you don’t have sliders, no fear, you can accomplish this too. Those of you that do, I turn all my overhead lights to halfway, except the dining room. I turn on all the lamps. This feels, my favorite word, warm. It’s super creamy/gold in color but still enough light to see one another and not feel dark. If you don’t have sliders, pick and choose lights to keep on as long as there isn’t a whole room that feels dark. I’d consider turning on foyer light, living room, dining room, formal living or keeping room, and kitchen. Keep stairwell, laundry, and office off. Just my suggestion, you may have to play with your own layout and determine what works.
- [Brunchtime] At my house, all blinds are open and most lights on for a morning or brunch host. Natural, morning sun is gorgeous, so I try not to take away from it with overheads, but certainly will because bright light trumps. You may have a room that gets very little sunlight so turn on everything!
- [Mid Afternoon] A 3pm bridal or baby shower is all lights on and blinds open. The natural light is beginning to fade and may be blocked, plus you want to wake up that tendency for an afternoon slump.
- [Nighttime] When the baby has gone to bed and Ken and I are either sitting and catching up or watching a show with a glass of wine, I turn most lights off, except the kitchen and lamps. Our home does feel darker, but it helps me to start winding down for bed.
OH…we always have porch lights on when sun begins to set.
Florals and greenery.
I like to call flowers my hobby. I adore florals and playing with them. It’s kinda my mom outlet, something I can do while my babe naps and entices me to clean and beautify.
- Simple: Silver dollar eucalyptus. It’s $2.99 at Trader Joe’s, that’s cheap!
- A Step Up: Add hydrangea. I think it is $5-$6 for four stems at Trader Joes. Costco's are HUGE and a good price, too.
- Go Fancy: buy eucalyptus, hydrangea, and a seasonal flower bouquet to break up and use with the other stems for multiple vases
- Totally free: cut greenery from your yard or your neighbors :) Leafy is best.
I just realized this could get lengthy so if you’re interested in a blog post on flower tips, send me a note and I will work on details!
Michael Buble is my favorite dinner time hosting music, it's so swanky. I usually have worship music by Kari Jobe or Cristy Knochles, or Adele playing for more of a brunch or afternoon setting.
This is over the top. I totally agree. I don’t even do this a lot, but it can work. And then your guests get to eat them too. I will admit that when we decided to sell our first townhouse, I baked cookies, turned the oven off and left them in the oven. I put out three with a note for the guests. Not to claim it was the cookie, but our house did sell in 24 hours. Even when people don’t know what it is that makes them feel good in a space, what matters is they just feel good. ALL the feels.