Entertaining friends and family in our humble abodes

When I look back and consider how often I used to open my home to friends and family I am amazed at the amount of dinners, birthdays and reasons just to get out my punchbowl. The house is smaller and there is no grand fireplace in the dining room but this week I am hosting a baby shower for a friend and I couldn’t be more excited to get out the punchbowl once again.

Entertaining is not without its stresses and preparation and I feel that many people think their house is unsuitable for inviting guests over. Let me reassure you there is nothing more stressful than hosting a gaggle of designers (my dear friends and co-workers) who have not seen the new house. To add to that horror, my house is not where I want it to be – not by a long shot.

I am performing the standard clean-up and I notice many things that I have on my to do list that have not yet been completed. As beautifully as this house was renovated before I purchased it, the previous owners forgot some important details, paramount being the kitchen and bathroom but my faithful readers know all about that.

My lights, what can I say about my horrible light fixtures? They need to be changed, there is a ceiling fan in every room which I abhor and to make them even more special the ceilings were sprayed without protecting the lights so there is a film of white on them that looks like dust – dust which cannot be removed. Will these lights be changed by the date of the shower? Absolutely not. Have I had a few moments of anxiety wondering what people will think? Absolutely.

Our homes are a direct reflection of us and we all want people to come through our doors and gasp in awe at our lovely decorating choices because this makes us a good person in their eyes. At least that is what we want to think. I’m sure that my moral character will not be at risk if people observe my sketchy lighting fixtures and my partially renovated bathroom. The joy and laughs we will share (not to mention the food) will be worth more in my bank of memory than hiding out until my house is perfect and I am looking forward to the company very much.

My best friend lives in Newfoundland and as a native Calgarian she was uneasy her first few months on the island as she adjusted to the drop in atmosphere of her new home town. When we have company it is usually planned out weeks in advance and we stress and sweat over the condition and cleanliness of our home for every day preceding. It’s no mystery why we rarely have people over! The laid back neighbourly feel of the east coast is something to be envied as neighbours drop in on each other for everything from a quick cup of tea to ‘can I borrow your clothesline, mine just blew down in the storm’.

The weather is turning and we can emerge from our cocoons and welcome people into our homes, or even just our yards if we don’t feel our bathroom is clean enough.

Kim Wyse is an interior decorator with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.

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