The importance of making your home a welcoming place

We are living in uncertain times, our economy has been in a constant spiral and everywhere I look people are scared. It makes my career choices as a realtor and a designer quite difficult and I can absolutely respect people’s fear of spending money on discretionary items like home décor or a new house.

Its like the scene at the end of a movie where the carnival has left town and someone is sweeping up the glitter while the credits roll. Our time of frivolity and excess in Alberta is at an end and many of us feel like the wolf is at the door.

Different is not necessarily bad though, even though a change of priorities and a need for regrouping might be at hand, it can also be a time of finding out where your values truly lie and what is essentially important to you for a good life.

Maybe down sizing the cable package to save a bit of money encourages your family to spend more time playing board games or gives opportunity for more sitting around the dinner table.

The possibility of finding free or inexpensive ways to entertain ourselves might see you in the garden with your grandchildren or strolling the neighbourhood meeting the people you live near.

When I was younger, entertaining meant a gigantic production. The house had to be cleaned for days and every piece of china and décor had to be perfectly set out with candles lit at just the right time.

It was exhausting yet thrilling to me as I love to entertain and extend hospitality to my friends and family. The trouble was; I didn’t extend the invitation as often as I should have because everything had to be perfect which took a lot of time and a considerable amount of money.

Lately my focus has been on blessing friends and family with good food and low key entertainment such as time around a fire.

What I have discovered is that people enjoy hospitality no matter where it is offered. I am no longer competing with an impossible standard set by nobody but myself and I have experienced freedom in the exercise of having people into my home regardless of its perfection or lack of perfection.

Simpler is sometimes better and more satisfying and it brings people around your table more frequently.

Offer what you have with love and just sit back and watch people gather.

I know people who have never had company over because their home isn’t quite ‘ready’ yet – oh, how much delight they have missed out on!

It’s time to get back to picnics in the back yard and family movie nights. We need to start using our homes as a source of entertainment and blessing, it is one of our largest assets yet is sadly under utilized in terms of how often we throw open the doors and welcome the world into our sacred spaces.

If your home isn’t perfect and you feel intimidated by what people may think, just give it a try! I think you will be surprised at the reception your humble offering will bring.

We are all in this economy thing together and reaching out will always be met with gratitude and joy.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. You can find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer/Ask a Realtor’.

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