“Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.”Bram Stoker
We were in Lowe’s the other day, checking out closet systems (a topic I’ll cover in more depth in afuture blog). I stopped in the cleaning products aisle to grab a few things and I added Glade Plug-In refills to our basket. When Bruce asked me why, I said ” I want it to smell like fall when you come in the house.” He thought that this was nice, albeit a bit curious. It got me thinking about entryways and what makes them good – welcoming. So here are some thoughts…
Scent is a Powerful Emotion
Whether it’s the apple cinnamon scented oil that I picked up at Lowe’s the other day , scented candles you burn occasionally or fresh cut flowers from your garden, having your entryway smell good is a great way to make a good first impression for your guests (and also quite pleasant for the people who live there). Smell is most probably the strongest of our senses and it is linked to memory in powerful ways. “Smell and memory seem to be so closely linked because of the brain’s anatomy,” according to Dr. Venkatesh Murthy, PhD, of Harvard University. So why not evoke a pleasant memory and a beautiful scent?
Space For Stuff
Most homes come with some sort of “front hall closet” near the main entryway. These babies are graet to have, especially if you don’t stuff them chock-full. Leaving a little hanging space available in the front hall closet is another great way to make your guests feel welcome. You have space for their coat = you want them there. No coat closet, or no room therein? No problem. You can easily add wall hanging coat hooks or standing coat rack for guests’ items and things you use on the daily, like your briefcase or jacket.
And a drop-zone is also quite a nice thing to have in the entry. A console table, small bookcase, even a chair can provide a place for a handbag, keys etc. Give folks a place to set things down, take a load off.
Check Your Look in The Mirror
My hair and humidity are not friends. I have tried countless anti-frizz products (my favorite of late being Ghost Oil by VERB) to lesser and greater success. One thing is for sure with this type of hair – I am ALWAYS going to check my look in the mirror before leaving the house. No need to unnecessarily scare small children with a Don King kind of doo. Your guests probably appreciate this same courtesy – a way to check their look upon entering your home (or leaving, as the case may be) to make sure they look presentably put together. Hang a mirror over the console table or bookcase mentioned above, or lean a full-length on up against the wall. It’s a little thing but it can make a big impact.
Stop The Dirt in Its Tracks
Whether yours is a “shoes on” or “shoes off” household, a lot of dirt comes in through the door on people’s feet. You can stem the tide of this by adding a washable area rug to your entryway. It will cozy up the space, warm it up when it’s cold and make for a cleaner house overall. And if you’re a shoes off family, make sure you have an obvious place for folks to drop their stiletto’s.
Start a Great Conversation
If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you know that I am all about having your home reflect who you are as a person and making it a haven, filled with the things you love. This being said, the entryway is a great place to add something interesting, that you love, as sort of a “jumping-off-point,” if you will, for your guests. My entry way has a closet, a console table with a mirror over it and candles on the console, but it also has a collection of vintage, cobalt bottles on the windowsill and a coir basket of coral form my trip to St. Thomas (safely taken off the beach, not from the reef). These little touches are enjoyed my me on the daily, but they also tell visitors a little something about me. You get where I’m going with this. It can be a souvenir from a favorite trip, a piece of art that you adore or a cool plant you’re lovingly tending. The entryway is just another opportunity to start the conversation.
A Final Thought…
Everyone wants to feel welcomed. Think of those people who always make you feel like they are happy to see you (my friend and neighbor Sheila immediately comes to mind for me). That’s the way you want your entryway to be… for yourself… and for the people you care about.
And Now For a Little Music Before We Go…
“Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people.”William Shakespeare