Having a home that is inviting — that beckons to visitors and lingers in the minds of guests — makes for both an enjoyable and memorable place. And there's a bonus benefit to creating a home that is inviting to guests: it's often more inviting to you, too! We've got ten tips to try that will help you craft a home that welcomes everyone who walks through its doors — though warning, it may make them never want to leave!
1. Let your front door and entryway set the inviting tone first
Don't underestimate the inviting power of some good curb appeal. Winter's been tough for everyone (and may still be raging where you are) but a quick front stoop clean and a bright welcome mat does wonders. We're also suckers for cute signs by the front door that say "hello." Want a quick trick for an entryway to add instant inviting vibes? Add a big green leafy plant right to the side of the inside of your front door (if one will fit). Guests get a big eyeful of green life as soon as your door is opened.
2. Use color and other design tricks to pull eyes through your space
Consider a guest's first view of your space and pay special attention to designing the farthest point of that view. Like painting the far wall across from your front door in a bold accent color, adding fun art or lighting, or anything else that will capture attention. This will almost literally pull people into and through your home, creating this feeling that they want to stay awhile and explore your space.
3. Make getting into your seating arrangement and around your furniture easy
You might not mind moving a chair out of the way to get behind the dining table, but guests don't normally feel comfortable in spaces they don't understand how to traverse. Small homes especially need to be on the look out for this un-inviting culprit. The idea is to make moving through your home — getting from the front door to comfy seating areas, the kitchen, the bathroom and more — obstacle-less. Don't squish over-sized furniture so closely that no one can squeeze through, and don't put so many floor pillows on the ground guests have to crawl through them like an obstacle-course. And, this is of course tough for parents, but try to corral the toys out of the way to deter tripping!
4. Go way overboard with leafy, long, trailing, green fluffy crazy plants
This is pretty self-explanatory. Lots of plants just bring life into a space, and make it feel like the kind of welcoming place you want to spend an afternoon. Need an example of how this works? Check out — Eva's Sense of Clarity.
5. Go overboard with soft textiles, too
Perhaps the most obvious suggestion on the list, but it's still incredibly effective. Go for plush rugs or layer them like a champ. Go for deep furniture, floor pillows and soft ottomans and benches. Frame textiles for wall art. More room softening ideas.
6. Soften straight and harsh lines
Lots of straight, harsh lines — even those on very firm modern upholstery — can look unpleasant and work against trying to have an inviting space. Tricks like incorporating round rugs can help, as can other round objects like pillows, or tossing a soft throw blanket over a corner to break up a straight line.
7. Personalize at least one furniture piece
This is more if you've got a lot of furniture you've purchased from popular and recognizable retailers. Personalizing them — either by tackling a hack or even just reupholstering in a fun fabric — will help keep your place from feeling like a catalog and more like a home. And since a guest is probably there to visit you as well as your home, anything you can do to bring more of your sparkling personality into your interiors will make folks want to stay for awhile.
8. Sprinkle unique design details around the house
Again it's about creating a space that feels like you and is full of details — even tiny — that make a space feel full, sophisticated and like it's giving out stylish hugs. Find some details you can DIY here.
9. Attack your stacks
Stacks of bills, near-toppling magazines and more are stressful to see — even to guests! If you can't always keep the space uncluttered, tuck stacks away before guests arrive.
10. Have some good smells floating in the air
Or at the very least don't have any bad smells. Not sure what your home smells like? Take a mini-vacation from it for a day or so and see what the first smell is when it hits your nose as you walk in the door. If it's unpleasant, get rid of the odor. Then maybe grab some fragrant plants for a naturally good smelling home.
More inviting ideas to incorporate:
(Image credits: Oliver Gordon/Heart Home pg. 108; Nicole Crowder; Heather Blaha; Shannon McGrath via This Is Paper ; Say Yes)