Practical Magic

We’ve come to the first post that isn’t about clothing, but about home decor. We’ll get into more specific details as time goes by, going over certain rooms in your house and how you can make them more….suited to be convenient and stylish at the same time. For now we’ll  just poke our heads into the world of home decorating and how you can make your place accomplish the three large goals that a personal dwelling should achieve. First, you should be comfortable and happy. Second, it should be welcoming enough that your friends  like to spending time with you at your house. Third your home should be inviting enough that a special friend might want to spend the evening.

Your home should show your personality and likes. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make your place both stylish or homey or some combination of the two. Even just a coat of fresh paint can make a blah room become one where people gravitate.

For me, I get skeeved out when I go into a home where there are no visible books or art. You can keep your books hidden in bedrooms or offices but even just a coffee table book makes me feel like there’s more than just watching tv going on in a home.

As for art? Unless you really do live in a dorm room, get rid of the posters. Yeah, I know, you love “Persistence of Memory,” but it’s time to grow up and be original. And original art doesn’t need to be expensive. Look out for sales at local art schools, or artist studios. And, for G-d’s sake, you’re  (I’m using an umbrella term. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone. Really.) queer. Odds are really good you know a talented artist (or four) who probably wouldn’t mind if their work was on display in the home of a friend. You might even be able to barter your skills, whatever they may be, for some original art. If you absolutely HAVE to keep the “Pulp Fiction” movie poster, at least frame it, okay?

Make sure that your house is clean. I can’t stress this one enough. It is relatively easy to keep kitchens and bathrooms fairly spotless.  It’s ok if there’s a dish or two in the sink but your bathroom needs to not be grody. At all. Your friends won’t want to come over because of it and no one else is going to want to stay over if they have to shower in a gross, mildewy, nasty shower.

You don’t have to be completely anal-retentive (like me) and have a fairly spotless house most of the time. A little bit of clutter is fine and well, kind of makes things a little homey. Just don’t be dirty. Vacuum. Mop. Dust. When you can’t see over piles of stuff? That’s when your clutter has officially become your mess and you need to fix that asap before you become one of those OCD pack rat hoarders that they make tv shows about. Take 10 minutes a day and keep up your place. It makes a huge difference.

Your home should be warm, no matter how big or small it is. I don’t mean heat wise (in that regards I’m a total conservationist) I mean comfort wise. There should be rooms that people want to gravitate to, and you should recognize that and make it easy for them to stay there. I love to cook and entertain. Naturally, people end up in my kitchen eating, talking, and helping me out. I noticed pretty early on that people who weren’t helping out were just standing around and not knowing where to hang while in the kitchen and so I remedied this with a couple of low bar stools that I picked up at Ikea.  Voila. Guests had a place to sit and be included in everything that was going on and it was an instant improvement.

I also keep a bunch of extra folding chairs hidden away for when parties become bigger and groups of people end up sitting around my dining room table chatting into the early hours of the next day.  There’s also enough seating in my living room that a pretty good sized group of people can chill out and watch a movie or play video games. Having places for people to get comfy themselves will totally make them want to hang out at your place more often.

As for potential overnight visitors? For goodness sake make sure your bedroom is impeccable. Clean sheets. Bed made. Floor clean. Good music (if you can handle music while, you know…I can’t. The songs get stuck in my head and I lose concentration, but if it works for you, go for it)and…supplies…should be at the ready. Also, if its going to be an overnight, prepare in advance. Have extra clean towels and maybe even an extra robe hanging around. Don’t be all rico-suave about it and have it on the door ready to go, be cute about it in the morning, “I may have an extra robe, lemme check” style. Additionally, extra toothbrushes are never a bad thing – and will also remind you to change yours out more often.

Have good coffee and juice and cold water ready to go. You don’t need to come across like a player to be prepared for company even without much notice. Trust me, your guests will notice the care you’ve taken in making them feel welcome in your home and will both want to come back, and also invite you to spend more time with them as well.

What do YOU do to make guests, overnight or otherwise, feel comfortable in your home?

Advertisements

10 Responses to “Practical Magic”

  1. wow you are SO smooth!

  2. Oh yes, I’m *definitely* in love with you! 😉 I think you should put up an “About” page with some background info on how you got so FABULOUSLY sartorial!! Please. You know, some people just don’t appreciate the glorious effects of thoughtful attention to detail in relation to hosting or dressing! Sheesh. Anyways, this is about the HOME so I’ll try to stay on topic!

    My partner and I live in a VERY small apartment that is not fit for entertaining any more than a couple of other people at a time. So, we have little vintage TV tables that we pop up for cheese and crackers, etc (which hide behind the couch when not in use). Also, I was having a problem with COATS because we live in Boston, but don’t have a coat closet. EEK! For a while, coats and scarves of all manner were just landing all over the kitchen chairs and looking sloppy–not to mention monopolizing the seating! SO, we got an over-the-door coat rack that works beautifully. Now when my guests arrive I can say “may I take your coat?” and I actually have somewhere to put them!! It feels good.

    In other hosting matters, ICE is waaay important. Don’t even TRY to offer me a cocktail without ice! And finally, YES, please have some BOOKS out–especially books with pretty pictures and those with lesbian subject matter (or both! HA!).

    • Hrm…an about page. We’ll see. I’m considering “outing” myself in the name of fashion and producing some “how to” videos for the blog. A lot of my style is just my natural faggoty nature, and has been shaped by various femmes and butches in my life.
      And also Morrissey. And David Beckham. Yeah.

      • Oooh, like “how to” tie a tie? I would like that.

        Also, this is sort of tangential and political (for me, anyways), but what do you think about the distinction between faggoty and flamboyant? As a femininity-lover, I don’t consider myself to be faggoty but I am *no doubt* flamboyant! And campy!! And exuberant!

        • Hrm. I don’t have any aversion to getting into the political, and while I embrace flamboyance and exuberance, for me, there’s not much femininity going on – it’s what I most love about my partners, but something that I pretty much don’t even think about for myself.

          Something about the word “faggot” resonates with me in a way that “dyke” or even “butch” sometimes doesn’t. There is a sensibility and style about gay men that I admire – from clothing to (and these are SWEEPING generalizations and I recognize that) their views on sex and the world around them that I don’t find works for me under the “lesbian” umbrella – I actually really hate that word as a descriptor for me.

  3. Oh, and PS, OMG: I LOVE “Hoarders”! Why isn’t it “on demand” more often?

  4. Well, my new style-loving friend, please allow me be radically open with you. I have an Agenda: Lesbian Solidarity. I know, I know, maybe it sounds wacky! Undesirable! Impossible, even! But hey, that’s how I roll. Welcome to my world of survival-based-optimism!

    So, I realize that among masculine-identified FAB people who enjoy sex with women, you’re not alone in disliking the term “lesbian.” In fact, Bond pointed me to a blog discussing this topic a few weeks ago. As a *seriously committed* fan of the LADIES– butch, femme, and andro alike!– I’m very interested in learning more about your self-professed hatred of the term/identity lesbian. You mention preferring gay male views on sex and the world around us. I’m dying to know more! Please, if at all possible, indulge me with more details!

    (Please note that I pride myself on my civility. Any difference of opinion we may run up against–including stylistically–will be met with respect from me. I am a LADY!)

    • I’m into community, and building bridges and bonds with other queer women. That said, I just hate the word “Lesbian.” For me it evokes a picture of a matching couple wearing ll bean clothing and crocs. It’s just not something that resonates with me and never really has.

      As for gay men? I don’t know, theres a freedom to their sexuality that I really dig. While I think that sex can be sacred, I also think that it can be a fun activity (best when both at the same time) and not that this is a cavalier attitude towards it, but I think that gay men are much more free with sex than queer women are. Stereotypical? Probably. But I know that Queer As Folk was way more like the gay male scene than the L word was for dykes.

      • Sorry for the delay, I’ve been remiss in my commenting practices over the past several days! Very uncharacteristic, I assure you.

        Glad to hear you like bonds and bridges, that’s the kind of solidarity I’m talkin’ bout! However, I am not queer. I am a lesbian. AND, hear this, I agree that sex is both sacred and fun–especially with my beloved lesbian partner! So, I guess my follow up question is whether you date femme lesbians? Or do your partners mainly identify as queer? Wait, everyone does these days. Rephrase: do the femmes you relate with have the same uncomfortability with the term lesbian that you do? Or is it more about gender than sexuality?

        Now, about those crocs–AHHHH! No! NO! NOO! Gross. Unthinkable! (have you seen the ones with the BLING?!? blasphemy!!) Ok, I’m getting a hold of myself. Breathe. Counting. Ok. NO, this LESBIAN wouldn’t be caught dead in crocs. You couldn’t PAY me to wear them! LL Bean is a slightly grayer area, but I’m not into outdoors gear, so you won’t find any of it in my closet! Poor lesbian style choices are notorious, I realize. Mullets and flannel are just the tip of the iceberg there. BUT I want to reclaim our flamboyance, exuberance, and aesthetic sensibilities to be more FABULOUS and well dressed woman-lovin-women!! Cuz separating the mind from sensory input isn’t a good thing. Mind-body unification is where it’s at (helps the sex too!). That’s the “lesbian” solidarity I’m working on, sister.

        • Hrm. Some of the femmes I know have a hard time w/ “lesbian” as well. Some for similar reasons, others for reasons I can only dream of one day discovering.

          As for the SB’s personal dating preference? I tend to fall head over heels for femmes/feminine women. Though that doesn’t exclude anyone else, especially not dapper butches who almost always catch my eye. I’m generally looking for different things with them, though:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: