Archive for decorating

Practical Magic

Posted in Home Decor with tags , , , , on November 12, 2009 by sartorialbutch

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?