Make your home welcoming again for family and friends by Sue Ellis – Valley Life Spring Edition

Make your home welcoming again for family and friends.

Now that there is a very welcomed light at the end of the tunnel and lockdown will soon be over, we can finally welcome our family and friends back into our homes. We can gear up to have guests back into the house.
You can make your home more inviting by adding small décor elements through to rearranging furniture and painting walls.
Start with the entrance, this will be the first point of interest, beside the garden. Maybe paint your front door or at least put down a welcoming mat. Its nice to see plant pots, a nice eclectic collection with small trees and topiary or variegated foliage is a real pick-me-up all year round, creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia makes a striking display, tulips, golden narcissi, or primroses.
Once they step into the hallway make a statement with a large mirror or piece of art that reflects your personality. This will always create interest and is the gateway through to your home.
Try to De clutter, no muddy wellies or smelly shoes in the hallway, stacks of newspapers or magazines, and if possible, add a sideboard, this can hide a multitude of sins and of course have somewhere that your guests can hang their coat.
Good lighting is essential, if you can use dimmer switches then all the better, this can create the right atmosphere and mood. Try placing a nice lamp in the hallway to add warmth to an area that is usually just functional and cold.
Your lounge will probably be the main area to congregate, by adding soft textures and textiles you can create soothing and inviting areas, add to sofas and chairs or a wool throw. Add layers, not all your cushions need to be uniformed and the same, mix them up, add contrast and colours, different shapes and sizes.
It is time to change those curtains if you can, store away the heavy fabric ones and bring out a light and airy pair, try to use soft tones and light colours, they will bring an air of Spring/Summer to the room. Apply this concept to walls as well, a tin of paint can transform a room or a light textured wallpaper.
Try to lighten up a dark floor, whether you change the carpet or just give it a deep clean will make you feel better or maybe a lighter rug and clean your windows, so they sparkle and shine.
Rearrange the furniture, keep seating relatively close together and easy to access, this makes it more welcoming and if possible, a coffee table to place your mug of tea or glass of wine on. Smooth, light wooden furniture brings an element of nature into a room, Rattan is popular now. You might have an old piece of furniture that could just do with a lick of paint.
The power of smell is especially important it plays a key role, especially in bathrooms and toilets, use candles or air fresheners and of course fresh flowers can be a focal point and make a wonderful centrepiece for a table.
Houseplants will bring your garden into your home, maybe a Banana plant in a corner or a Parlour Palm, air purifying plants are ideal, Peace Lily, Spider Plant and Snake Plant bunched together would make an interesting statement and they are easy to care for.
Tidy up the garden, we have spent so many wintry nights indoors, the garden may have been neglected, trim the bushes, sweep up the leaves and just make sure your garden looks tidy and clean. The outside of your home is the first impression you give, so make it a pleasant experience, it will portray the right image and shows you care about your home.
Even just a deep spring clean can make you feel better, and it will help your wellbeing, you do not have to spend a fortune, just little alterations can make a big difference, so open those curtains wide and let the sun in and finally welcome your family and friends back into your home.

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