The organization, decor and atmosphere of your home say a lot about your personality and how you want people to feel in your home.
I use a diary where, every day, I answer a question in a few sentences. And every year, on the same day, I answer the same question again. Then, over time, I can go back and see what answers I gave from one year to the next.
Yesterday’s question made me put down the notebook and think for a long time. It was actually for me to fill in the blank of a sentence, which said, “I cultivate an atmosphere of ________ at home.”
Hmm… what kind of environment cultivation in my house? Do I really try to create and nurture a certain atmosphere?
Decor is part of that. The way I arrange the furniture is part of that. But my attitude and the way I communicate are also part of the atmosphere in my home. I decided to take stock of how I receive people and what message my home sends them. In other words: what does my house say about me?
First, I imagined what atmosphere I want create in my house. In other words: what do I want people to feel when they come to my house? When someone comes to my house, will they be able to know who I am through the decor and atmosphere of my home? Does the way I decorate reveal what is important to me?
I decided that I wanted people to feel welcome, calm, and comfortable when they entered my family’s space. So I watched how my house was set up.
When one enters it, one is greeted in a great hall. I usually use this entry to store stuff. This is helpful for me, but confusing for others. The clutter there does not provide a sense of peace or calm. So I decided it was time to organize the entryway and consider a different way of storing the things I usually keep in my closet. hall. Having less stuff there helps me feel calmer, and it will allow me to pass that calm on to my guests.
Next, I looked at the main spaces where people sit and visit when they’re here – the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. The chairs and sofa seemed to be arranged in a manner conducive to conversation. I noticed a few little things I wrote down to try to improve in the future – like maybe adding a little bench for people to put drinks on during a conversation, putting some blankets nearby in the winter months, and adding some sort of seating in the kitchen when someone is around while I cook.
After considering how I want people to feel and whether the arrangement of furniture and organization helps or hinders that atmosphere, I turned my attention to decor.
Do my decorations around the house contribute to the atmosphere I want to create? What do they say about who I am and what is important to me?
First, I evaluated how many decorations I have – paintings, paintings, tapestries, etc. Were they confused or poorly organized, leaving a feeling of oppression rather than peace? Or was the house too empty, making it seem impersonal? I find my walls bordering on the poorly organized category, so I jotted down a few things to rearrange.
Every piece of art has a story, from the many religious images we have, to the art pieces created by my husband or bought on trips. I realized I didn’t have many pictures of my family, so I figured it would be good to add. Overall though, I felt the decorations around the space adequately showcase what’s important to me and my family and add insight into who we are.
Finally, I turned inward. I know that some of my biggest struggles with hospitality are my own lack of spontaneity and interest in small talk. I also realized that if I exude hospitality and peace, my presence is a more powerful atmosphere than anything I can create with my decorations and furniture placement.
What stresses and insecurities can I eliminate to help me be the peaceful, welcoming atmosphere I want? What good questions can I ask to deepen the conversation so that my guest feels welcomed and loved instead of staying on the surface?
I made a list of small steps to improve the atmosphere of my heart and, consequently, of our home. And instead of a short answer to my diary, I think I’ll write the link to this post. Let’s see what the next year brings!