Saturday, June 03, 2006

Making Things Homey

This afternoon I got Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson down from my shelf and came across a nice little chapter on decorating and making your home more "homey." Here is what she has to say:

Decor usually gets too much attention at the expense of other influences, but it certainly matters. It is best to know and follow your own real taste confidently instead of worrying about impressions and image. As a general rule, anything you really like works.

There are ways of living in your home that make it homey as well, consciously introducing habits and touches that make your place seem cozy and inviting.

~Sheets turned down.
~A newspaper left where someone will read it.
~A habitual cup of tea.
~Remembering people's favorite dishes, particularly on their rough days or when there is a celebration to mark.
~A hook where a person wants to hang his cap.
~A basket where one tends to leave keys and odds and ends from a pocket.
~Fresh flowers, a bowl of good fruit, and homemade baked goods are easy, pleasant touches in your home.
~Many of us feel at home in places where there are good books, not only on shelves but on tabletops or other places where we might want to pause to read in moments of leisure.
~Guests appreciate a thoughtful assortment of books left at their bedside table.

It is cliche, but true, that a room that looks lived in looks more homey. This implies not that you should be less neat but that you should actually live in your rooms. When you talk, read and write, play music or games, or sew, you leave traces of this in the room. These traces then invite people not simply to look but also be engaged. It makes them feel as though the room exists for people to live and do things in. Signs of real life make the room comforting and warm.

What sorts of things do you do, to make your home cozy?


Anonymous said...

Cosy to me is neat so I have to keep things picked up behind my husband. I get out of sorts when things are messed up!

Sandra said...

Hi Kelli, I have the same book and need to pull it out again and do some reading. I also like things picked up and in order. Also, books and plants/flowers make a home cozy I think. Oh and a few pets around helps too.!


Kelli said...

Hi Dot, I like things neat too...I can't think straight if things get too messy.
Sandra, plants and pets are great additions to the list!

wendy said...

Hi kelli, i love this post and i just adore your blog, its packed full of fun and interesting stuff to do and read.
I hope you share your ideas on our new website hun .
Best of luck to you
wendy xxx

mchristina said...

I love your ideas, most sites just tell you how to decorate to make your home look homey but I didn't think to leave a few projects/books out. I think this is a good idea. I'm a neat freak and sometimes feel it does make my house look a little cold but that don't mean I can't stack my projects and books neatly out in the open. I also like to bake cookies right before my kids come home so the house will smell good or have somthing going in the crockpot all day.

Meanwhile, back at the Rake-A-Lot Ranch . . . said...

Your blog is charming! I stumbled on it because people have lately been telling me that my home is "homey." In some circles, this compliment is the kiss of death, but I wanted to understand exactly what people meant. They seemed to like my space, after all, but why?

I have found some great articles defining "homey," and your blog was just one such text. You've done a nice job of detailing many of the little things that really do make a house a home. In a nutshell, it seems we simply have to live somewhere, really live there, for it to be homey.

All I did was set out to include all the things I most enjoy and find comforting or beautiful, both inside and out. I also try to update my home a bit here and there to show it is loved--rather they way people do for their family members. You know, they iron their kids clothes and make sure they have nice clean shoes and underwear. These are signs that someone cares. Homes are rather like that. I think it shows when we care about them.

Thanks so much for blogging!
Lou Ann from the Rake-A-Lot Ranch