I believe that it is possible for a home to be welcoming and comfortable, as well as beautiful and functional. Nobody loves a home that seems too sterile, a place they are afraid to sit down and make themselves cozy. Every guest should feel comfortable when they step inside.

When my home is ready to greet guests, I like to call it “lived-in cozy”.  I like to make my home  so that any guest feels welcome to pull their feet up under them on the couch, sip a cup of tea and flip through a magazine while they are here – just like I would.

After checking for basics like making sure the temperature is set comfortably, the toilets are clean and the sink is empty, here are some other tips for making your home cozy and welcoming for guests, leaving perfection at bay.

Create ambience.

This doesn’t have to mean that your home is filled with lit candles or dim lighting and soft music. Simply creating a peaceful atmosphere with some fresh flowers, a subtle neutral scent, and a comfortable place to sit and chat, with a refreshment or two to offer, is all that is necessary for any kind of company.

Pay attention to detail.

Guests will notice a vase full of fresh flowers, personal photographs tastefully displayed, and nice smelling soaps in the bathroom more than they will notice a perfectly clean home. Pay attention to details that matter, accept that no home is perfect — and no one expects it to be, and any visit will be more relaxing and authentic.

Photo by Emily at Remodeling This Life

Let your home reflect who you are.

There is nothing worse than trying to make your home something it, and you, are not. Making your home what you think someone else wants will make it — and everyone in it — uncomfortable.  Keeping up with the latest trends that don’t even reflect your taste is far worse than having some toys strewn about when someone comes over.

Keep it practical, keep it real, keep it you.

The home you share doesn’t need to be perfect. Perfect homes aren’t relaxing and they often make people feel uncomfortable.  A simple welcome from you and your family is all that is necessary. Offer your home favorably, and greet your guests knowing they are there for you, not to inspect your home. They just want a relaxing visit with you.

What are some things you do before guests are arriving to make your home comfortable, authentic, and welcoming?