When I first started Feast & Dwell back in March, I wrote a post about the purpose of this blog and why I decided to start it. I mentioned wanting our home to be a refuge, but never really explained what I think that is or how to really do that. My ultimate hope and goal is that my blog can be a somewhat of a guide to helping make your home a refuge through recipes, decor tips, and just general thoughts on life, but I thought today I would give some simple practicals.
The actual definition of refuge is: a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.
When I think of this in the context of a home, I imagine some place where people walk in and immediately feel safe to be who they are; a place that feels warm and inviting; a place where people can relax and just enjoy themselves. This is the goal I have for my home whether we have company in our home or it’s just me and the hubs (and soon to be little one!). Basically my desire is for people to feel loved and cared for when they come into my home. I want to serve them to the best of my ability. I don’t always do this perfectly (just ask my husband!) and there are times when things are just a hot mess around here, but there are a few things that I like to try and implement whether it’s just for when Will is coming home from work or when we are having people over.
I’m starting with this point because it’s the most important. No matter what the vibe of your home is, if you aren’t intentional with those you love, it ruins the purpose of trying to create a welcoming atmosphere. Dinners were always intentional times at our house growing up (which I’ll talk more about later), but even aside from that, being intentional means being present, being mindful of others, and being genuine. I believe this is the core of creating a home that feels safe and comfortable for those that live in your home and the people you invite in. If you have kiddos, intentional time can look like having a snack ready for them when they walk in the door from school so you can sit down with them and ask about their days (you could even bake these chocolate chip cookies for them because what kid doesn’t like cookies?!). If you are having people over, I think it simply looks like being genuinely interested in others’ lives and who they are as people (which I believe is something we should be doing every day).
Tidy Up the House
I know when I come home to a lot of clutter or things scattered everywhere, I get a little anxious and stressed (I’m also a neat freak, so take those words with a grain of salt). I do, however, keep this in mind when I know people are coming over or even when Will is coming home from work. I like to tidy up a bit before he gets home so he can have a mostly clean house to come home to. I’m not talking deep cleaning here, so don’t freak out. I’m just talking about picking things up a bit.
Light Some Candles
This one may sound like it’s not that big of a deal, but candles set a mood, you guys. When I walk into a room with candles lit I get all the warm fuzzies.
Decorate Your Home
This doesn’t have to be anything huge, but I like to think of this as putting effort into your home to make it look nice. I know that my husband loves it when I do little extra things to our house to make it look welcoming and inviting. It shows that I care about the house we live in and also care about it looking nice for him. It can be as simple as fresh flowers on the table or putting up some fall decorations (you can see what I did to my house here).
Make Dinner A Priority
There is something special about having dinner with those we love when we invite them in. Having a meal together bonds people. It’s a time where you can eat great food, have good conversation and share lots of laughs. The table is a place where memories are made. Will and I like to make having dinner together a priority in our home because it’s a time where we can unwind and chat about our day. Growing up, everyone in my house knew that dinner time was a time that we needed to be home, eating dinner with the family. It’s something I’m super thankful that my mom made a priority because it’s times like those that really bonded our family together. Inviting others to eat at your table with you is such an intimate thing and is a wonderful time to get to know other people.
All-in-all, my goal is to serve and love others the best I can. All of these things are practical ways that I like to take care of those that live in my home and those that we invite into our home. I do always keep in mind that things don't need to be perfect. The thing that matters most is being genuine and present with your loved ones and friends, so if things aren't perfect, don't sweat it. You still have the opportunity to love and care for those that are in your home. I would love to hear ways that you like to care for those you love!