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A Lived-in Home is Great for Entertaining
As the holidays approach and we get ready for guests, don't get stressed about making the house look perfect. Spotless, perfectly-designed homes are great for magazine spreads, but the truth is that many people wouldn't even be comfortable in a magazine-perfect home. In fact, a home that looks lived in can be one of the most impressive homes ever—and the best place to enjoy a visit with friends.
Don't be afraid to leave books lying around. They generate conversations, entertain guests while you're elsewhere in the house, and make a great design statement.
This chalkboard table welcomes guests who want to let their creative sides loose. The rest of the room is immaculate and well-designed, but this table relaxes the space. Don't be afraid to leave craft supplies where your guests can get their hands on them.
Toss blankets liberally around your space. They can cover up any furniture that's getting a bit raggedy. At the same time, they add a burst of color and create a sense of warmth for your guests.
Speaking of warmth, light a fire in the fireplace. Your guests' attention will be focused there so you don't have to worry so much about the little dust bunnies that you didn't quite get around to cleaning up. If you have a terrific statement-piece fireplace then you've got a bonus edge!
Warm your home with colorful candles. They can make even a cluttered space look well-planned, especially if you choose candles with great colors and terrific scents.
Let your kids leave toys out. Your guests will totally understand the normal mess and chaos of a home with kids. In fact, if they're bringing over kids of their own, everyone will feel right at home.
Let your pets inside your home. Many people get embarrassed about the mess their pets inevitably make in the home. No matter how often you clean, their fur and toys hang around. Relax. Your pet's personality adds more to your home than the bit of mess he brings in.
Put your photos on display. There's no reason family photos need to be in perfect scrapbooks, terrific frames or otherwise impeccable methods of organized design. Photos are meant to be seen and enjoyed. Put them up on an inspiration board, the refrigerator or anywhere else that is visible to your guests. They can be messy and still be appreciated.
Toss pillows liberally around your space. They're comfy. They add color. They are welcoming.
Put your extra clutter and mess into a well-designed bookcase. The bookcase contains the clutter in an organized and beautiful way.