I welcome summer outdoor entertaining but my house is in need of some major re-dos. Short of locking guests out – what can I do so I’m not so embarrassed?
To keep the stress down and feel that having fun and enjoying your guests is the first order on the menu, begin with a little late “spring cleaning.” An orderly, organized home is the first way to not draw attention to your un-remodeled kitchen and bath or “need-to-be-replaced” furniture. Next some colorful powder bath accessories, paper hand towels, candles and potpourri can cheer up your guest bath. Replace burned out light bulbs and fix that leaky faucet. A coat of paint and wallpaper also do wonders and the room is generally small enough to make this a do-it-yourself project.
What about a new area rug in your entry foyer to brighten things up and some fun colorful throw pillows on your sofa? A “bed in a bag” gives you a whole new look for any bedroom with matching dust ruffles, throw pillows and even draperies. For a very little investment, these summery spreads and “go-withs” can transform any bedroom whether guest to master.
By the way, your outdoor patio can become an extension of you living space. Stores like Pier 1 and Bed Bath and Beyond have inexpensive tableware, candles and fun accessories, as well as lanterns and other light sources. Fire-pits and televisions and outdoor sound systems will carry your entertaining through the evening hours. Outdoor sofas and chairs can be as comfortable and designer looking as indoor. Invest in an inexpensive storage bench and you will add seating as well as have a place to keep your cushions when not in use.
Greening your home with spring and summer plants and fresh flowers is a wonderful way to bring color and renewed life into any room. Treat yourself to a fresh bouquet as a table centerpiece each Friday and weekend visitors will enjoy them as well as perhaps you may only have to go as far as your own garden to get them. And why not think about an herb or vegetable garden? Whether your space is larger or small, this can easily be accomplished with tasty as well as colorful results.
Visitors in your kitchen should see clean counters and a table covered by a lovely cloth or festive placemats. If your flooring isn’t the greatest, perhaps a whimsical area rug (Roosters or Chefs always make people smile) can be your camouflage.
Most of all, do a really good cleanup and purge. Sort, put away and give away. You’d be surprised how much “hidden” space you can find – then plan ahead for the get together you want to have so you won’t be pressured at the last minute. Remember, informal doesn’t mean disorganized – and if doing it all yourself is too difficult or expensive, ask your guest to bring a dish and they’ll feel included, not put out. So prepare now and I know you’ll enjoy the summer ahead.
PS – Uniquely Natalie, our quality consignment store right on 2nd Street in St. James, can provide the perfect and easily affordable furnishings to create a whole new room, instantly!