Freshen it Up!

How often do you entertain? That’s a question I’m often asked.

On average my husband and I entertain a pre-scheduled dinner once a month in the winter, and maybe twice in the summer. We also entertain about once or twice a month in a more informal, spontaneous fashion. And you might say we entertain “daily,” if you’re talking about having extra kids around!

I find that having an attitude of creating and maintaining my home simply helps me to reach my hospitality goals.

Do I freshen things up and use what I have? Or do I have to constantly be looking for something “new?” Can I move things around to get a “fresher look” without having to spend any money?

My goal is to work with what I have. Every few months I try to freshen things up in my home. I’ll move things around, change pictures from one room to another. This even takes place out on our back patio, with a change of seasons, as I rotate things to different areas.

Although I love gaining new ideas, I find reading through too many magazines or too much dreaming can make me discontented with what I have. Sometimes we just need a new view of what we already have – to help get motivation going and renew an excitement for entertaining.

Ultimately, it’s not about whether or not you have the latest colors on the walls or a centerpiece that is to die for. Sharing your home is about the welcoming mood that you create – and the giving of yourselves to others.

Our kids are learning this too. You might say my daughter more than the boys, as she is starting to get into “décor” and helping out with entertaining. The kids comment when the rooms are rearranged, regarding how fresh it feels. And that feeling carries on into their bedrooms as we try to look at them with a new eye as well. Sometimes kids’ bedrooms are a project in themselves!

Freshen it up and get your creative juices flowing. Be content with what you have and take yourself to the next level. Then get on the phone and invite someone over …

I’d love to hear if this post resonates with you. Do you like to freshen up, or do you let things get a little stale? Or maybe your happiness comes from buying “new?” (If so, what does your spouse think about that?)

(Above photos: I rearranged our “simple” living room again, last week (no TV in this room!). It always feels “brand new” and “fresh” when I do this! And today I pulled out my old “tulip” picture from the garage, to brighten up the back patio and get ready for Spring! )


Dawn said...

I love to do this in my home. I'm constantly moving things around from room to room. I like to put things away and bring them out again later and have them feel like "new".

Anonymous said...

My husband's family teases me because I am continually (which is really just once or twice a year) changing things around to deep clean and freshen things up. It makes me feel invigorated and optimistic about my home and surroundings. We have never fully decorated or re-done any room in our home at one time, but have incorporated new or gently used items to make our simple home welcoming and comforting. This doesn't mean it's clean all the time (4 kids, need I say more?), however, and I'm learning from you that I need to relax about all of that and just have a welcoming spirit and focus on those who are our guests. Thanks for your blog that encourages, instructs, reproves, and motivates!

Amie said...

I love your blog. I just started reading.

We just bought an awesome little ranch in a fabulous neighborhood on a big lot in a town on the Southern Ca. coast. Since it's very expensive to live here as it is, I certainly don't have a ton of money to buy major large pieces on a regular basis. I have been entertaining (informally) quite a bit since we moved here (6/07). We didn't do that as much since we lived in a little condo with no yard and very little guest parking. So...needless to say, I am thrilled to kick our formal and informal entertaining into high gear!

My first organized event (appetizer and cocktail surprise party for my Mom's 60th birthday) is to be held on March 1st. I'm very excited! I bought a few new square, white serving platters and that's it. I plan on moving my little dining table (seats 6 tops) to the wall and dressing it with a classy striped tablecloth (white on white with satiny stripes). I'll set the mood with a huge number of tealites in glass votive holders, a "centerpiece" of a larger candleholder full of sand, candle, and starfish...and a couple of orchids in pots. I'll move the furniture around to accomodate seating groups and focus on where my mom will sing (she plays ukulele and sings Hawaiian music). Anyway...summing up...I will buy a small amount of items such as the orchids and will set the mood with candles, furniture arrangement, and twinkle lights in the backyard.

Hey, so I wrote a book...sorry. Love your site.

Terri said...

You have a lovely home. It looks suuny and warm there too. I remember sunny and warm...sigh

Nunnie's Attic said...

We do entertain quite often. Seems there's always someone here. But the extent of my changes lately have been the tablecloths. I change them often. But somehow I don't think that's what you were looking for.


Bev said...

We entertain much more often than we did, and that's truly thanks to your encouragement. Even if it's family, we tend to invite them over more often than we would. Just this weekend I asked them if they'd rather come for Sunday brunch or a cookout, and they chose big breakfast! As we sat there eating they commented on what a great way it is to start the day. And thanks for the reminder to freshen it up a bit - time to get out some spring stuff even if the weather outside isnt cooperating so much.

linda t said...

Just this week I heard my soon-to-be 19 year old son Tyler, tell his friend to come see what I had put in his bathroom. I had made a little candle & sea shells display and he loved it so much he told his friend when he came over!
They really do notice when there is the slightest change of decor!

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I do the same as you - refresh and "fluff up" at little usually with each season and holiday. I'm an art dealer and designer so I do have the benefit of being exposed to lost of choices in art and accessories daily. Plus, I love to comb TJ Maxx and Home Goods for great decor items at great prices. I rarely buy new pieces of furniture, but I have been known to have new throw pillows made several times a year :o). This also reminds me of a fun childhood memory. We had a big picture window in our living room that looked out across the street to a big picture window in the neighbor's living room. About twice a year the sofa would appear and then disappear from the neighbors window. And my mom would say, "Carol rearranged her living room today." I always thought when I got older I wanted to rearrange my living room like that...and I do!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I usually just leave things like they are until a season changes, then I freshen up a bit. I don't spend a lot of time in between worrying about things because I am pretty busy with other projects (and other people's houses)!

When I feel like things are looking a bit stale I open up magazines or books and study the way a bookshelf or table is decorated and then I run around like a madwoman gathering up like items in my own home to create something fresher.
I am enjoying my prizes and book, Sandy! Thanks again...

Heidijayhawk said...

thanks for answering some awesome questions! its funny how just the addition or rethinking of a few simple things can change the atmosphere of an entire room!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Since we live in such a seasonal state, I tend to change the house each season. Fall just calls for a different look inside than summer, and likewise winter and spring. And even though spring is probably two months away still, I got out my spring/summer decorations last week. It was just time for a change -- and for some God-inspired hope that spring will come!

Julie said...

Hi Sandy,
This definitely resonates with me. I'm always on the prowl in my own house! No item is safe, as I'm liable to pluck something up from one area and plop it down in another a few times a year.

Typically after the Christmas decorations come down, I find myself putting all my regular doo-dads in new places. WHAT a difference!

Tracy said...

I used to rearrange all of the time. I don't do that as often anymore. Maybe I need to try it again!

:..Rebekah..: said...

I love this statement, "Sharing your home is about the welcoming mood that you create-and the giving of yourselves to others." Understanding this is so important, and it takes the pressure off when we realize it's not about the latest of this or that, as you said.
I, too, have also found that if I look too much at magazines, it can lead to discontent in my heart, so I've learned to limit that.
I rearrange my furniture and my things often, and it seems to lift me up when I do it, giving me the same feeling as if I've put something new in my home. My daughter is 10, and every few weeks or so I hear her moving things around in her bedroom. She gets it honest, I guess. :>

Kimberly said...

I redid our entire bedroom last week! ( http://kimberlys-cup.blogspot.com/2008/02/think-hell-notice.html )I didn't spend a dime and I love it.

I redo things all around the house, usually with the seasons/holidays. Most of the furniture has been in the same places for just about a year now, though I'm itching to redo my little boy's room as he's on his way out of the crib.

The most common change I make is with my teasets. I have different ones that remind me of different seasons, so I set them out accordingly. I enjoy adding little touches to change the scenes. Then, of course, I have to invite someone over for tea! It's my favorite way to entertain.

Lisa said...

I love to change things up, most often with what we already have around the house. Just not so good at doing it as often as I should.

momrn2 said...

My home does not allow space for rearranging furniture, but I have recently changed a few of the accessories.

I guess I should think outside of the box a bit and do that even more!

Thanks for this new challenge! :-)

Susie said...

You have such a beautiful blog. My husband is a worship/media pastor, and I loved seeing that you and your husband are involved in ministry. I will have to get my hubby some of your husband's books. I love entertaining, and I've already learned so much browsing through your site. Keep the ideas coming!

Stephanie said...

I love your home, it kinda resembles mine ! I have the same colors and almost the same furniture!!
Have a good day,

Wendy said...

Beautiful home. I like to rearrange too.

Love all your ideas!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I love your ideas!

I too love to freshen up a room by moving things around and using what you have, YES! I try to avoid falling into the trap of "never good enough" or "if only I had..." , is so important.

There is a beautiful spiritual principle in using what you have. (I''ll have to go look up the scripture reference)


willzmom said...

Your home seems so warma nd welcoming. As lovely as it is I know that it has nothing to do with the furniture or the "things". It's you, and your family that make it feel that way.