Lifestyle Design - Celebrate Your Home - Part I

Home is truly our external heart and as such it needs a lot of care and attention in its decorating and development. Invite friends and family to contribute to the creation of your home. A house is merely a dwelling; it becomes a home when you use your heart to express your environment in a comfortable and inviting manner.

Here are some easy ways to celebrate your home with friends and family.

Housewarming by the Room
So few people it seems remember to throw a housewarming or if they do it is a couple of years after moving in. So, to get this ball rolling, don't wait for the entire house to be complete; instead, celebrate room by room. Very few folks decorate their entire home at once anyway, and it counts to measure the small successes, even if it is a powder room, not to mention the big successes like a kitchen or bath remodel.

How many entertaining opportunities have you missed by waiting to get your house complete? Remember if your friends are waiting to see your drapery and not you, you might want to consider some new friends! Life is in the connection, not in the stuff. Celebrate every step rather than waiting for just one big one.

Celebrate your home with room by room housewarmings!

Stock the Pantry Party
No one likes to show up at a party empty handed and this is an easy way to get guests to bring what you need and want, while you share the welcome of your home and hospitality.

Create a master list of pantry stockers desired or even register if you are including kitchen appliances like blenders, toasters, and food processors. Let everyone know what you are into, whether it is a pantry full of bottled water, chips and dip or you are a bit more of a cook and want great exotic spices, tins of imported specialty foods, and international flavors. Sure flour and sugar are necessary staples, but I bet you can get more creative.

On appliances and kitchen tools, think hard about what you want and what you'll use. Sure some are almost required like the blender and even a toaster still, but what about a divine bread maker, the latest ergonomic palm held peeler, a butterfly trash can by Simply Human, or a classic wine rack. You can even suggest gift cards from favorite big box retail kitchen good stores like Bed Bath Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel.

Celebrate your home with a stock the pantry party!
Grow the Garden Party
This is one of my favorites as I've come relatively late to the realization of a green thumb. The grow the garden party is ideal if you enjoy potting house plants, or dream of a cutting garden, or perhaps harbor visions of growing your own herbs and vegetables. Invite your friends to an outdoor picnic and while you provide the food and drink, ask them to provide a plant or garden tool.

Of course you may want to suggest gift cards from local nurseries for those that are green thumb challenged, and you'll want to specify full sunshine or shade for desired plants. The point is that you get a more eclectic mix and when all are in bloom, they remind you of each guest and their personal contribution. You could even name each plant with tags after the person that provided it.

Celebrate your home and Mother Nature with a Grow the Garden Party!

Demolition Bash
Okay, you've made the decision to remodel and it is a big project. Kick it off in style with a Demolition Bash. Perhaps you are tearing out the kitchen or bath making way for a major update or reconfiguration. In any case, it's got to go. Be sure you time this with your contractor's schedule, and invite friends to bring a dish and a camp out in your newly emptied space.

(If you have handy careful friends you can actually invite them to assist with demolition, but be cautious in mixing a party atmosphere with hammers and other serious remodeling tools.)

It is always rewarding to enjoy even a day of the space unfinished before the work of putting it all together gets underway. Do be sure you have made all of your decisions at this stage and you don't open up the event to brainstorming. Too many opinions will only result in confusion and frustration.

Remodeling can be an exhausting and sometimes chaotic process so celebrating at demolition can make it that much more tolerable. Be sure to plan the next bash at completion!

Paint Party
Personally, I can't think of anything I'd rather avoid, but I can do it myself if necessary without training. (Heck, I once sponge painted my whole house, since the contractor had reversed the paint colors in the final coat!) But I do have friends that not only enjoy painting but actually find it relaxing, imagine it.

So if you have one or two rooms to get done and would be willing to do the same for friends or family (turn about is fair play in this), plan a painting party. You supply the paint, of course, but I'm betting you have friends with extra drop cloths, ladders, and even brushes that will be game to come and join you for an afternoon or a day of painting to be rewarded with pizza and beer or a cold cut sandwich buffet and icy sodas.

This can save the cost of a contractor and actually make an otherwise mundane and potentially arduous task fun. Many hands make light work, so invite others to help.

Celebrate your home with friends that will help you transform a room or two and a Paint Party!

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