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We are thrilled to introduce you to a new book from one of our own (in)courage authors today! Melissa Michaels has recently released Love the Home You Have, and we adore her heart for hospitality and the fun, practical steps she shares in her book to take your “right now” house and turn it into your “dream” house! Oh, and we’re giving away 5 copies of her amazing book PLUS 5 Everlasting Light Starburst Mirrors, so be sure to read all the way to the end!

A Place That Is Warm

My family has always had fun creating a special atmosphere in which to greet guests. We aren’t the formal dinner-party type, but we love fashioning a casually festive ambience for simple gatherings with special touches. We line our walkway to the front door with small white candles in mason jars. We turn on the outside lights, sweep off the porch, dust off the cobwebs, and polish the doorknob. We set mood lighting in the house with adjusted lamps and candles that also offer a subtle scent. We hit play, and background music livens up the atmosphere. Then we take one last look to see what else we can do to make our home feel as cozy to guests as possible.

In our earlier years, I read a book on marriage that suggested greeting your husband at the door with the same warmth you would offer to guests. Yes! I loved the idea. In theory. But as I let that sink in, it clashed with the reality of my long days home alone all by myself with many small crying people covered in squash and Cheerios. I treasure those days, but even the memory of them can be epically exhausting.

It was unlikely that at the end of a day I would manage to be relaxed and genuinely welcoming, let alone have the walkway lined with candles in preparation for Jerry’s dinnertime arrival. Truth be told, my smile sometimes looked a bit more like a grimace, and I was usually ready to just hand him the babies as I ran out the door to Starbucks for a double shot of peace and quiet.

But in the pursuit of marital happiness and a warm and welcoming haven for our family, I realized there was a simple way to set a new tone for our home. Besides brushing my teeth and wiping the baby snot off my shoulders, I could walk over to the front door at dusk and turn on the outside lights and at least one inside lamp. That I could do.

Turning on the lamps was a little signal to Jerry that I was happy he was coming home. It was a reminder to me of the mood I could create for our home with a few intentional daily rituals. At that pivotal hour of our mutually long day, the atmosphere of our home offered the escape we both craved. That simple ritual was my way of saying, “Welcome home, I’m glad you’re here (and not just because I’ve been plotting my escape to Starbucks).”

Don’t we all want to feel that way when we enter our home? Warmly welcomed?

Hospitality toward guests is important. Creating a place to extend warm welcomes to our family should be a priority too. You know how a dog wants to run over to greet you with a big sloppy-but-happy kiss when you walk in the door? The greeting makes you feel loved (and maybe even slightly overwhelmed by his enthusiasm). My son always gives me a sweet little wave when I drop him off at school — a tradition that still means the world to me now that he’s a teen. In turn, it means a lot to him if I have a snack ready for him when he arrives home (because boys are always starving).

Perhaps your family could adopt some special homecoming and departure routines to establish that same warm, loving atmosphere when people arrive home or head out for the day. Here are ten ideas you might want to incorporate into your family’s traditions:

  • Greet family with a kiss, a smile, and a hug.
  • Light a candle and turn on your lamps for a cozy, welcoming ambience as you and your family come in the door.
  • Have a drink or snack ready for after-school (or after-work!) enjoyment. It’s wonderful to know you have something ready in the fridge or pantry to set out while dinner gets started.
  • Turn on some music when you arrive home. It might set just the perfect tone for a relaxing evening.
  • Allow a buffer period of time before asking questions and discussing the day’s problems. My husband used to sit in the car for ten minutes to decompress from the stress of the day before walking in the door so he could enter the house ready to enjoy the evening.
  • Create a stress-free departure. Nothing is as flustering (for you and your family) as trying to get out the door when you are stressed by disorganization. Make it a priority to prepare ahead of time for your departure so you can walk out the door calmly and on time instead of panicking to find your shoes and keys.
  • Keep your entry tidy and welcoming so your house is one you want to come home to and hate to leave! Give everyone a hook and a basket to keep their belongings organized and off the floor.
  • Always pause long enough to give a proper goodbye. When my kids would leave for their school carpool, I always made sure I was at the door to send them off with a quick hug and prayer for their day (as my mom did for me). Those memories are precious.
  • Use timers to prepare for your warm welcome. Timers can be wonderful reminders to turn on a few lamps, turn on the heat on a cold night, or turn on a coffeepot or a crockpot with a hot drink, an appetizer, or dinner.
  • Establish an evening ritual for meaningful conversation and reconnection. Before discussing any negatives, encourage your family to talk about the best part of their day. Keeping the welcome-home routine positive (rather than pointing out what chores weren’t done or what else went wrong that day!) will transform the rest of the evening.

Establish warm welcome traditions that make coming home the sweetest part of everyone’s day.

Isn’t Melissa’s book inspiring? We love her version of accessible hospitality and those wonderful tips to create a warm and inviting home! If you would like to purchase a copy of Melissa’s book, Love the Home You Have, you can grab a copy at DaySpring!

And today you can enter to win one of 5 copies we’re giving away! Woohoo! And each winner will also receive an Everlasting Light Starburst Mirror {happy dance}! Just follow the instructions in the giveaway widget to enter. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only, and winners will be randomly selected on Friday (4/24) so make sure you enter a valid email address so we can contact you!

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MelissaMichaelsTheInspiredRoom-451x600 Melissa Michaels the creator of the popular blog The Inspired Room. With creative, simple ideas and a friendly style, she inspires over half a million women each month to love their homes and lives.

She was voted as the number one fan favorite decorating blogger at Better Homes & Gardens in 2014, and was also voted as one of the top five Better Homes and Gardens editors’ choice favorite decorating blogs. Melissa is a mom of three and a pastor’s wife living in the Seattle area.

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  • Lacey

    I like the idea of allowing a buffer time. It gives us more time to bond, rather than being attacked when you walk through the door!

  • Amy

    We love music in our house. when things start to get crazy and out of hand with just too much sibling bickering, we quite often turn on some music. I love the idea of using music as a way of setting the tone for a relaxing evening….or a ‘dance party’ :)

  • janetb1

    I come home after my husband some nights and some nights I work after he is home. I like the idea of some of these though. Thanks Melissa and InCourage for the giveaway!

  • Beth M

    I always do a quick cleanup of toys and whatever else has ended up on the floor in the last 10 min before my husband gets home. Just having the living room clean when he walks in makes him feel relaxed and he always compliments me on the fact that the “house looks so nice”.

    • Steph O

      That’s such a great idea, Beth. Walking into a clean house or clean room is so inviting and relaxing. The family will always look forward to coming home after being about their day ☺️

  • Rachel

    My favorite time to welcome is summer evenings!

  • Sooz Peacock

    A warm and inviting home is just that…warm, not cold. It’s a place you want to be. Cozy, snugly throw pillows and blankets on chairs or couches are some of my favorite ways to make my home warmer. It’s inviting to enter a home that is tidy but not to neat to prop your feet up. That’s the home that you kicked your shoes off in, and not because you “had to leave them by the door”. An inviting home is just that, inviting, not cold shouldered. One of my favorite ways to do this is by loving people. Greeting people with genuine care and eyes wide with wonder ready to hear about their days or learn something new. Love for others will be at the heart of a believers home and every person who enters feels like they are a VIP. And really, aren’t they all?

    • Steph O

      That’s a lovely principle to live by. Love others & make them feel like VIP when they come in/ visit

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com/ Southern Gal

    Lamps on in our living area and flowers on the table help create a warm, loving atmosphere for me. I’m working on warming up the laundry room which is where everyone comes into the house. It’s the first thing they see! Not ideal, but I am working on making it beautiful.

    • gold

      hello dear i will like to know about and your family

  • SarahPinault

    I discovered this book and blog just days after the book came out. I have a horrible tendency to let my mood be shaped by the lack of order and beauty I feel in my physical surroundings, and I have a lovely house. I’m looking to take my blinkers off and re-learn what made me fall in love with this place.

  • http://shannonkwheeler.com/ Shannon K. Wheeler

    I feel most relaxed when things are tidy in our main living area. Things don’t have to be perfect, but it feels most warm and inviting when it’s tidy. And when we have something yummy to offer!

  • Adrienne

    Very encouraging – thank you!

  • Adrienne

    My favorite way to make my family’s home inviting is to have the rooms looking tidy, light a candle in each room, and have good smells coming from the kitchen. During Christmas we always have Christmas music playing in the background as well to increase that Holiday feel.

  • Angie

    It has always been about the lighting for me. Never even realized it was sending a message!

  • Kim Garbison

    With 2 teenagers, it’s hard to keep everything warm and confortable without it looking like a high school locker threw up in the livingroom. I love these ideas!!

  • Jennifer Bowler

    I highly need encouragement for our small and cluttered apartment. Thanks for the giveaway. I like lighting a candle and playing some nice music to make my home feel warm and inviting.

  • Ronnie Dornhoffer

    I make sure I am home and not out with girlfriends when hubby comes home. We are both in our mid 50s but he hates coming home to an empty house.

  • Sarah

    I’m not the best at this, but we don’t wear shoes in our house, so guests automatically feel they can curl up on the couch without their shoes on.

  • Donna Cress

    I try to always have the living room area tidy and smelling good. That helps me feel better about having guests.

  • Nila S.

    Organization is the key to a warm & inviting home. We love candles, placing floral arrangements around the house, music, the smell of something delicious baking in the oven…all ways to a warm & inviting home. :)

  • Elizabeth

    I light candles, turn on music and offer a tasty appetizer like guacamole dip and chips!

  • karen

    We will soon be moving into a new home and I want it to be a place where everyone feels welcomed, accepted and loved! I want it to be a haven for my husband and grown kids. I want Jesus to be made known through it!

  • Mrs.T

    Music is always good, especially quiet and soothing instrumentals. I use a lot of little white lights here and there, too.

    Lovely and inspiring read and a generous giveaway. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  • Julie Heckman

    To me it’s about cleanliness and light.

  • Kim

    Good reminders. I try to make our house inviting and real! I don’t overly apologize if its messy or you have to sit in the chair beside three loads of laundry. It happens and I think in the past it has relaxed my friends to feel comfortable in our home.

  • Mary

    I am definitely a believer of warm light and good smells – turn on that fireplace, light a candle, or best of all, get a batch of cookies in the oven! That says “come on in, relax, and stay awhile” to me…

  • beemom

    I have found that while all these ideas are great, if you have the time and energy. A huge smile and sincere I’m so happy you are here welcomes guests immediately.

  • Lindsey

    I am so excited to read this book! In two weeks I am moving into my first house! I have been renting for years and I am so blessed to finally have a place to call my own. I am so excited to be at liberty to create an environment that truly reflects my family and feels like home. In our current place I rarely entertained guests for lack of feeling that the space was really “us” or welcoming. I am thrilled to read this book and be inspired to make my new house a loving, welcoming, inspiring home!

  • Jenny Herndon

    I really like having candles and tea lights around my living room to light and create a warm and inviting space for my family. We also have an “art wall” for the kids to display their artwork from school. I love all 5 of my kids being involved in decorating and making the space their own. It shows an actual family lives here :)

  • Tiffany

    Thank you for the practical ideas! To me, simplicity is key.

  • Katy

    Bright colors and unique pieces.

  • Natasha

    I enjoy making our home more inviting and comforting for our family by hanging or displaying special photos of our family throughout the home, having comfortable throw pillows, blankets and candles in our living room (the area we spend the most amount of time) and keeping my toddler’s toys and books picked up when he’s not playing with them so the room is not cluttered. I also enjoy lighting candles or using warmers in the kitchen to make the area more inviting.

  • Shelly R

    Music! We play it all the time. During the day it’s a stress break breaker when the day has become overwhelming. We crank of the music and dance. In the evenings and on weekends, it fills the background. Worship music is always inviting God into our days.

  • Karen M

    I love to light candles to make our home feel warm and inviting!

  • Lillian

    I try to always clean the front room before my husband comes home from work. Even if the rest of the house is a disaster at least he doesn’t see it first thing!

  • Jill

    Making the entry way tidy and welcoming is important to me. I can think of three things I could do today to act on that. Thank you!

  • Andrea

    I think the smells of a delicious home cooked meal make such a warm and inviting home.

  • Kathy

    When I was a stay at home mom, my husband and I agreed to the buffer time. The last thing he wanted to do when he walked in the door was to tell me about his day. He had a very stressful job and if I started in on how bad my day was with the kids, etc it only added to his stress. I found that when I was allowed him that time he was very open to sharing his day and to hearing about mine. – Candles are my way of having a nice inviting atmosphere in my home.

  • Pam

    Having a fire in the fireplace when it’s cold and sitting outside on the deck with stinged lights when it’s warmer. Opening the door and letting your spouse and children and others know that you are glad they are home/here.

  • Michelle

    Lighting

  • http://punkinhood.blogspot.com/ chrisgharmon

    I am terrible at creating a warm & inviting home – hoping this book can help that. Does shoving all the junk into a drawer or another room count?! :(

  • Erin

    A clean, tidy entryway and living room is welcoming at our house. Also something wonderful cooking in the kitchen!

  • Cheryl Jacobo

    I love the idea of buffer time. My grandson and I have a routine before he heads off to preschool “bye Grandma, bye Brandon have a good day, okay Grandma you too, I love you, I love you too!

  • Kim V

    I love candles! I have the good old fashioned ones, battery operated and timers. Warm and welcoming :-)

  • http://www.99hills.com Jenn Collins

    I love to light a candle before people come over or have something amazing cooking so the smell hits them and makes them feel at home!

  • Liesl

    This book is so timely! Working on some decluttering (aka “this stuff is stressing me out, so we should use it to bless someone else instead!”)

  • Kathryn Smith

    I love making sure I have a candle burning and my disorganization put somewhat away before guests come over!

  • http://www.thewriteediting.com Alycia Morales

    My favorite tip is to only allow positive discussion first. That will make a huge difference in our evening, I’m sure!

  • Cindy

    Sounds like a wonderful book to help create a warm, relaxing environment. Would love to win.

  • Amanda Jobe

    Love this!

  • katieterpstra

    Warm lighting!

  • Suzanne Wray Rowan

    I love these ideas!! the books sounds like a real eye opener

  • Kim

    I like for my family to come home to a tidy home, with the smells of dinner cooking.

  • Kirsten Allen

    I love the concept of the buffer time too – I live with a roommate and her children – the kids are very enthusiastic some days and I do feel attacked when I walk in :) I am just not sure the littles would get this concept – but hopefully its something I can teach them :)

  • Marla L

    I like to burn candles.

  • Kristin

    I like to diffuse essential oil in the kitchen, the heart of the home and where we spend most of our time hanging out. My favorite essential oil to diffuse is Young Living Joy. I also like to play contemporary christian music. I think it helps calm my 2 little boys!

  • Darcy

    My favorite way is to have a non-cluttered home. I think people can relax easier if there isn’t so much competing for their attention.

  • Carol

    I like things to be in order for when someone comes in the door. If the rest of the house is a disaster at least they come into some order!!

  • kay

    Love these ideas. I’m sure the book is great. Can’t wait to get a copy.

  • http://thequeenmommy.com/ Debbie Taylor

    I struggle with this. I want to make my home warm & inviting – first to my family, and then to our friends & guests. I like the idea of playing music – I think that does help shape our moods & emotions. I am working on getting our entry way tide & keeping it that way!!!

  • Heidi Lara

    Love having lamps to turn on and make the evening cozy!

  • Kelsey Riley

    Having an empty sink is always something that makes me feel good about when entering my house after a long day of work! I love some of the other ideas though, especially things like having music playing and a candle burning. A scented wax warmer is always a nice touch too!

  • Alisa

    My husband works from home and I am a stay at home mom so this is a good challenge for me to come up with some ways we can start and end our “work day” even though no one is coming or going.

  • Gr8fulLady Amy

    Kitchen Dance Parties & Family Fun Nights! Also, always trying to do, speak, interact and bless the way I ask and direct everyone else to. i.e. Please(s), thank-you(s), excuse me(s), etc…

  • http://onegirl-itjusttakesone.blogspot.com/ Kaitlyn

    I love white Christmas lights — no matter what month it is.

  • lisa

    my daughter and I always take time after school to sit together and have a snack before she heads outside to play. This gives us a chance to reconnect.

  • M Bunn

    We used to do “couch time” which was 15 minutes of mom and dad sitting on the couch and talking with out the kids interrupting. My husband also really likes to be greeted when he comes home.

  • Karen

    We definitely employ the buffer zone at our house. It gives everyone time to catch their breath and make the transition from work or school to home.

  • ErinKC86

    I love the idea of starting rituals to make leaving and coming home a happy experience!! I am going to try a couple of these out!

  • Stacey

    One piece of advice that was given to me before I even established my own home was that it should be evident when people come into your home that you love the Lord. My favorite way to do that is through scripture art and small chalkboards with memory verses. It can be such an encouragement as you are reminded of God’s promises often.

  • Brooke Green

    I like to light a candle and play soft/happy music when my husband gets home and at breakfast. This book looks right up my alley! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Cara Cates

    I think smell is key. A warm smell is so inviting.

  • holly

    We all gather int he living room and dance, make sofa pillow forts, read, play with puzzles. the living room is where it’s at.

  • Asheritah Ciuciu

    Fresh flowers! They make an immediate difference, making a room feel light, airy, and spring-y.

  • cloudninegirl

    What wonderful ideas! Home is truly where the heart is and making sure we don’t allow daily stress and busyness to take over is perfect. We should always remember to go slowly and ENJOY our life – not rush through it trying to get things done! We should never forget that family and home comes first!

  • http://www.joyfullythriving.com Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    I try to pick things up throughout the day, so the house is generally neat. For my husband, I try to have dinner ready too. It might be 1950s advice, but I find it still is applicable. :-) Mainly though, greeting with a smile (wherever I am) is the best thing I can do.

  • ThatOne

    I love putting on music, I don’t do it nearly often enough though. My brother in law gave us a Bluetooth receiver for the stereo so I can play Spotify or Pandora or any of my playlists. It makes the house feel so relaxing (Nat King Cole anyone?)

  • Angie Bridwell

    I do a quick clean up of toys and dishes before my older kids and husband get home. Putting things away and playing music does help create a more peaceful environment in our home.

  • Angela Bell

    When guests come over, I like to make them feel special and important by doing little things like lighting a candle in the bathroom, using the good china, and having food and drink available.

  • http://joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/ Joyce (and Norm)

    Yummy food and good conversations

  • Brooke Montgomery Cassinelli

    I like to have a “cozy” scent burning. Also flowers always add SO much.

  • Judy

    I left up a bunch of white Christmas lights after the holidays this year. I like to turn them on in the evenings to create a soft glow for dinner and relaxing.

  • Karen G

    I like to light a nicely scented candle so others are greeted by a nice scent when they come to our home..

  • Daisy Fuentes Dronen

    I love the idea of lighting a candle! One time my husband was coming home from a long trip and the kiddos and I ran to target to get a candle to light before he got home- but he beat us home! ( target is way distracting for the whole family!) but we laughed about it welcomed him home while we lit the candle!

  • Karina Flores Dulin

    Thank you for this! It’s so encouraging! I set a timer to remind the kids and I to do a quick pick up before the Boss gets home. We return books to the shelf, put away schoolwork, and make sure the toys are in the right spot. I love the idea of music and candles. They would help all of us!

  • sally t

    What a helpful book!

  • Carrie turano

    Love listening to music when i get home…brings me back to MY reality :)

  • Elizabeth smith

    Candles and lamps all lit for the guests :) I like good smells and lots of light!

  • Melanie

    Keeping my home organized is one way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. We have lots of natural light and comfy places to relax and have good conversations.

  • Tara Brown

    I love having fresh flowers and candles or the melting wax to scent the air with relaxing smells. It creates such a comfortable and inviting environment.

  • JoAn

    Everything in its place, plenty of lighting, fireplace, and warm-colored paint on the walls

  • Kelly H

    Music playing. Don’t worry about every last Lego or army man being put away. Candles lit and drinks and snacks easily accessible. That’s how we welcome people!

  • DA Schuhow

    I like a clean house with candles burning to make it warm and inviting.

  • http://choosingthismoment.com/ Jenn

    I find a lot of it is all in my attitude – though I try to keep a tidy home, a cheerful, welcoming presence can go a long way in overcoming a bit of clutter or dust in the corners! :)

  • Loan N

    I like the idea of turning on the porch light and entry lamps! Such a small yet big thing… I would have never thought of it. You’re such a thoughtful person, Melissa!

  • kara

    I love using our essential oil diffuser, people always love how it smells!

  • http://www.experiencedbadmom.com/ Experienced Bad Mom

    I do like to greet my kids and my husband with eye contact and a kiss and a hug. Even my tween likes it!

  • Danielle

    Love this post! Such great ideas!

  • Sarah M

    I love to have a fire going, and low-lighting during the evenings to make my home cozy, and of course–reading to my kids every night!

  • Courtney

    My husband loves lit candles, and we usually light them before guests come over so I need to start doing that for him as well

  • Paige Estes

    I like to keep one light on at home so when I get home from work, its not dark and unwelcoming for me. I also like to try and always give my hubs a big kiss on the lips so he knows I’m happy to see him. All four of us go our separate ways during the day with work and school. I love for all of us to congregate back at “home base” together at the end of the day for a meal and snuggles. Pizza and a movie on Fridays is a family favorite!

  • http://annaangela.com/ Angela Sangalang

    I like having food available, whether it’s dinner or easy to make meals in the refrigerator. It’s the Filipino culture :-) The first question guests are asked is usually, “Do you want to eat?” and it’s really an invitation, not an inquiry.

  • Cheri

    Scented candles or baked goods – the smell is what helps to welcome others.

  • Kristina

    Having the house smell good, candles, essential oils, etc!!

  • christin

    Music and candles and a nice meal always makes my home feel more inviting

  • Tracy

    Greet my hubby when he comes home!

  • RJ

    We have these all natural candles that give off nice light and not-overwhelming scent!

  • Misty

    A clean, tidy home with candles and blinds open with sunlight shining through that offers that sense of “welcome”.

  • Amanda

    Love this!

  • Amanda

    I like using candles and music as well as lamplight.

  • Meli Y

    One of my favorite things to do to create a welcoming home is to wipe down the table with lemon oil, it’s just such a nice refreshing smell.

  • Kristen

    I love all these ideas! Thank you!

  • Gwyn

    My favorite way to make my home inviting is to have homemade goodies, ready to serve.

  • Charlene

    I like to sit with each family member for a few minutes and discuss their day, and have the orders of dinner cooking smelling up the house.

  • http://www.msmoozy.com/ Debra @ Msmoozys Open House

    Oh now I would love to win this book, I have purchased already but would LOVE to win one so I can share with a friend and have her join in the book study. I already have a place for that mirror now I just have to win it….LOL Thanks so much for sharing with us and so enjoy your website. :-)

  • Angie

    I like to keep the house neat, so if someone stops by unexpectedly, I’m not focused on how embarrassed I am about the state of my house and can focus on them.

  • Sheila

    Give the children a small snack so they can calm down and discuss their, day while supper is finishing cooking both. That way Mom and Dad can hear about any school news. Soft music in background.

  • Misty Keith

    We enjoy playing light music in the background as we enjoy a meal together. We enjoy having one meal together as a family daily. We, like others have already said, often have dance parties to some rockin music. We enjoy game and movie nights as well.

  • http://www.LifeintheWhiteHouse.com/ Jessica White

    Freshly washed quilts, good food, and comfy seats.

  • Heather Dietz

    We love listening to favorite Pandora stations to set the mood for the day/evening in the house. I also try to buy fresh flowers each week or two to add some color to the kitchen and living room where we spend most of our time!

  • Tammy

    I can relate. My husband doesn’t remember any details if I don’t give him some down time before engaging after he comes home. We always greet with a kiss, though. That’s our goodbye in the morning and our hello when he comes home. :)

  • Misty Keith

    I love to bake and have friends and family over in the Autumn or Fall.

  • Cami

    Our house is old and far too small for our growing family. I don’t have a dishwasher, the laundry area is inconvenient, only one bathroom and even when my stove is clean you can’t tell. When I dwell on what my house looks like my HOME suffers. I believe that my home is far more than what my house looks like. However with this small space it is very hard to keep order and organization, but I’m trying.

  • Susan Gruener

    Thanks Melissa. Lots of good idea. I like the name of your book…sounds like ‘being content’ with what we have. That’s scriptural – and that’s always good. :)
    Blessings!

  • Laurie

    The smell of fresh bread baking makes me (and my family) happy!

  • Erin Smith

    This sounds so lovely! My Mama always makes sure the house is ‘picked up’ before my Daddy gets home.

  • Melanie Potter

    My home is inviting with warm colors & blankets on the couch. It’s always clean because that’s me, hot tea & enjoying quiet time or movie time with friends or family in our cozy living room.

  • Jamie Arlt

    I can’t wait to read this book, I try to make sure I have my Scentsy burning to make my home feel a little more welcoming.

  • Jeannetta

    I love to briefly straighten up and try to have a clean and organized dinette table- our family drop everything place. This says we are ready for you and you are welcome.

  • Robin in NC

    I really enjoy my flameless candles! They fill the house with such a welcoming & pleasant scent. Our furniture is also very comfy with a throw & a fun pillow on each piece.

    Thanks for sharing! rw620 at aol dot com

  • Christine

    I love to have homemade chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer so I can make cookies at a moment’s notice. I also like to scent my house with orange essential oil.

  • Audra

    A clean house with food to share and plenty of comfy places to sit. I want people to feel comfy and at home when at my home!

  • SueBE

    This book seems to be full of the concrete reminders that we need to thrive.

  • Pippi

    Taking away the day’s clutter would be a wonderful way to welcome others. It’s not important to be minimalist or hospital clean, but a tidy room gives space to breath a little.

  • Kathy Wallace

    I like to make sure things are picked up and the counter top looks pretty with fresh flowers.

  • http://deturkdesign.blogspot.com/ Mandy DeTurk

    I love having a tidy house, it makes me feel at home, and comfy and relaxed.

  • Vanessa

    I love keeping main spaces fairly clean. Then it looks neat and calm even if there are toys about or a bag or coat lying out. I also like turning on lamps and not the overhead lights.

  • SaraG

    Sharing a cup of tea.

  • Jodi White

    I love to light candles and have inspiring music playing when my family arrives home each day!

  • Jenn

    My favorite way to create a warm & inviting home is to have fresh flowers and candles for a yummy smell but most importantly a calm & relaxed heart :)

  • Becky Jones

    I love to layer in my home…heavy quilts and throws and candles for the cool weather seasons and lots of light coverlets, fruits, flowers and soft lights for these warmer months..I always try to greet my guests with BIG hugs and something to refresh them {food & drink} and aim to fill up their love tanks before they head home…and I am so blessed in return! xoxo

  • Mary

    Love these ideas! It’s also important to keep your greetings warm and welcoming.

  • http://www.onemomsguide.com/ Gina Elder

    I love candles and soft lighting most of the time. However, summer nights I enjoy lively classical guitar music while I cook. I guess it depends on how tired I am after work?

  • Frances

    Candles, lights, something baking, have something fun out for people to do or read or play with (like slinkies or a cartoon book).

  • Lacey C.

    Candles and cookies help, but what really makes home feel warm and inviting is if the hosts are relaxed and encourage their guests to relax, too.

  • melaniefuller

    I always try to make sure the house is picked up & I usually have dinner on the table when my husband walks in from work. He loves this!

  • Rachel B

    I like to have a clean sink in the kitchen and clean countertops.

  • http://ladydorothy.blogspot.com/ Lady Dorothy

    Some great tips! I put a soft lamp that is by the front window on a timer, so I won’t forget to turn it on in the evening. I have it go on in the early morning, too, so when my husband goes into the living room in the early morning (way earlier than I do), there is a soft welcoming light.

  • Deborah A. Nelson

    I would meet them at the door & have hot water for tea.

  • Susie

    I am so interested in this book. Would like to make my home more inviting and hospitable, but with working nights and being on the road a lot, the ideas have to be simple and not take a lot of time. I’m sure there are a wide range of them in the book. What a blessing it is to walk into a home and feel one’s blood pressure calm, the tension in shoulders release, to feel the uptight slide right out the end of one’s toes. That is the atmosphere I’d like to make with the “home I have”.

  • Susie

    Ooops, I commented before I read the question :D I think soft quiet music and the scent of warm candles are my favorite warm and inviting things right now. It would be nice to expand my repertoire.

  • Maria

    Yummy smells: from the kitchen, from candles, from fresh flowers, etc.!

  • Leah

    Candles and clean surfaces.

  • lnhiggins

    I turn our Sonos onto HIllsong Live and let the music set the warm tone for my husband and our guests when they first enter the house. A little of God’s word in worship song goes a long way.

  • Brittany Waller

    My husband and I make sure to have dinner together with our kids (even though still very little) every night and we each share what the low spot and the high spot of our day was. It helps us to connect through more than the normal “how was your day?”

  • Lissette Romero

    I like to make the house inviting by cleaning it and making sure their is something to offer as far as a snack, and it helps if it is fragrant. :)

  • Crystal

    Candles and worship music make our home inviting. : )

  • http://refreshinghopeministries.org Nell

    My mother and grandmother taught me how to decorate a home. I inherited the “country” look from my mother. I love lamps and ceiling fans. I love roosters and apples. I love spiritual and inspirational decorations. I like photos of my family on the wall. I love books. And in just a couple of weeks, I will be in a townhome, living by myself as a single, independent Christian woman! This apartment has been my home for 1 year, 3 months, and my daughter lived with me for a while with her newborn son, and then I got involved in a relationship at about the time my daughter moved out, which really should have never happened like it has. So, this home hasn’t seemed like my home, even though I did rearranging after the New Year and Spring cleaning. I am looking forward to “Love the Home I Have” with all the suggestions and ideas from everyone. I like “home sweet home” and “happily ever after” in Jesus’ name!

  • Linda N

    I love soy candles (French pear is especially refreshing without being overly sweet), keeping the main areas generally picked up, and having a clean guest bathroom. As long as those things are in order, I don’t feel unpleasantly surprised by unexpected company.

  • Kris A

    Copious amounts of yummies [and sometimes adult beverages] along with lots of laughter and conversation.

  • Joesette

    I love to have yummy smelling wax melts warming throughout the house. I usually have a fragrance of vanilla or something similar to make the house smell sweet and like home baked cookies.

  • T Knowles

    Candles, especially Yankee candles. They make it smell really inviting and are pretty, too.

  • Mary

    I like the idea of setting timers for when you come home. Not coming into a dark quiet house anymore :)

  • Stephanie Oliver Graeler

    So many creative ideas to make our house our homes!

  • Tess

    My husband sits in the car too and I am grateful he resets.

  • Courtney F.

    Buffer time is a great idea…though a bit of a challenge to convey it to toddlers! :)

  • Charisa

    I like to light a scented candle, and greet my guests with a hug and smile. That always sets the tone by saying “you’re safe and welcome here!” :)

  • Jodie

    Diffusing oils and playing my favorite music. It makes my less than perfect old home seam a little nicer.

  • http://www.wendyspeake.com/ Wendy Speake

    The Inspired Room is one of my favorite feeds on Instagram. Can’t wait to read this book.

  • Cait

    This article and her book are just what I need these days, really hits one of my biggest struggles as a wife and mother that I have been praying about lately as a new mom and new home owner.

  • Yolanda

    I love having music playing when the kids come home. It really sets a positive mood

  • Abby Breuklander

    I always try to have the house at least semi-picked up by the time everyone else comes home, makes it so much more inviting than controlled chaos

  • nicole

    Music! We are a dancing family and yes music can put us all into a great mood! Putting it on when my kids get home from school or my husband from work is an awesome idea!

  • lauracarter

    Make sure the house is clean and play music

  • Pam Adams

    I love using scented candles to create an inviting atmosphere and the warm glow of a candle is always welcoming. Love all the great, practical ideas!

  • JenP

    Big fan of background music, along with great smelling seasonal candles and open windows and patio doors (weather permitting, of course!). The music usually leads to our kids having a dance party :-)

  • Deborah

    Great ideas!

  • Kaylyn Johnson

    Pictures of my little family. I have lots of pics all over!

  • Tina

    I try to have everything picked up and the house smelling yummy.

  • http://doseofencouragement.wordpress.com/ Angie

    “Establish an evening ritual for meaningful conversation and
    reconnection. Before discussing any negatives, encourage your family to
    talk about the best part of their day.” <— Love this!!!! Will need to start doing this!!!!

  • bobbi

    We always eat dinner at the table together, with just my husband and me, or with our kids and family and friends too.

  • Joi Loree Leamons

    These are really good tips esp for how to greet your husband when he arrives. I need to do better with that.

  • Jennifer Delk

    These are some fabulous ideas that I look forward to trying!! Thanks for the suggestions. Hoping to get the book soon to read!!

  • Debra Schramm

    Fresh flowers are my favorite way to make my home inviting.

  • Theresa

    I love the idea of a time to just BE when everyone gets home. For me, it would a time when everyone gets home from school to just talk about what went right during the day, have a snack, and just enjoy each other.

  • Lori

    Beautifully written,we are creating a new space and these are great ideas for making it feel like home

  • Joanna

    I love the simply beautiful… A candle, fresh flowers… What my husband and children will notice as they enter, without fail… Yummy smells of freshly prepared food!

  • Sgoody

    I like putting fresh flowers & having candles going in my home. Also, I don’t like to have my house messy but…I like a “comfortable” house, one that guests can hang in and not feel like that will “mess” things up or relax & enjoy themselves!!

  • Mandy

    I love te time spent eating breakfast with my littles before they are out the door, so we dour best to have everything for school prepped the night before to have this stress free time in the morning!

  • Wendi

    Light a candle, have some music on in the background, some freshly baked cookies making the house smell good and a nice treat for the family and any guest that stops by, and comfy places to sit and relax.

  • Chris H

    I like the idea of turning on the front porch light and some indoor lights. It sets the stage for a happy homecoming no matter the chaos that has happened that day.

  • Margaret Fehrenbach

    I think that a smile and a hug or handshake at the door is the way to always welcome everyone into your house.

  • Adams Family

    I enjoy light background music and the idea of stopping dinner prep to give a genuine welcome – eye contact, a kiss or hug.

  • Carole J.

    I love to light candles & use lamps instead of overhead lighting to create a homey environment.

  • Heidi

    When most people enter our home it is through the garage entrance, which comes right into our kitchen area. I always like to make sure the room is picked up and tidy (which is sometimes challenging because this is the room where a good deal of time is spent by everyone). It’s so nice coming home after a long day to a clean home.

  • Rebecca

    I like to have fresh flowers somewhere in my home and the floor free from clutter. We also have music playing most evenings while I prepare supper.

  • Carmie

    My goal is always to have supper ready or nearly ready by the time my hubby walks in the door. It’s amazing how much more relaxing the evenings are when supper is on time! When I’m behind on supper, bathtime and bedtime get shoved back too and that isn’t usually a very peaceful combination!

  • Kristie

    I would love to learn more about making our home a welcoming place. We are about to host a group from South America, and I want our home to be a reflection of Christ’s love. I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Becky

    Reducing clutter, warm colors, good company :)

  • Cathy L

    I like the idea of lighting a candle. These little touches are nice.

  • Jane Gsellman

    Love your blog and all of the inspiration!

  • Janna

    I love to have something tasty to offer my family or guests–we have a comforting home cooked meal every evening! And it is always a goal to have the main living areas tidy–shoes seem to pile at our entrance. Nothing says “welcome home” like actually being able to make it through the front door. ;o)

  • tammy

    I love to bake. Walking into a house that smells like cinnamon, or baked apples, or cookies is always so nice and my family loves the treats.

  • Becky Teegarden Runyan

    I like to make my home feel welcoming to my kids and husband when they get home by having things as picked up as I can get them. Walking into a mess is stressful! I also like to have special snacks for the kids every now and then. We always greet my husband with hugs when he gets home <3

  • Julie

    We try to have our meals at the dinning room table – just a time for connecting & sharing the latest news…. We do give lots of hugs. When people leave, we tend to go to the front porch to wave goodbye ( with a smile ).

  • Stacy Brickhouse

    Candles are very inviting I always love to smell one burning when I go to someone else’s home. So I light one whenever I know someone is coming to mine.

  • Amanda

    I always try to have dinner at least PLANNED when he gets home. And I try to tidy up the living room before he walks in. I know the stress I feel when I come in and see stuff everywhere, so I try not to let that happen with him!

  • saf affect

    Thrifty finds that have a back-story make my space warm and inviting and personable.

  • Peggy

    Great post..welcoming ideas that are so simple. While my kids were growing up, I would make cookies several nites a week. There’s nothing like coming home from school to warm-from-the-oven cookies and a glass of cold milk.

  • Anna

    I love to use scented candles that I change with seasonal scents. I love using ocean scents for summer, flower scents for Spring

  • Valerie J.

    I like to cook and bake. Having dinners planned ahead make evenings easier for our family and we can relax at the end of the day. A bed made first thing in the morning, a Sunday cake, Friday evening family dance parties are part of the little things we do…

  • Tricia

    If I can’t greet my hubby at the door after work, I at least make sure it’s unlocked and I yell “Hi Babe!” from the kitchen when I hear him come in :)

  • Marisa Patel

    I love the idea of music to help create a calm mood. I already do most of the other suggestions, minus candles, so I may try to do that as well.

  • Laura

    Lamps and candles are my favorites – nothing softens a room like good lighting!

  • sandra

    Loved reading this. I’m going to start applying a couple of these to our routines!

  • Emilee Hope Turner

    I like to have seasonal decor and a relaxed feeling in my home so you feel comfortable coming in and taking your shoes off and getting comfy with a quilt on the couch or a glass of sweet tea at the kitchen table!

  • lynelle

    I like to have enough comfy seating for everyone, as we are slowly furnishing our first home that has been a priority for me.

  • http://www.mydoterra.com/LillianRachel Lillian Warkentin

    Thank you for this reminder that we can create love and beauty wherever we are. Getting up and greeting with a genuine smile and a hug let’s my loved ones know I am happy they are here and worth my time. :)

  • BirdinHandVTG Laurie

    Buffer time is key for me too! So I have the table set ahead of time and know which linens, serving platters, bowls, etc. that I’ll be using (“dressing” the table is my favorite part!). And fresh flowers in a vase or creative container always.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for these great ideas! I look forward to trying some of them!

  • Gloria York

    I love to light candles and turn on my lamps. I love the atmosphere it creates!! I know my family appreciates the extras I do to my our home cozy and inviting!!

  • Courtney

    My favorite way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere is to light candles! They instantly brighten a room and make it feel warm, inviting and peaceful. I also love to play uplifting music for a group of friends, or peaceful music when I want my family to wind down and de-stress after a long day.

  • Alisa

    What a wonderful read. Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions and perspective! It seems like it always a whirlwind when we leave and when we come home. After reading this i have encouragment to make some changes! Thank you.

  • Kim

    I often ask the kids to do a chore right when they come home from school because it is on MY mind that it needs to be done, not taking into account that THEY need to decompress after a day at school. Thank you, Melissa, for showing me that asking them to do a chore as soon as they walk through the door does not feel like “WELCOME HOME” to them. I will be changing that practice TODAY!

  • Stephanie

    When I walk in the door home from work, my kids always come running and give me huge hugs. It makes me so very happy.

  • Joy

    A warm and inviting home starts with you. You can have the most beautiful home, but unless you have love in your heart your guests won’t feel welcome. Thanks for the thoughtful reminders on how to show others that they are welcome.

  • Shanna Schlabach

    I love to light a candle and make sure there is music playing softly in the background.

  • Kesha

    Music on in the background, a tidy house, and snacks ready. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Meaghan

    I can completely identify with wanting to run out for some alone time as soon as my husband comes home from work. :) Melissa has inspired me to think about how HE feels when he comes in from a long day to three children and a (sometimes) disgruntled wife. Thank you! for the reminder that I can set a welcoming tone for my family on a daily basis, not only for our occasional guests.

  • Cathy

    I find when the kitchen table is clear from clutter that it creates a peaceful atmosphere when my husband enters the house.

  • Teresa S

    My husband is always home before me and he (almost) always greats me at the back door or outside at my vehicle to help me inside. I LOVED the example of turning the light on outside at dusk. I had previously read that idea somewhere, and it meant “I love you” and care about your safety and glad you are home!! Love it and love my hubby and the little things we do for each other!! Nice giveaway!!

  • Barbara

    I like to welcome people to my home with lights, candles and FLOWERS!

  • Heidi

    I love having lots of throw blankets around to wrap up in, especially on our long, cold MN winter nights!

  • Melinda Wilson

    I have read several books on love languages, his needs/her needs and these really gave me some insight to what each of my family members needed to feel loved and happy to be home. My husband was one that needed words of affirmation so I would greet him with a smile and be interested in his day. That didn’t mean having to greet him at the door every day because many times I would be cooking so he would walk on in to the kitchen. Just taking that little bit of time usually set the tone for the evening.
    Even though the house wasn’t “clean” all the time, I would keep the living room picked up and items in their proper place so we wouldn’t have to be stepping over things to walk into the house.

  • J Riggs

    I like to have a buffet of food out. Everyone loves it and eats and visits and laughs and stay connected. I believe in the power of a warm brisket, potato salad and a nice warm peach cobbler :)

  • Rachel B

    Those are great ideas and as hard as it might be with random schedules they are still worth doing even several times a day.

  • Valerie

    I like to create an inviting home by lighting candles.

  • RENONFL

    LOVE YOUR BLOG

  • Mj

    Two cups of hot coffee and classical music in the background are our favorite ways to welcome our guests or family into our home.

  • http://www.dominicandkristin.blogspot.com Kristin Smith

    Love these ideas, I need to work more on creating an inviting and warm space. I love the idea of having an evening ritual!

  • Shelly

    Cleaning the house and lighting a candle. I just have to run the vacuum and wipe off the counters–and flush the toilets (Why can’t my people just flush the toilet?).

  • Jen S.

    Oh, I think this book was written for me! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Becky Stepp

    I always stop what I am doing and greet my husband with a hug and kiss. So does our little dog, Willy!

  • Jen S.

    Candles, soft music, and something cooking!

  • Jan

    Love to open the windows, have music playing, and a fresh scent in my warmer. Love Melissa’s blog…anxious to read her new book!

  • KarenH

    There are great ideas just in the article so the book must be great! I love the idea of greeting family when they come home like guests.

  • Jenny Shinsky

    I am always trying to find new ways to make my home inviting.

  • Gayla

    I really like the idea of holding off negative thoughts and discussion. Although, the reality is that some things need to be addressed by Dad “the Principal” since we homeschool and are home all day, we could work better at focusing on the positive. I love this starburst mirror. It would look great in our guest house that we are currently remodeling for intinerating missionaries.

  • DonnaS

    Love your tips! We always try to keep it positive when everyone comes home. It’s a bummer to be bombarded with the bad stuff when you first walk in the door.

  • Erika Williams

    I like the keep the entry tidy. That is hard with 2 boys and a dog. I am going to really work on that!

  • Ally

    Fluffing my pillows, cleaning the kitchen and clearing off my kitchen table which seems to be the “catch all” place!!
    I am so thankful to have found your blog from Ann Voskamp – and I’m sending it to my girlfriends now to recommend us doing your book in our next bible study!!

  • Teresa

    We love casual entertaining too – call it porch time and background music adds so much. Summer weather is in the air and time for friends and family to visit. Love your ideas!

  • hobbitbride

    I absolutely need to set timers! It’s easy to lose myself in whatever I’m doing and not remember to freshen up until I hear my hubby turning the key in the door. I am also a big fan of good scents–be they candles or food cooking or whathaveyou–as a way to welcome in guests and family.

  • Lisa

    What lovely ideas. Thank you for sharing.

  • Teresa

    We enjoy casual entertaining too, porch time we call it. Weather is perfect now for porch talk, food and music.

  • Rhetta Stephens

    I love the warm, indirect lighting from lamps placed around our space as well as the fragrance of a scented candle. Dust bunnies magically disappear in the soft glow–bonus! When hubby arrives home, I try to stop whatever I’m doing to greet him.

  • Julie S

    I love candles and quiet music to create a mulitsesory relaxing atmosphere. Also, deep, honest conversation and feeling safe to share in my home are important to me.

  • Amy P

    Just what I needed today!

  • Angeles

    I make my home welcoming and inviting by not having everything too perfect. Others relax when they realize my home is for living in, not showing off.

  • Jules

    Accent lighting (which hides a multitude of sins), inexpensive grocery store or farmers market flowers, & music make everything look better/more welcoming. Then no one notices the dust!

  • Laura

    I like candles:)!

  • Lauren Anne Powell

    I love to light the scentsy candle by the front door and to lower the lighting for ambiance right before my husband arrives home. I’ve noticed he enters more peacefully when I’ve taken a moment to do this. something about a positive smell in the house, whether the candle or food cooking, makes for a happier home after a long day.

  • Jami

    What is your favorite way to create a warm & inviting home?
    Just keeping an open door policy and always having a bed to sleep in or a shoulder to cry on.

  • Erin S.

    I love music and candles to make a home feel cozy

  • Jeanne

    I love all these ideas for making your family feel loved and welcomed.

  • Kristen

    lamps and comfy blankets :)

  • Tina

    Lighting and music sets whatever mood you’re trying to attain. If the lights and music are bright and welcoming it revives the spirit and makes you happy to be there!

  • Chrissy

    I do the best I can to keep my home neat and clean, and then I don’t let myself fret if if it’s not perfect!!

  • Ingrid

    For some reason, clean floors are a big deal to me and are the one thing I want to have when company stops by on short notice. After that, it’s all about investing myself into each person who walks through our door so that they leave feeling like they’ve been accepted and loved in our home.

  • FarAboveRubies

    I love the idea of leaving the lights on when he comes home. My husband and I work together all day long. Sometimes he goes out at night to do an estimate on a job. I usually stay home during those nights. From here on in, I’m leaving the lights on for him when he comes home after dark.

  • Lynn

    I find it a challenge to welcome my husband every time he comes through the door — we have a farm. I need to find a way to keep the home always welcoming to him.

  • Kayla

    Before company comes I always like to have the main areas tidied, main surfaces quickly dusted, the radio on in the background, and a candle or two lit. I don’t know why I never thought to create a similar welcoming atmosphere for my husband to walk into each night. Great idea!

  • heidi

    Fresh flowers, a lit candle (day or night), throws on the couch to cuddle with, little clutter, simplicity in everything you do…makes it home…all the “messes” of daily life are left outside the door~

  • Lisa

    This is easy for me to forget–I’m such a lowest-common-denominator person. I do try to give a special greeting as family members come or go in our home, but I’ve let it drop off. Time to try again! It’s a good day if I can get the living room tidied up at the end of the afternoon :)

  • Pat

    I no longer have anyone to come home to or wait for but I do enjoy coming home from work to My Home and My Home welcomes Me.

  • Denise Martinez

    I love our family time around the dinner table. It gives us a chance to talk about our day and decompress before we start the kids bedtime routine.

  • sharon

    well frankly, i made a goal on those certain days ‘that got away from me’ to put some makeup on before the husband got home! occasionally this meant only minutes before is arrival. it was part of looking fresh, and happy and welcoming — for him to be home, and the inner feeling that he was just as important to me, as the truth that I would put make up on to go to Target!!

  • Brandi Nabors

    I am a huge lamp fan. I love the soft dim light that lamps give off and it makes our home feel so cozy and inviting…or so I think :D! I also love that home is a home, it’s not a show piece. It’s a lived in home that shows signs of active little ones and love that’s growing each and every moment!

  • Janet

    I am loving this book!!!

  • Scarlette Chapman

    I always have at least one light on in the entry way and a few scented candles lit.

  • Jamie D.

    To me, good food served with everyone around the table makes a cozy home.

  • Corrie

    I love that I get home around 45 minutes before everyone else!

  • Kelly

    I enjoy diffusing essential oils and playing music. We frequently have dance parties at home that really bring us closer together

  • bigeyedchick

    I could really use this book!!! My home needs help!

  • http://www.andersenseven.typepad.com Teresa Andersen

    I love and have used many of the tips you gave….I find little touches like real cloth napkins for dinner and hugs go a long way. Happy Day

  • Andie Ellis

    I love having soup in my freezer! When someone stops by..we can ALWAYS have soup supper and light the fire.

  • Melissa Osigian

    I love to light a yummy-smelling candle…peaks two senses…sight and smell.

  • Barb Ward Dittrich

    Candle light is a warm way to not only have family members have a visual reminder of my love, it’s a great way to signify God’s presence in our midst.

  • C Johnston

    My friends can put their feet up on the coffee table and help themselves in the kitchen.

  • Karen

    A relaxed atmosphere with comfy seating (in or out) and great smells to welcome anyone coming in.

  • Dana S

    A quick clean up, music and candles at dinner!

  • Gina

    Dim lights and candles make my home warm and inviting

  • LB

    This is so affirming because it is do-able when broken down into small tasks that end up meaning a lot. We strive to keep our dining room table clean and make it a space for food and conversation only (though it is SO tempting to pile up random items there!!!)

  • Kathleen Grace

    Having a warm and welcoming home has always been my goal. We both work from home so there isn’t any welcome time, but we do like to walk away from our desks and take a walk together to end the day. It’s our time out of the “office”, and time together to talk.

  • Jenn

    I light a candle to quiet myself and refocus.

  • Debbi

    I need some encouragement in this area! I’m pretty good about making my home welcoming for guests, but not always so good about welcoming my family home. =(

  • Becky Dart

    My parents have always been known for their hospitality in making people feel warm and loved whether in our home or anywhere else. Gentleness, compassion and a true interest in others are the keys to a warm welcome. In my house what feels warm and inviting to me are the stories and memories behind each piece of furniture and other items that surround me. So many echoes of love and gratefulness make it a haven for me.

  • Christine

    My favorite way to make my home warm and inviting is candles and lighting, throws and pilows, the colors I’ve chosen for the main living areas

  • Rachel

    I like to make my home warm and inviting by always having music playing and a candle lit!

  • Martha

    I think, for me, making space for beauty in the home helps make it warm and inviting, whether that be a fresh bouquet of flowers, a scripture printable taped to the wall, or a clean and tidy space to sit with some books nearby.

  • Wendy Munsell

    This post highlights an important idea, that of taking the time and mental energy to be proactive about welcoming our friends and loved ones whenever they arrive. Too many times I’ve allowed the day’s pace to determine the mood of home at the end of the day.

  • Jan

    I like special lamps on, the smell of freshly brewed coffee. I also like to have my entry ways clutter free. :-)

  • Claire

    I love these ideas!! As a mama of a little one, this is an encouraging reminder that I still can do a few small things to welcome my husband home at the end of the day, and others into our home, however messy it may be! :)

  • mary

    Books, plants and flowers and a comfy reading chair!

  • Yevette

    Clean and put the face on the house!

  • Lorie

    My mother always told me that candle light solves a myriad of problems… from disguising a dusty slightly messy house, calming everyone down at dinner, or creating romance. And she was right. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Joanna Ainscough

    It is really touching about how to make the house to be home. Good tips to get the happy family. I always love to have either TV or radio in my home when I am working.

  • Pam Graber

    At our house welcome was something as simple as having supper in the crockpot when my husband got home. He never fails to comment, “Something smells good in here!”

  • Rebecca M

    I like to make sure things are tidy enough, then light a candle or two! These simple things help me relax.

  • Wendy

    I always try to greet my hubby at the door with a kiss. Some days I don’t make it over to him before he gets out of his work boots, so he finds me…usually in the kitchen! It takes two seconds to stop what I’m doing acknowledge and honor his presence and helps us to connect even through the chaos and baskets of laundry that having four kiddos generate! ;)

  • jenn

    My husband works nights and comes home in the morning. I try to make sure the door has been unlocked and coffee is ready to welcome him in. It’s not much, but he knows what it means!

  • Cindy

    I always have lit candles on the dinner table, whether it’s just my husband and I, the whole family, or company. It makes out time together seem more sacred.

  • J-walk

    Your simplistic decorating ideas are beautiful and pocketbook friendly! Enjoying your posts immensely — and your tie-in with HOLY EXPERIENCE!

  • Jamie Foote Griffith

    candles!

  • Peg

    A welcoming entry, pretty rug, flowers, candles, a lamp turned on at twilight…these are a few of my favorite things!

  • Diana

    My mom’s friend gave me the advice to always put a little lipstick or lip gloss on before my hubby came home. This is almost the same for the home. I can’t wait to read this book. Hope I win!

  • dgpangburn

    With 3 boys, it’s so hard to keep up with everything! I try to declutter as much and as often as I can!

  • Bernadette

    Good smells! Nothing is more inviting than the smell of yummy food cooking, begging to be eaten:-)

  • Ellen

    I love the idea of having a lamp or two on timers, so that the house is lit up upon arrival. It’s always nice to have nice smells to come home to as well…potpourri or the like is very welcoming.

  • Leslie Burns

    I make my home warm and inviting by keeping it clean! Nothing deters guests or make them feel unwelcome like mess.

  • Kathy

    I love greeting people with a hug.

  • Marilyn Holeman

    To create a warm and inviting home, I like to have fresh flowers from my garden, and make sure that the house is in order, with everything picked up and counters clear. It doesn’t always happen, though! :-)

  • Pacific Northwest Girl

    I always welcome my weekend guests by saying “I’ll leave a light on for you”. There is always relaxing instrumental music playing, nourishing food and snacks available, and the guest room is welcoming with fresh linens and towels, fluffy and warm bath robes, good books and magazines on the nightstands along with a little sweet treat. I try to have everything ready “ahead of their arrival” so I can relax and spend quality time visiting. If my guests are simply coming for a meal, I again have the table set ahead of time and the food preparations complete so I can come home from work, put dinner on to cook, and be ready to relax and visit when my guests arrive. I love opening my heart and home to guests!

  • Kate

    I know of a woman who would try to make sure her husband came home to a homey environment. Some nights she would start sauteeing onions and garlic just before he came in the door (even if dinner wasn’t quite underway) so he could enter to the smell of something delicious on the stove and know that something good was on the way.

  • Tanya

    My husband and I both like to cook. Family and friends alike know that they won’t go hungry at our house. Nice giveaway!

  • Molly Viars Lewis

    Now that my husband and I are retired (and empty nesters) we keep our home cozy and inviting by starting each day with fresh coffee and morning conversation. No matter what our day holds, we start with time together. When family and friends are coming, our way to say ‘welcome’ is to provide a meal in a casual and relaxing atmosphere, a place where there is no pretense or expectation, a place where intimate and life giving conversations happen around the dinner table or while cleaning up afterward. After all, it is the people and not the décor who are important.

  • shelby

    lighting a favorite candle, so the house smells like baking when you come in, instead of smelling like diapers ;)

  • R Trittel

    My favorite way to create a warm and inviting home is to have nice smells – candles, soup, cookies, etc. It is amazing how strong our sense of smell is – it always brings up memories of childhood. I know that the smell of fresh cut watermelon is the signal of summer, for example!

  • Bertie DeWane

    My husband and I arrive home from work about the same time, so I need to be more consistent about leaving the house in good shape when I leave in the mornings. I would love the book and the mirror!

  • Dana

    Our family is opposite. I work and my husband is the one greeting me with a warm lunch or dinner and a smile. I am blessed!

  • Julia Anderson

    Having a basket of toys under the sofa for the grandkids, and a basket of outdoor toys on the front porch.

  • Frances

    What great tips! I often do the first one listed.

  • Alexandria Howard Smiley

    trying to stay organized for a stress free exit is a must in our home

  • Char

    Love the tips!! I think a warm and inviting home starts with candle light and lamps! Anything that just feels cozy!

  • Beth

    My husband and I have always called the outside porch light the “love light” because it means I love you and am anxious for you to be home safe.

  • Sandy A

    Fresh bedding and bath towels, a must that takes so little effort but you feel so pampered! TVs off but soft background music.

  • Luanne

    I light candles, play soft music, leave the TV off and at times add flowers to our table.

  • Leilani

    I like lots of pillows!

  • Debbie

    Love your daily posts! Find them so encouraging, especially because I need to love my home!!

  • Vicki

    Scented candle burning in the downstairs washroom.

  • Julie

    i love using my diffuser, and giving my kids some time when they first get home from school to grab a good book and cozy up to some good writing in a quiet, good-smelling home.

  • Rona Berry-Morin

    I love having a balcony. Over the years, hubby and I have created a small garden and sitting area. It’s one of my favorite places during the early morning. And when my husband is home on the weekend, we can enjoy it together.

  • Ashley

    Thank you for sharing and being REAL, Melissa! It’s true: even turning on that warm glowy lamp or adding a vase of fresh-cut greenery makes a place feel lovely and cared-for… and I think that feeling extends to whoever makes their home in that place. :)

  • Lisa

    i like having a snack for guests to munch on and plenty of drinks.

  • joanne

    I love scented candles, not too strongly scented though, and comfortable seating.
    The Starburst mirror is beautiful.

  • rachel l.

    These are all so attainable, and for my busy family of six, that’s exactly what I need. Simple ways to take pause and set the tone for the day/evening. I love this.

  • AB

    I love the idea of protecting your home as a ‘safe’ place, both cozy & comforting. I also love music & lighting.

  • Jamie

    I love low lighting. Lamps for now as having little ones has meant I put the candles away.

  • Terri H

    Thanks for the chance to win. I like comfortable furniture, bright windows and music in the air!

  • pam

    I find certain candle scents are so warm and inviting. My house can be messy and my friends will say they could stay all afternoon because it smells so good. Even the mailman came into the foyer to deliver a package once and told me how great my house smelled.

  • latanya t

    keeping the house clean and smelling good

  • Linda

    Many of these tips are ones that we use in our own modified ways. I find many of the new ones that are new to us worth a try as well.

  • Sally Welch

    We have family photos combined with a special basket collection and live plants in the family room. Throw pillows, throws, and lamps make it cozy. I notice most of you like candles. I do too, but I have known of someone burning down their condo with a candle and another who came home to find a puddle of wax on her new carpet where she’d forgotten to put out the candle on her bsr counter. So I’m mostly now using a neat electric wax burner that has a switch for off and on. Just my 2 cents.

  • Sheralynne Petty

    Whenever my husband comes home I make sure to stop whatever I’m doing and give him a quick hello and a kiss. He then heads upstairs to change out of uniform and decompress. It’s perfect for us because we acknowledge each other and then prepare for the evening so when he comes back downstairs I have the kids busy with tasks and we are able to discuss our days before I begin dinner.

  • Staci Mann Torgerson

    When my girls come home from school the tv’s Pandora immediately comes on so we can listen to music as we sit and have lunch together and talk about their day and what we need to do to finish homework and get prepared for the next day. When my husband arrives home from work I try to always go to the door and greet him with a kiss and tell him how glad I am that he’s home. I know I can be doing more and what you’ve suggested are so great ideas I am going to definitely try,

  • Anne B

    Great ideas. Some already in place but will be adding a few more. Thanks!!

  • Erin

    My favorite way to welcome guests is to set out a nice tablecloth or pretty napkins, enjoy tea or coffee and hopefully have a baked item too if I can manage. But a hot something on a pretty table isn’t too difficult & always seems to be appreciated.

  • Dawn H

    Coming home to a clean yet lived-in home is relaxing for all of our family. We all do our parts to try and leave the house somewhat picked up. Thanks for the giveaway!! Melissa your book is so inspiring to truly love the home we live in!

  • Karen

    Bowls of a signature potpourri give our home a welcoming scent…my adult children still breathe deeply when arriving “home” after an extended absence.

  • http://savingmorethanme.com/ KimberlyInVA

    Calming scented candles, dim lighting, and a cozy place to relax.

  • Tina W

    I always have a warm and furry friend to greet myself and my guests. My cats are what makes my home feel loved.

  • http://craftytammie.com craftytammie

    I like to burn candles that smell like baked goods, it makes the house feel welcoming!

  • Donna

    I like having the table set for supper and the smells of good food cooking for when my husband comes home. Plus greeting him at the door. He is usually hungry, and he loves to be greeted. He feels welcomed home and loved. That sets the tone for the rest of the evening.

  • ali t

    i like making sure i have cozy blankets!

  • http://www.purrfectlee.com Lee Sullivan

    I’m very much looking forward to trying some of these ideas at home.

  • Vicki Leet

    I totally agree, the no hassle home, and creating the loving atmosphere is crucial. I always use candles and fresh flowers to warm up the space. My tradition is to leave a welcoming note by the bedside for guests .

  • Shanna

    I love all of the ideas! I’m going to print them out so I’ll have quick access to them. :)

  • Candace

    I love the idea of greeting family with a kiss, a hug, and a smile when they come through the door!

  • Jennifer

    Love this. want to read it

  • Jennifer

    i want people to feel comfortable to come in and relax, warm blankets, good candle smells maybe something baking

  • Kerry Brasher

    I love to use my diffuser for smells to set the tone of the day. Something bright and clean smelling for the day keeps me upbeat and going. Something soothing at night helps my brain wind down. The same goes for music and lighting. I tend to keep my house neater and feel less like a mama maniac when I am creating a peaceful rhythm and flow for my body throughout the day. And when mama is happy…seems like everyone else jumps on board too!

  • Madeline Osigian

    I bought my mom this book, and I know we’ll both end up reading it and LOVING it!

    My favorite way to create an inviting home is to put on some peaceful music and put out flowers

  • Bethanie Ryan

    My favorite way to create a warm and inviting home is food. I’m half-Italian, it’s in my blood to feed people.

  • Stacey Hall

    Thanks for these ideas! I’ve loved making our home a sanctuary for my family over the years it is amazing what implementing these ideas can do for your home & the ones you love!!

  • Kaitlin Geddis

    I feel like my family’s more like roommates, my sister spends most of her time in her room.

  • CyndaP

    I love the idea of rituals for homecoming.

  • Cynthia Hardy Studer

    My favorite way is to greet my kids with a quick hug and how was your day. We usually have a snack and they will goof off while I start dinner. My husband gets a hug and a kiss and we talk a bit while he either makes a quick sandwich or we make dinner together. With 3 men in the house the sooner we eat the better!

  • Samantha

    My little pup and I are always at the door ready to greet my husband when he comes home from work. He lights up every time he sees us standing there. I try to make my home welcoming by being a hospitable host. Asking if a guest needs anything goes quite far in making them feel welcome in your home.

  • http://www.susanmulder.com/ susanmulder

    Candles and dimmed light add just the right amount of warmth and camouflage(!) and make evenings feel special-even if it’s just a Tuesday!

  • Judy Westmoreland

    When guests come I like to have a clean front entry. It is so nice to have guests come and stay. Freshly washed towels and sheets plus great smelling soaps are so very welcome after a long day of traveling. Music and candles complete a home cooked meal. Would love to win your new book. Thanks for all the great ideas and encouragement you give us on your blog!♥

  • Heather P.

    Definitely candles…plus they help relax me.

  • Rebecca Greenland

    I like to have music playing softly in my kitchen,
    along with scented candles burning and lots of seasonal décor throughout the house to greet my guests!

  • Sara Stover

    I keep the TV off!

  • Lauren

    Looks of encouraging words! We try to build each other up.

  • marsha

    Wonderful encouragement to change the tone of welcome home!
    Thank you!

  • angie

    All of these are great ideas! It is about taking a little time and consideration.

  • Holly P.

    I love to turn on music and have a light snack after a long day at work!

  • Blair Mynatt

    Lower lighting and candles seem to do the trick for me. Maybe it helps hide the mess!

  • Debbie Keith

    Keeping things fresh simply by cleaning and then rearranging what I have. Things are never static in our home!

  • Marty

    I love all the ideas! My greatest find for warming up our home and setting a welcoming tone are flame less candles on timers. Both my husband and I are sensitive to scented candles so these work so well for us. I like to set them near a mirror to reflect the glow!

  • Sheri Clark

    I love using candles and/or baking something.

  • Tammy_Skipper

    Our current home is the first one where I’ve truly felt it was “worth” putting our money towards things we will enjoy now instead of only thinking about the features I don’t want in our forever home. I’m enjoying it so much more!

  • Janet magina

    I have followedMelissa and her blog since the very beginning. She is truly inspiring.

  • Sherry

    Softened lights and lit candles create such a welcoming atmosphere. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Grace

    As newlyweds with crazy schedules, my husband and I will tidy up and leave little surprises to prepare for the other to get home. We choose things like soft blankets, spicy candles, and flowers to warm up our tiny apartment. There’s also always some chocolate hiding somewhere…

  • Heather Barnes

    I like making my home a haven by having it decluttered and having special pieces around.

  • M. Wing

    I like to keep plenty of throw blankets around for extra comfort!

  • lauracarter

    I love the mirror, it’s so pretty. We love music and love to play it loud sometimes.

  • Heather B

    I try to make a clear entryway and kitchen island…light a candle…play music. Can be a challenge with 3 littles…but when my husband comes home especially…I would like to offer calm before the chaos :)

  • Lela

    We all love a scented candle or incense… we move frequently and those scents make our home feel comfortable right away.

  • darla

    I love candles and cleanliness :)

  • Crystal Clark

    I think the easiest way to create a welcome environment in my house is to light a candle. It’s pretty, and even if everything doesn’t LOOK nice, at least it can SMELL NICE!

  • Claudia

    We love to seat around the living room once a week to talk about our week with our young adult children

  • http://www.inspiretosimple.com Jessica Lynn

    Love what your saying here! This book is definitely going on my reading list. I have twinkle lights in our living space above the china cabinet that go on toward the end of each day. They add a bit of warm to the room, and are welcome home to anyone entering the house toward the end of the day.

  • Patty

    I have strands of tiny blue & white lights in our wall of bookshelves in our living room. I love to turn them on as soon as I get home from work (usually before my husband gets home), and look forward to seeing them on when I’m the last one home. Now that my youngest son often gets home at midnight or after from work I leave just those lights on when I go to bed, as a welcome sign for him. And now I understand why they’re so important to me!

  • Kim

    Man, I definitely needed this encouragement today! I spent the night at a friend’s house to take care of her kids during her surgery and came home after work to so much clutter & mess. I am going on a purging spree and what is left is going to be stream-lined, warm, and welcoming to our whole family!

  • Aimee

    I love our personal family photos on the wall! It makes moving around a bunch so much easier when each place feels like home.

  • Kate

    I think the best (and worst) welcome is set by a mood! Lights and candles and food might be a part of it, but a smile and hug and letting the person know you are glad to see them and plan to enjoy your time with them for the evening…that’s the kind of house I want to visit. We used to live in the upper Midwest, so lights and a cozy fire for guests or weekend family nights were a great way to say “welcome home!” Now, in the Southwest, enjoying a few minutes outside whenever possible before going in for dinner and the evening tasks…that helps my husband and kids calm down from a busy day.

  • nadya kotik

    Vintage items that are not very expensive so people don’t feel like they will break something that’s expensive. Bright colors!

  • Carmen N

    Add fresh flowers – especially if they come from the garden.

  • Nancy Broquist Hornbeck

    My husband and I recently moved from a house to a small apartment. I love the ideas I found here. I feel encouraged and have new resolve to begin to create a home that both of us can love.

  • Debra Bacon

    I enjoyed your post. I especially like the idea of greeting family in special ways. I agree that “coming home should be the sweetest part of the day.”

  • Kimberlee Powell

    I like to try to have dinner started. I am a big fan of scents, so lighting a good smelling candle works well too.

  • Caitlin Baker

    Music playing always seems like an instance mood lifter for my family.

  • Jennie C.

    Flowers help warm and welcome the space.

  • Annette

    My avorite way to create a warm & inviting home is with the use of throws, scented candles, and pictures.

  • Janice Justice Kellam

    nothing warms a home like candles, yummy foods sitting around the kitchen table!

  • http://www.dwellbeautiful.com Erica Sooter

    These are all fantastic tips. I work really hard to provide a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for when my husband gets home and I can tell it really makes a difference in everyone’s attitudes!

  • http://www.pinterest.com/imlisantex/ Lisa Keys

    I have always said that it’s not what the outside looks like it’s the love on the inside that makes a home

  • Kari

    I love offering something to eat and drink. Such an intimate way to offer hospitality to others.

  • Kimberly Ross Marshall

    I like playing music and lighting some candles around my home all of the time. I have coffee ready when company comes over or something to drink such as iced tea. Gives a warm and inviting atmosphere. The candles help before and after cleaning.

  • Nichole Turner Kuehl

    Seeing clutter definitely adds to my husband’s stress. To help him feel better after a long day at work, I try to pick up the main areas that he sees as soon as he enters the house.

  • Susana Serapicos

    I love to encourage my daughters with post-its wrote by me to give confidence and support them, and I place it on the bathroom mirror. Sorry I don’t have facebook…

  • John Helene Trueheart

    I really think it’s important to have a tidy home, not perfect, but welcoming. :)

  • tammy cordery

    I love the sound of this book. I have never thought about caring for a house as honoring God but I guess it would be right because he gave you this house he would like you to care for it like you are caring for your child.

  • linda

    Love the candle idea and music…sets the tone for a very content evening

  • Jean

    I like to decorate with proverbial sayings and have light inspirational books and magazines scattered around the house where guests might be.

  • Marlo

    Dim lights, light candles, and play an instrumental station on Pandora. Then have whatever food and drinks are suitable. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Chinita Patrick Hayden

    The title, the graphics, the commentary makes me want to read the book and also buy copies for my adult children. Thank you.

  • Kelly Jones

    Love the idea of buffer times as our household gets really crazy with a teenager & all the activities! Also am looking forward to turning on music instead of the TV! Thanks!

  • Wynter Rose

    I love the fragrance and the ambience of candles; so depending on my mood I have several different candle holders I will use. It makes the home feel cozy and bright.

  • Leslie

    Hi! I did 6 of the additional items and it is still showing 1 post???
    I really want to win the book and mirror!!! Thanks!!!!! :>)

  • Jenelle G

    I have a fairly big family so stress in the home has been a common occurrence among us all for years. Because I feel like I’m constantly busy, creating a stress-free departure is my favorite way and still something I’m working on for myself. I’ve noticed when I do that, it gives me a really good feeling of accomplishment to know I’ve allowed for more time and prepared in advance–plus, I don’t have to rush around getting things together last-minute.

  • Issa

    Thanks for those insightful advice!

  • Diane

    The best welcome home for me and my son is to have the simmered smell of a beef roast that has been in the crockpot all day. It smells like someone else made it and welcomes us home!

  • Trudi Cook

    I appreciated the thoughts of entering into a peaceful and welcoming home. I live alone, and one thing I appreciate is having a subtle lamp come on via timer before I get home on winter evenings so I don’t have to walk into a dark house. And this encouraged me to straighten up the area a little more before I go to bed so I walk into a neater area!

  • Bonnie Reeb

    You speak my heart and ignite my passion for hospitality with fresh and loving ideas. Thank you. So glad I stumbled onto your site! Exciting!

  • Elizabeth P. Deans

    I try to offer refreshment of some kind to all those that enter my home, to some it is food, to others it is a beverage, to others it is a place to sit and relax.

  • Patricia Isabella

    I love music in my house, especially the Gaither’ s or any Christian music or old country tunes.

  • Krisanne Millan-Burgess

    I would LOVE to have your book !!! God has been teaching & speaking to me about hospitality for quite some time and I recently signed on to rep for a Christian direct sales company whose focus is on hospitality. So I LOVE learning anything new on this topic !!

  • Kirsti

    I just moved to a across country and and mired with things out of place. My husband now works crazy long hours and I never know when he is coming home. I think I will do music and lighting to make the atmosphere warm. When I find my crockpot, I would love to fill the house with smells too. For now, I use essential oils.

  • Renee Steiner Pasich

    I hung mason jars in my kitchen window and put led tea lights in them. I also light a scented candle.

  • Randelle S.

    I’m still trying to learn how to make my home more inviting. I’m a newlywed, and am terrible at homemaking at the moment. I’m ready to learn!

  • coral

    How I create a warm home for husband and family members Guest give hugs and let them feel at home

  • Renee Ortiz

    Yesterday my daughter and I picked flowers and arranged a spring bouquet.. What a difference to my catastrophic house… Just fixing up one tiny little corner!

  • Melisa M.

    I think a warm and inviting home needs to be comfortable for all the people in it, not just myself. I try to remember that and keep things casual enough for my husband and son. I’d love to win the book!

  • Susan Capps

    Thank you for encouraging me with these helpful tips and ideas! God bless! :)

  • Sarah Jo Burch

    It’s hard to create a “tradition” of welcome, what with my husband’s inconsistent work schedule – but I have found that a candle (on the busy days) or a batch of cookies brightens his face whenever he gets home. :)

  • Jennifer Lam

    We like to prep our children so they greet our guests cheerfully and maybe even by name. If friends with children are visiting we talk about our plans to share our toys cheerfully with our guests.

  • bhull02

    I like to have the fireplace going on a chilly evening and have some candles lit. I also make sure to have a few throws placed on the furniture so my family can cuddle up to read or watch television. Fresh flowers in springtime are always nice too!

  • Annette

    We love to light candles at supper time. We have three girls, so one day they will know how to make their house feel like a home. I would love this for a summer read. We have been our home for 12yrs next month so I need some ideas to freshen it up.

  • Amy

    I love walking into my house and it’s filled with the smell of a delicious meal I left in the crockpot that morning. I says its time to get together and share at the table!

  • Vickie Davenport

    Love that hospitality seems to be making a reappearance – Love the ideas of sitting a pretty table.

  • Rhonda

    Soft music, candles, lots of pillows, and throws!

  • Rhonda

    Soft music, candles, lots of pillows, and throws!

  • Kimberly

    A nice smell, a fresh bouquet of flowers picked by my kids, and some soft piano music playing.

  • Tina

    Thank you for sharing that excerpt Melissa!
    Enjoy your day!

  • Kris

    I need this! I struggle in this area and always feel a little like a fraud with a sign on my door that says “Welcome”. Hospitality is my hearts desire!

  • Peg Ricketts

    having flowers (in season) on the entry porch, and having soft classical , or Christian instrumental music playing softly gives love and JOY!

  • Steph O

    So many good tips. Prepare so you can leave calmly. Take time to decompress before entering into the house after a busy day… for me, might mean spending a few min in the car after driving home. Or even decompressing on my way home. If I can use two tips at once, why not: listen to music on the way home & decompress (unless there’s crazy traffic to be maneuvered… But I’ve noticed that having good music definitely reduces negative feelings in any crazy traffic jam)

  • http://cookiesandgrace.com ali grace

    I like the idea of lighting candles, turning on the lights, and having a snack or something ready for my husband. I think that would really mean a lot to him!

  • Annie

    I like to have candles and the scent of cinnamon wafting through the house. My mom would also allow a buffer time for my dad to relax for a while when he came home from work.

  • Jan

    I try to welcome my husband home with a hug and kiss – that is the best way to create a wonderful mood. It doesn’t hurt to have the table set even if dinner isn’t going to be ready for awhile…..

  • Erin

    Candle and music

  • Connie

    I live by myself, but I want my home to be welcoming and comfortable, even to my pets. I always greet my kitties (and my dog before he died) first thing when I get home. I take time to acknowledge them, talk to them, and hold or pet them. I have also planted many beautiful flowers for myself and everyone to enjoy. My elderly neighbor once told me that she got as much good out of my flowers as I did. I am in the process of building a house with a 10′ front porch which will have several patio chairs on it so that my neighbors and guests can visit and talk. I want people who visit to know that they don’t have to worry about breaking anything, “tracking dirt in”, spilling or messing anything up–my home is meant to be lived in. All of those thing can be cleaned up. I want people to feel at ease.

  • http://diannaauton.com/ Dianna Auton

    I love to use candles and lots of family photo’s.

  • Lori

    My husband is the one who works from home and cares for our son. He is amazing at creating a welcoming environment. He picks up the main room and has dinner waiting almost every night! The house always smells so yummy. And we always greet each other with a kiss and hug :-)

  • Lina Rochette Hill

    Such great easy ideas! I have to say that I miss having small children to run to the door when I get home from work… I used to love that!! Now I come through the door with a “honey I’m hooome” even if I know no one is there. It makes me smile. I read the other post and decided I need this book. I need a simple and happy home.

  • Joy

    To create a warm environment, I try to get something baking in the oven and always have the couch cleaned off with cute pillows.

  • Jensrambles

    Simplifying my home has been a big focus for me lately, less to clean makes life so much easier! And having a place for everything also helps!

  • Kristi Sweeney

    Keeping it smelling nicely with the diffuser going makes a warm atmosphere for our home.

  • Darlene Summerville

    We enjoy visitors in our living room without a t.v.. We get a lot of compliments on how nice it is to sit and talk without a t.v. on. The seating is arranged so that we enjoy the view provided by a large front window, a soft rug underneath our feet, plenty of toss pillows, and usually a home-cooked meal.

  • Elaine

    I love turning on the CD player and listening to music to unwind as well as lighting candles

  • John Roberts

    I really like being positive to my family when they first come in the door

  • davidcarter

    I really enjoy the use of music to liven up the atmosphere

  • Jody

    This is something I need to work on! (and I look forward to reading the book) I know my family notices when even the little things are done… a straightened up entryway, a paper cleared table, seasonal decorations giving a pop of color, and putting my favorite “Two Are Better Than One” pillow at the head of our neatly made bed.

  • Maxine

    It’s in the details to me. Doing everyday things with just a little more attention to deal.

  • Lisa Dryzal

    Great ideas! I do many of them, but it seems like my family doesn’t notice…lol…maybe it’s just not said.

  • Naomi

    I love this idea of love the home you are in because it helps us to be content and satisfied with what we have.
    Her number one
    Greet family with a kiss, a smile, and a hug helps create an atmosphere of love, appreciation, and respect.

    I am looking forward to this book!

  • Angela

    To have a warm and inviting home, besides a quick toy clean up and putting some music on before people come over, I feel like the smell of coffee brewing and cookies in the oven goes a long way to making up for the inevitable mess of 4 kids….

  • Solducky

    We keep clutter to a minimum so it feels restful.

  • Becky

    It is really difficult for me to decide on where to put what when I decorate. This in turn has made our house very cold and it’s cluttered a lot of the time. I hope a few candles will warm up our house a little and get me started on creating a warm, loving home.

  • Beth Williams

    I love music and scented candles in my house. I light the candles often & play Praise and Worship music. It helps to calm my nerves. I want to please God with my home and make it a haven where He is welcome and delighted to come in and sit with me!
    Blessings :)

  • Christi Leach

    Melissa – I love this post! We actually have some of those same habits. I always make sure to turn on the outside lights if my husband will be home after dark; I’m rarely out alone after dark, but I know how comforting it is to come around the curve and see the lights of home. I always keep one lamp on because as a child, that was something my mother did. She didn’t want anyone to come home to a dark house. I light candles (even in the daytime) about 30 minutes before my husband is due home from work.

    Can’t wait to read your book! xo