Y'all really need Myquillyn Smith's latest book, Welcome Home, in your life.
Gorgeously designed and separated into sections by season, it'll guide you into making your home into a place you love year-round and elevate for each season. Smith also puts a heavy focus on the difference between consumer and creator versions of the seasons. As consumers, we're pressured to buy, buy, buy a whole new set of holiday decor every single year. But if we focus on our creator instead, we'll look inward and figure out what the season means to us and decorate from our own vision rather than Target's vision.
And when a home is decorated for living, it'll be a lot easier to host fabulous gatherings for your friends and family.
Smith begins the work with a simple mindset shift, that of being an imperfectionist and a Cozy Minimalist (which is another one of her books!). Here are some of the best quotes from Welcome Home with tips for decorating your home and hosting events for each season—but also for everyday.
"Hosting is never about the host, and hospitality is never about the house."
It's all about the feeling and the experience of the gathering! If you stressed yourself out for weeks preparing for a party, and someone spills red wine on your white rug, you're probably not going to handle it very well. But if your home is already prepared for gatherings year-round, with tiding up and cooking the only real changes to your routine, a little spillage is less of a disaster. Let imperfection rule the day.
"The simplest, most natural way for our homes to feel like fall is to pay attention to the beautiful yet subtle changes that occur in the world around us and to bring some of that inside."
The Earth knows what she's doing when the seasons change. You don't need pumpkins or jingle bells or Easter eggs or seashells to remind you of what season you're in. Just look outside and notice how the light is different in each season. Change up what candles you burn in winter (warm, cinnamon) versus spring (bright, fresh). Swap out your throw pillows and blankets depending on how cozy you need to feel when the weather shifts.
"I hope you open up those [storage] bins with joy, enthusiasm, and excitement. Give yourself that gift by deciding now—not next November—what to keep and what to get rid of."
The biggest decor season of the year is winter, and woo boy, do we store a lot of winter decorations. To keep in the Cozy Minimalist mindset, Smith recommends keeping only the decor you put out that year. When you go to put everything away and find your grandmother's old wooden Nativity set that's made a forever home in the bottom of the bin (just me?), make a decision if you're going to keep it and use it, or get rid of it. You really don't need to hang on to the outdated garland or stockings if they hold no value to you.
"You can incorporate your everyday decor with some natural elements and spring supplies for a fresh look this season."
Wouldn't it be magical if the only thing you had to change in your home for springtime was adding in fresh flowers from your own garden? You helped them grow! You cared for them! And now they are giving you a gift in return by making your house look and smell wonderful. And you didn't have to buy any decorations that will be out-of-style by next spring.
"Think about it—once you make your home cooler, calmer, and a tiny bit more collected, it will undeniably feel like summer."
That means things like swapping out the heavy winter bedding for the lightweight sheets, rolling up the heavy rugs, and putting all the winter coats and boots away in closets. Bring out the sun hats, the beach towels, and the pitchers for lemonade! Going for utility rather than straight decor is a real win for the summer months.
But this is just a sprinkle of the wisdom Smith rains down on us in Welcome Home.
She's also included a handful of recipes for snacks and drinks for seasonal parties, as well as an appendix with tips on servingware.
My very favorite part is a section of the book that shows Smith's home through the seasons, with photos of the exact same spot four times in the year, showing how she adds a bit of green for winter, pink for spring, and blue for summer. Fall is her baseline. And it's a method I'll be taking with me for the rest of my home-decorating life.
Welcome Home is also available in an audiobook, so you can listen to Myquillyn's wisdom WHILE you're making your home nice and cozy for the holidays:
PAGE CHASER IS AFFILIATED WITH THE FOLLOWING IMPRINT: Zondervan