Signs of Life
I want to feel cozy and comfortable in my house. When I come home after a long day, it’s my safe place. However what I find cozy often isn’t something that looks nice when guests or unexpected visitors stop in. How do I make my home both my personal space and also look ok enough for an unexpected guest?
You know, I want you to feel cozy and comfortable in your house too. That is one of the two things I pretty much live for (my other raison d’être is understanding relationships through the lens of astrology.)
What is “home?” You said it: home is your safe place. It has to be. You are the crab, and it is one of your very significant protective shells.
Now I’d like to know what is happening in your supposedly-unacceptable-for-guests home. I have some simple questions. Is it messy? Did you arrange the furniture inconveniently or unusually? Do you have piles and piles of magazines and smelly socks on the floor? Crumpled blankets and deflated pillows on the sofa? Vermin? What could be so visually off-putting for impromptu visitors?
Since you are not here to answer me, and since you care enough about your home’s presentation to ask this question, I have to go out on a limb and guess that your home base probably does not look like a frat house on Sunday morning. I’ll bet it’s a few tea or coffee cups, and not Solo cups, that you've left here and there. My psychic, remote-viewing abilities are telling me you might have a blanket loosely draped on the sofa, slightly squished throw pillows, and maybe a pair of shoes on the floor, but I don’t see any underwear in the middle of the living room, nor do I smell anything fermenting under the sofa. I see some papers, a laptop, maybe a craft project in process, some bags on the floor in the corner...
When the doorbell rings, catching you unaware during a Netflix binge session, just neaten the blanket, fluff a pillow, and brush the crumbs off of your shirt. Anyone who stops by suddenly or unannounced wants to put their feet up, and cannot be expecting formality. Visiting someone means visiting another person's unique reality, which is usually an interesting change of scenery from one's own familiar reality. A surprise guest is a friend, not a surprise inspection. If your guest behaves like the neighborhood supervisor just dropping by to monitor your housekeeping, making any insinuating comments whatsoever about the state of your residence, I recommend that the next time they pop in unannounced, eyes darting accusingly, you answer the door in the nude, and declare “I’m sorry but this is not a good time. The staff hasn’t finished ironing my underwear, and they were just about to clean the windowsills, which I must supervise. Would you mind coming back never?” Put an end to their inconvenience.
As far as making your home “ok” for wanted, unexpected guests: you know what good guests like? Feeling like they are in someone’s home. Signs of life. A place that looks lived-in. If it looks like you actually lay your head down and put your feet up at home, guests will relax just as you do.
Aubrey Thorne is an interior designer, feng shui consultant, and astrologer in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over, both in-person and online. Feel free to contact Aubrey to ask a question or to schedule a consultation.