5 Ways to Create a More Inviting Home

Linsey Jensen // April 23 // 0 Comments

“If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?”

Most people are surprised to hear my answer. My top choice isn’t Rome, China, Machu Pichu, or South Africa. Nope, if I could go anywhere I would choose Delta, Utah. Chances are you don’t know much about that town. Luckily I included a picture that highlights part of the one road with pretty much all the town has.
Okay… I admit… Delta itself isn’t the most exciting place. BUT! This is where my grandparents live. And I don’t know of a single more inviting, welcoming, loving, down to earth home than theirs. And if I could go anywhere, I would choose the peace, love, and happiness I feel when I’m at their home.
When I was a freshman in college, my friends and I wanted to go on a trip together for spring break. There were probably about ten of us that wanted to go. I suggested going to Delta to visit my grandparents home. I was excited to share that special place with my friends. Little did I know, that on this trip I would learn a lot about what makes my grandpa’s house so special and how to create similar feelings in my own future home.

Lesson 1 – A Welcoming Home

I called my grandma to see if it would be okay if I brought some friends over to spend a few days. I knew the answer before I even asked. “Of course!” she told me. “We would love to have you come and get to know your friends a little bit.” True to her word, when we arrived they greeted us with open arms and smiling faces.
Everyone who knows my grandparents know that they don’t need to wait for an invitation to go visit. They only need to call and ask or just stop by. But that doesn’t stop my grandparents from inviting people over. There has been multiple times while I’ve been visiting that someone will call to ask my grandma or grandpa a question of some sort and they will say “Hey, we have company over. We’re having a bonfire tonight. There will be plenty of food. Come join us!”
I’ve learned the power of an invitation. Inviting someone over for dinner. Inviting someone over to visit. Inviting someone over to play games. Inviting someone over just because. An invitation makes people feel noticed. It makes them feel appreciated and loved. And eventually, with enough invitations they will know and feel that they are welcome anytime in your home. From my grandparents, I have learned to just invite.
Challenge 1: Invite people over. Then invite more people over. Keep inviting people over until it becomes a habit.


Lesson 2 – Be Generous

The night I brought my friends over, my grandpa welcomed us with a steak dinner. He had cooked delicious dutch oven potatoes and a gigantic T-Bone steak for each of us. Later that evening he pulled out the ice cream and gave each of us ice cream cones stacked 4 scoops high.
The next morning we woke up to the smell of bacon, sausage, and pancakes galore. My grandpa never disappoints with his famous buttermilk pancake breakfasts. My friend Ben started with three pancakes topped with whip cream and berries. As he was finishing his last bite, my grandpa threw two more pancakes onto his plate. Laughing he ate those too, but he didn’t top them as high. As he ate those pancakes, two more were tossed onto his plate. Ben eventually discovered something my family has known forever: that if he didn’t want to eat any more it was best to either leave some pancake on your plate or quickly take it to the sink.
Being genuinely generous with both your time and means makes people feel loved and cared for. As my friends received T-Bone steaks and pancakes upon pancakes, they felt important and loved. Being generous with your time makes people feel welcome and helps them know they aren’t intruding. From my grandparents, I have learned the power of being generous.
Challenge 2: Be generous with your time and means. You don’t have to feed people steak, but as you give people time, attention, and food, they will appreciate your efforts.


Lesson 3 – Show Interest in Others

After our steak dinner, my friends and I went with my grandparents into the living room and we started talking. My grandparents started asking each of my friends questions about their lives, about school, and about their future plans. They were genuinely interested in what each person had to say even though we were still so young. My grandparents are still interested in what’s happening to me. If I don’t give them an update, they will gently remind me that they’re interested in hearing what is going on.
Being interested in others makes them feel appreciated and important. Showing interest can be as simple as asking questions about their life then truly listening to their answers. This is a skill I’m still trying to develop, but from my grandparents I have learned the power in being interested in other people.
Challenge 3: Show interest in others. Ask them questions and really listen to the answers. Show them that their thoughts and experiences do matter.
A large hole in the ground dug by a tractor covered with a tarp and filled with water. Kids swimming.

Lesson 4 – Be Interesting

After our pancake breakfast we spent the rest of the day exploring the backyard. My grandparents have put a lot of effort into making a yard that is enjoyable for everyone. There’s a double-decker treehouse with a gate on the first floor to jump out of onto the trampoline. There’s a sandbox, slide, merry-go-round, and teeter-totters. And there’s “The Swing”. A tire swing mounted to telephone poles that requires a pulley system and at least 2 fully grown men to hoist someone up to the top. Swinging on that provides a rush equal to that of a roller coaster.
In addition to an engaging backyard, my grandpa is an expert storyteller with so many rich experiences to share. He lives less than 5 miles away from an old Japanese Internment camp from World War II. My friends and I visited the site and my grandpa shared his stories with us how as a little boy he would visit that place with his dad and give milk to the Japanese people living there.
Whether we are chatting around the dinner table, playing games in the living room, listening to my grandpa tell stories, or playing outside, everyone always has fun at my grandparents home. When people are engaged and having fun, they are willing and earnest to come back for more. From my grandparents I have learned the importance of being interesting.
Challenge 4: Be interesting and have interesting things to do. Genuine conversation is a great way to enjoy each other’s company, but it’s also important to have fun things to do, especially with teenagers and children.

Lesson 5 – Don’t Stress and Enjoy

During the 3 days my friends and I spent in Delta, my grandparents didn’t spend all of the time with us. They enjoyed our company while we were around, but they also went about their daily work and let us explore the town on our own as well. My grandparents keep an orderly home, but they were also aware and comfortable with the mess that came when 10 extra people were staying at their home. Because of their easy going nature, each one of my friends quickly felt at-ease and comfortable staying there.
I have learned the power in not getting stressed. My grandparents genuine love of people, their constant smiles, and their welcoming nature instantly put anyone in their home at ease. When I walk into their home, the troubles of the world melt away. Here, I know that I am welcome and loved. From my grandparents, I have learned the importance of enjoying my company.
Challenge 5: Don’t stress about having people over. Smile when people arrive. It’s okay to be yourself. Don’t stress about your home or the dishes when people are there. Learn to genuinely enjoy company and having people over. If you are enjoying yourself, your family and guests will too.

There truly is great power and influence in having an inviting home. As our world and our lives get faster and busier, there is even more power in stopping, inviting, and enjoying the moments and the people that are in our homes. These social interactions will improve our daily living and make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling.

Which challenge are you most excited to take on? What are some lessons you have learned about how to create an inviting home?  Let me know in the comments below!

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