Do You Feel Welcome in Your Home?

In Hawaiian, Welina Mai is, “Welcome”.  And Welcome means, “graciously received”, “under no obligation”, and “invite with pleasure”.  Kuu Home, refers to the special home.

Can you visualize your home, just by a glance, to say, “Welina Mai”?

I think we all experienced homes, where we feel uncomfortable.  Something about the “vibe” feels standoff-ish or straight up, DO NOT ENTER.  Frankly, some people don’t want you to approach. As much as the large privacy hedges or plantings in the front, curtains drawn at all times is one way to say, “You’re not welcome.”.  It could also say, “I like my privacy” which is completely different than, “You’re not welcome.”

Both my parents were very private when it came to our home.  In a very literal way, my Dad felt his home was his castle.  From the exterior, I can’t think of anything that was inviting.  In fact, it had elements which made it feel like a fortress and if I were honest, a bit sterile.  There was no easy sightlines to the front door.  He designed an architectural curved wall to mask the front door.

The majority of the footprint was concrete.  My Dad was no master gardener and did not like yard work.  Therefore the concrete made it easy to either collect or wash the debris away.  If you knew him, you would say, “of course”.

A Different Story

The inside was a completely different story.  If you were one of the lucky few to be invited in, you never experienced a more loving, laughter-filled, nurturing, heartfelt space.

There is a matter of personal taste but when creating a “Welcoming Home” I think a few simple tips are the trick to:

Is your first impression a sense of belonging?

First impressions are a little about what you see and everything about what you feel.  Where you feel safe.  Because here’s the deal…when you feel good in your space, others will too.

Makaloa Welcome

First steps in creating the Makaloa Red Carpet.  I’m thinking it would help if I explain Makaloa.  It is a type of Hawaiian Grass.  A grass that is extremely rare.  We used it to weave beautiful masterful mats.  It’s an arduous labor of love to prepare the grass not to mention the time it takes to weave.  In a pre and post WWII Hawaiian Family homes, if they put out a Makaloa Mat, it was a big deal.  The minute you lay eyes on the artistry, you well up with feeling wanted, appreciated, celebrated, and yes, welcomed.

Today, you won’t find a Makaloa mat but there are other things we share which are as precious.  I’d like to point out, your time, you, are as special as the Makaloa mat.Whether it’s a Makaloa Mat or something else, creating a space where you feel like you belong is the key.

Here is the next important clue.  A makaloa mat, “You” would never be laid out next to clutter or a messy space.  Whether you have company or not, a clean and orderly space should be your Makaloa Mat to yourself.

What do you see first?

Since the exterior of the house is the first thing you see from the street.  Let’s neaten it up.  If the kids are old enough to ride bikes, skateboards, play with toys, they are old enough to put them away.  Another option is to create a staging area rather than going ballistic in the yard. Buda bing, buda boom.

Trash is not decoration.  It has a home of its own…the trash can.  Define the entrance to the home by making a clean walkway.

A few simple steps to create your Makaloa:

  • Clear litter and debris
  • Hang and organize tools
  • Coil hoses
  • Weed and mow
  • Trim plants and shrubs
  • Remove bikes and toys
  • Paint the front door and shutters
  • touch up paint or siding
  • Planters or flower pots on front steps
  • Trash cans out of site

My goal is to sprinkle Aloha with what I've learned along the way.  I'm smiling ear to ear if the tips and words of experience, help in creating a welcoming space.  And then again, sometimes it's better if we are organized enough to call Aloha Chicks.  Next month Makaloa says Aloha to the entryway.