Publisher's Note

Inviting You In

I heard years ago that a decoration should always be placed on the front door of your home. It makes a good impression on your guests—inviting them in—and it represents who you are. Our homes are reflections of ourselves…our style and tastes, the things we like, our true selves.

In all the homes in which I’ve lived over the years, I’ve always tried to consider the little things—those modest accents that require little in the way of money or time, but go a long way toward creating that sense of warmth.

Upon moving into my last home, I found that my dining room set didn’t match the décor of the room, but I really didn’t want to replace it either. After getting some advice from my friends at Lippmann’s Furniture, I was introduced to the talented painter Carrie Pearce, who quickly sketched a design for the backs of the chairs and table legs that would help “tie the room together.” Upon turning the artist loose to work her magic, I was very pleased with the results.

I take great satisfaction in returning to a clean home at the end of the day. So yes, the bed is always made, the kitchen counter is clear and the clutter is kept to a minimum. I remember looking at houses for sale, visiting some that were being lived in and others that were unoccupied, and I must admit that the stagers were right: whether consciously or not, I felt differently in different spaces. When I decided on my next home, I went with one that had been staged. It just invited me in.

Just like that touched-up dining room set, there are many ways to transform our old items into something new. Reduce, reuse and recycle has been a mantra for some time, and no organization takes that concept to heart more than Goodwill. You may not think about it, but every item you donate or purchase at a Goodwill store is one less thing taking up space in our landfills. Last year, the local agency diverted nearly three million pounds of donations away from area landfills—no small feat. 

Driven by tough economic times, it is obvious that we are in a new age of thriftiness. Whether this is a short-term reaction to the current economy or a structural shift in consumer habits remains to be seen, but the stigmas that were once associated with secondhand shopping have all but vanished. One friend of mine stocks her entire wardrobe with finds from area thrift stores, but you would never know it. Even now, I’m often surprised at the quality of the items she finds.

Can you believe that the first decade of the 21st century is over? Welcome to the New Year! We wish you a happy and healthy 2010. a&s