If you want to accomplish something, set a deadline and tie an event to it that forces you to meet that deadline.
Hubby and I wanted to get our house unpacked, drapes and pictures hung, and make it feel like it was really ours. To this end, we invited our old and new neighbors and a bunch of friends over for soup and chili last Sunday afternoon. Now that was incentive to get the place in order!
We’d moved some of our belongings in June but didn’t complete the move until September when we sold our other house. Therefore, until everything was under one roof, I really didn’t know where I wanted things to go (for sure), and I just felt unsettled. I was storing boxes and boxes of books in what was to be my study because the bookcases were at the other house. Turns out, we got the bookcases here and I didn’t like them in the study, so I moved them to the bonus room and ordered some from IKEA that were much taller, i.e. held many more books. I love them and my cozy study.
Also, we had draperies at the other house that the new owners didn’t want. The dining room ones were a perfect fit in the new dining room. There is a seamstress who lives on our street who remade long drapes from two windows into valances for five windows. I hung the old breakfast room panels in the living room and drapes and a valance from two houses ago in the bonus room. I found scarves at Target to adorn my study. We’d already hung drapes in the bedrooms. ALL of our windows are now dressed! I may have my seamstress neighbor look at some of the ones I hung myself as they are held together with Velcro (a great invention) and safety pins, but, hey, they are up!
Hubby and I spent so much time during the last week going up and down the ladder hanging artwork and drapes that he put hooks inside the pantry door to hang the ladder so it’d be close by. Our ceilings are tall, thus our cabinets are tall, and since I’m a bit vertically challenged, I need the ladder almost daily anyway.
It rained much of last week, but we had one nice day for a yard crew to remove pine straw from the beds throughout our yard and put down mulch. On the last possible day before the open house, my painter of over a decade painted the ugly green shutters a nice chocolate brown and the curb appeal was greatly enhanced. Of course now I’ll have to find a new way of telling people how to locate my house. It’s not on many GPS systems, so in the past I’ve directed visitors to the street and told them to look for the house with the ugly green shutters.
Sunday dawned a beautiful day. I had cooked Brunswick Stew overnight and put on soup and chili first thing to cook until our guests arrived. My friend Jane graciously made cornbread muffins and cookiess. Add a veggie tray and frozen cheesecake squares from Costco, and some appetizers I can whip up in no time and you’ve got a party. While I put the finishing touches on the food and set out plates, bowls, napkins, etc. Hubby did the hard work of vacuuming. He also ran out for ice and built a fire in our outdoor fire pit.
The day remained perfect with afternoon temperatures in the sixties. Guests started to arrive about two and it was a steady flow until five or so with the last ones leaving between six and seven. Close to fifty people came by. Some did self-tours while Hubby or I showed others around. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit with each and every guest as much as I would have liked, but no one complained. Most ended up outside on the porch, on the patio or in the gazebo, and they seemed to enjoy each other.
Out of town friends have expressed surprise that I haven’t posted pictures yet, and I’ve told them I would when we got settled. Well, we’re settled, and here are a few pictures I snapped before our guests arrived.
ENTRY AND LIVING ROOM
MY COZY STUDY
MAIN LIVING AREA — LIVING ROOM, KITCHEN, DINING ROOM (all open)
MASTER BEDROOM AND BATH
UPSTAIRS — GUEST ROOM AND BONUS ROOM
Not pictured are two guest bathrooms, the laundry room and mud room. We can only get one car in the garage so it’s certainly not ready to photograph. It’s a work in progress and the next project.
So, that’s it…a successful open house. Good food, good friends, and mission accomplished.