What is it that makes you feel welcome and acknowledged when you arrive somewhere? What makes you feel at home in a place or at a table that isn’t your own? The art of hospitality is revealed through the little things.
How about an invitation with a key attached, as a symbol of how welcome your guests are? Phrase it in the plural to show there’s room for an extra guest.
The light points the way and says: It will be safe and warm here, and you’re expected. A lantern by the door, a candle in the window or a string of lights welcome you even before you ring the doorbell. And the door is ajar, there’s no doubt about it: You’re already welcome.
In these times of pandemic, we may not be able to embrace or kiss or even offer a handshake when someone visits. Rather than offering disinfectant, a very intimate gesture might be to pour soft, soapy rose water over the hands of your guests and feel instantly connected.
Sometimes a hospitable welcome can be surprisingly simple. Like being handed a cup of tea soon after you step in the door, as something to hold. If that same cup is filled when it becomes empty, you have the feeling: I am seen here.
When you’re received with the welcoming words, “Make yourself at home,” you’re probably not inclined to kick off your shoes right there and then, unless there are slippers waiting for you, or nice thick socks bought especially as a welcoming gift, for you and everybody else, because we’re all equal.
Text: Sunna Borghuis
Photo: Jeroen van der Spek
Styling: Cyn Ferdinandus