By Linda Davis
How many of you have walked into a beautiful shop and said "I wish my home could be like this!".
What was it about the shop that you liked? Was it the furniture? The luxurious accessories? The way things were arranged? These are likely reasons, but what about the not so obvious? Lets' take a step through the door again, but this time let's use our five senses.
You approach the store with its beautiful lettered windows and window boxes popping with the seasons most beautiful flowers and greenery. Your hand touches the cool brass handle of the entry door while reading the sign "Welcome Please Come In." As you push open the door the sound of the old fashioned country bell, that is attached to the top of the door, rings as if it is magically welcoming you to the shop. You are greeted with the most pleasing scent. A scent that brings you back in your memories or a scent so calming you wish you could stay forever as well as a greeting from the shop owner.
While wandering around the shop you finally realize the music in the background is very complementary to the shops interiors and products. You almost feel as if you are in another place or time until you look out the store front windows and you see the hustle and bustle of the real world that you just came from. You decide to stay a little longer and allow yourself to dream. While walking around the shop, you find a beautiful glass container filled with beautiful foil covered confections. You help yourself to a piece of the candy, unwrap the golden foil and place it on your tongue to savor the flavor. If you are like me, you savor it as long as possible since this might be the only lunch you get that day.
Now your wandering around the shop picking up beautiful pillows, touching cashmere throws, feeling the cool silverware, and inhaling the the smell of each and every candle and bath product. Items are placed so that you are able to touch each product. Your tempted to pick them up and envision how these wonderful items will look in your home. Even books welcome you to flip through their glossy pages. One of each book is available for viewing while the other companions are tied with French ribbons as if waiting to be purchased as that special gift.
You notice that the shop is neat and tidy, the counter top is cleared of clutter, and there is a beautiful arrangement of flowers that look fresh picked from the shop owners gardens or fields. After placing your finds on the counter, your purchase is placed in several sheets of crisp tissue paper of periwinkle and sage, then it is gently placed in a paper gift bag clearly marked with the shops name. You even notice the shop owner places a newsletter with a bag of tea attachedinside your bag to enjoy later at your leisure. What a wonderful experience. A few stolen moments in a shop can really help us through a hectic day
Now I ask you.... How many of you use the five senses in your home, home office, or place of business? Even if you have a home office, do you have items in your room that can make you feel welcome? It does take a little effort and imagination to create these effects, but adding a bit of ambiance to your home the same way the businesses do will give you and your guests the same wonderful feeling as the shops do. Think of what your home is like when you enter. Where can you add accents and accessories? Do you want to burn scented candles, add potpourri, or use the commercial plug in type fragrances in your home? How about the color of your walls... are they a welcoming or warm color? Does it represent your personality? You can even add a new area rug, a throw on the sofa, or accent pillows. Have a collection of your favorite music ready to play or your favorite radio station set to go at a touch of a button. The possibilities are endless. Make some notes the next time you visit your favorite shop to see (or should I say see... touch... smell... taste... and hear) what it is that makes you feel so welcome.
Written By: Linda Davis and published by the North Shore Women's Journal in 2006.