Home. The importance of it cannot be understated. We spend an inordinate amount of time in them. One thing to know about those of us about living in the South: we love (and I mean LOVE) to entertain at home. Being "house proud" is not a character flaw, it's a responsibility and an extension of our innate hospitality. We like keeping the house "company ready" and hosting family and friends for meals, gatherings and celebrations with little notice.
During summer, this means expanding the flow of the home to the outdoors and perhaps blurring the lines between "in" and "out" of house. Plump pillows are taken outside as are the "good" dishes. Yesterday we hosted a Father's Day brunch on the patio with stemware, bone china and linens. Why? It's recognizing that "someday" is today. The "special occasion" is now. If you're holding off on using your flatware and dishes until some spectacular moment in the future, you are missing out on the potential of this once-in-a-lifetime moment known as today.
No outdoor space to speak of? The reverse approach works as well. Bring a potted tree indoors, add a few colorful outdoor pillows to your room. Consider a casual poof for the floor. Add more flowers to your room and consider using natural materials on your tabletop. It need not be fancy or expensive, just let the season inspire you.
Summer is just getting started. Why don't you spend some time getting your home ready for opening the doors - literally and figuratively - to those you love most. Embrace the opportunity to play host to those in your life. Invite them over. All of them. Treat them to simple, but spectacular food. Be gracious. Invite life into your home. Being "house proud" is really just code for loving how you live and wanting to share that life experience with others... and there's no shame in that.
See more of my favorite outdoor/indoor spaces here.