The holidays are not all that far away {I know, it doesn’t seem possible} and I don’t know about you, but somewhere in the back of my mind I am quietly gathering some ideas and making tentative mental lists.



You know, making plans, thinking about lists, and also about how to decorate and what to feed my family during that happiest time of the year.



I’ve been thinking about how our guest bathroom still hasn’t been updated…but never mind….that is not the important part of this post.


I’ve also been thinking about what, exactly, is the most important thing about making our FrenchGardenHouse a place our children and grandchildren will want to come to and think of as “home.”



Because no matter where your home is or what it looks like, it’s the people who come inside of it that are the most important. Always.


But a few beautiful comforts and details are never wrong.  Neither are a few well-placed un-expected decorations, especially at this time of year.  I know, not everyone wants a feathered dove flying under their antique French chandelier, but if you’ve read me for any length of time, you know I like to have a little fun here at home.  Add a little joie de vivre.



As I have been making plans, which this week I am finally committing to paper, I’ve been really thinking about what really makes a house a   h o m e.  Not just for the holidays, but always.


Those details or areas that my family might appreciate or think of fondly in their memories of our home. Below is my list of some things that epitomize home to me.





What do you think are the things we need to have in place to make our house a home?


Here is my list, in no particular order.

  • Fresh flowers in the living room, and the guest bathroom at minimum.
  • All rooms clean and “fluffed.”
  • A sprinkling of antiques in every room
  • Decor that is beautiful but not so precious that people are scared of it.
  • Delicious smelling candles and non-scented tapers for early evenings.
  • All beds made with clean sheets.
  • The fridge filled with fresh, natural foods.
  • Laughter, and love.
  • Lots of nuts, crackers, cheese and wine stocked up for those impromptu visits.
  • Beautiful music. My favorites are classical, 1940’s, and holiday.
  • Photographs of people I love in antique frames.
  • Our Bentley, clean and wearing a bow. {he hates the bow, so maybe just clean.}
  • Tea and cookies at the ready.
  • People {us} who make the time for the people who visit us there.





WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR LIST THAT YOU THINK MAKES YOUR HOME WELCOMING AND A  H O M E ? Will you share your list of the things you find makes your home beautiful, special and welcoming to your family and friends?

ps. THANK YOU for your overwhelming love of this year’s Holiday Collection! I’ve had my helper elves wrapping and shipping parcels as quickly as possible.

à bientôt


  1. To me, it’s that most of what’s inside has a story. Things that were passed down, or bought during travels, hunted down on a memorable day.
    Also the rituals. Eating outside in the summer, by candlelight in the winter. Many little habits and ways of doing things that add up to each family member knowing what to do when, and feeling a security from that.

  2. Lidy, what a lovely list! I am going over lots of mental notes, and have wheels spinning in my head. My precious and Godly mother, whom I miss every day, will always be my inspiration. Her motto was “if there is room in the heart, there is always room in the home. My thoughts are this, the sweet faces of family and friends are the best decorations. Your gracious and sweet spirit is undoubtedly what makes your gorgeous house a home. I can’t wait to see how you decorate it for the “most wonderful time of the year!” Much love to you!!

    1. Pam, thank you. Wheels are spinning here too!! I hope we can leave a legacy like your Mom did, Pam, to our children, grandchildren and friends and neighbors. What precious memories you must have of her!


  3. Your story is almost mine.
    Love the dove hanging under the chandelier.

  4. Alice Genzlinger

    I agree with all of your list plus one, a welcoming fire going in the fireplace if you have one.

    1. Alice, I missed that one! And it’s one of my favorite things…a fire in fall and winter. Even here in California, it’s my favorite, I just open all the windows if it gets too hot!

  5. Lidy, what an inspiring post. Your list looks similar to mine. Like Pam Richardson, my Mother had a way of making holidays so special. At Christmas, there was candlelight, music, festive decorations, good smells from the kitchen, and that something that made everyone so comfortable. Such a beautiful post Lidy. Feel the warmth across the miles!

  6. Dianne, what a great list. I forgot to add those good smells from the kitchen! One of my best friends lives in an older home, even if she wasn’t baking or cooking, she always had a little pot of cinnamon sticks and spices boiling on her antique stove, it always smelled like the holidays.

  7. Such a wonderful post. This time of year brings me back to my childhood. My mom always made the holidays very special for our family.

    I caught the bug young right along side her. I make sure our home drops with smells, music is a must and great food.

    Some may be tiring of me saying this but my health improving so much I want my husband and I to cherish the season this year.

    Never take this improvement for granted. I am more independent than in years
    I want us to savor every second in honor of my mom and being blessed with new medication.


  8. Cindy, I will never tire of you saying your health has improved so much that you want the two of you to cherish the season especially this year! Sometime we take health for granted, but feeling good is such a game changer. I hope that you are able to cherish each minute, and that every day is magical for you! xo Lidy

  9. Lidy, to me, what makes our house a home are the little things, most all things from family and dear friends. There is the beautiful piece of needlepoint which hangs over our front that reads, Maison De Jardin. This piece was stitched for us by my childhood friend. The list is long of family treasures and when they are illuminated by candlelight during the holidays, I feel as though these wonderful people we love are still with us. Also, treasures from the kitchen, especially fruit cake soaked in Calvados.

    Your list is wonderful and if our Merry(black Labrador) was still living she would be at the top of our list. She was a Christmas present to my husband in 2002 and her registered name was Merry Christmas. I can only imagine how lovely your home is during the holidays and the joy you give to others.
    Blessings, Lidy.

    1. Sandra, you are so right, it’s the little things, especially things that remind of us family and dear friends. Your home sounds so lovely, a haven for all who enter it. I love your sweet Merry’s story, what a special gift I am sure she was to you both. Thank you, friend, for taking the time to share your list with us. xo

  10. The list is right on … Could not improve ?
    I am a huge list maker , I have figured out that meals I will be serving .
    Enjoy your day- Chris

    1. Chris, you are way ahead of me! I usually don’t know that until the whole house is decorated!

  11. Galinda

    Love your list, great reminder of what is truly important in a crazy world

  12. Sharon CrigSt

    What a lovely post… And your list is exactly right. Oh, and Bentley’s picture is adorably sweet! When I first read your question about what makes a house a home on IG, I immediately thought 3 things: love, family and laughter! ?? Happy Sunday, Lidy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top