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Adoringly Adding Aroma.

By Special Guest Blogger, Michelle Ward

I want to introduce you to a completely different side to decorating our homes. Meet Scent! What does scent have to do with decorating you ask… A LOT! I am one of those "smell" people (if you ask my husband it's not my most prized gift!). Trust me when I say there are times that I too wish it wasn't gifted to me. But in spite of all the draw backs to my supernatural ability, it is also such a gift - one that I use on a daily basis to help define what home truly means to me.

Think back to most of your favorite life memories and more often than not, it has a scent attached to it. I remember the smell of my grandma's farmhouse and barn. To some it may have smelled like a musty old house, but to me it brought a feeling of comfort and belonging. To this day, any time I enter an old building with hints of that musty smell, I can close my eyes and picture everything about being in that old farm house. When I bake, it always makes me feel comforted by the way the house is enveloped in the sweet smells of cookies or breads or the savory scents of dinner simmering on the stove top, much like home was for me as a child. What about the baby powder scent of a newborn cuddled sweetly in your arms? Or the festive aroma of a freshly welcomed Christmas tree? If scent is so compelling that it can trigger such fabulous memories, why would we NOT utilize this tool?

Scents can transform our spaces from houses to homes, evoke a memory, set a mood and even help pull together a look and feel that we are trying to achieve. It has the power to comfort us, relax us, or make our tummies rumble. Think of it as a layer in decorating. It can help you fully accomplish any look or feel you are going for. When decorating a masculine space, there are leather or vanilla scents that would compliment the overall goal for this type of a room. When we think feminine spaces, we often go to a florally place. A nursery might entail lavender for a calming effect. My personal preference in creating a feeling of home is having the wonderful fragrance of baked goods floating about (bonus side to this: there are no baked goods to be eaten by me, and regretted later).

Scented CandleSalt & Pepper Shakers

When it comes to options, there is truly something for everyone and every budget on the market today.

  1. Candles. An oldie but a goody.
  2. Wax Warmers. Big plus: these can nicely add to your decor.
  3. Room Sprays. Hello, aromatherapy!
  4. Plug-ins. These come with loads of scent choices too.
  5. Create Your Own! A treat for the nose AND the stomach!

And the beauty of this versatile layer of home? You can change out aromas as often as you like, there are no rules to it! I prefer a seasonal change in the scents drifting through our home. Summer brings out the fruity scent lover in me and with it dreams of beachy sunsets, a tropical drink in my hand, and memories of many fabulous vacations sitting with my hubby by a pool while we watch our three kiddos swim. When Fall comes, bring on the baked-goods-pumpkin-spice-coffee-scented anything. I love the feel these fragrances bring to our home; it's as though you are being embraced by a warm, cozy blanket snuggled up next to a fire on a cool crisp night. But let me tell you, as soon as mid-November hits, I am ready for cinnamon and evergreen galore! These smells bring my mind and heart to a simpler time when baking for the holidays was achievable by most families. It helps me remember to slow down and enjoy the small moments of the season with the ones I love. It reminds me to squeeze in more of the events that our family will remember years from now, someday to be incorporated into our children's own homes.

When the new year arrives, I am ready for fresh, clean linen scents! This makes our home feel ready for a new start in the new year. The holiday decorations are long gone and my focus has turned to cleaning and decluttering anything I can get my hands on. Around springtime, I like to pull out my fruity scents again because well, let's be honest, by this time of year we are all dreaming of long, warm summer days, longing to be outside at BBQs and in the fresh air. I know I probably think far more into this than most, but as I said earlier, I'm a scent gal, and well, anything I can do to trigger a childhood memory for my kids, I am all over it. And I know my efforts aren't in vein because last August, I was baking cinnamon rolls before a camping trip (because every good camping trip needs some yummy goodies) and as I'm in crazy woman mode trying to get all the last minute prep done, our teenage daughter enters the house grinning from ear to ear and says, "Oh, Mom…it smells like Christmas in here!" My heart skipped a beat! I think of it as planting little seeds of memories into their brains. Someday when they are older and I no longer get the pleasure of seeing their little faces everyday, they will walk into a restaurant or store and smell something that triggers a memory of our all too short time together.

Carrot CakePeppermint Sticks

I know my routine of changing scents out can seem a little high maintenance to most, but don't let my crazy ways make you think it is not possible to achieve in your own home. Find a scent you love and run with it. There are so many ways to bring this layer into our homes. You can keep one scent through out your whole home or change it in different areas of your home to give different rooms separate feels. My one suggestion is to not go with too many different aromas so they don't all mingle and create an overwhelming scent that you weren't going for at all. To some scent may not be a big deal, but consider that it is usually part of our first impression of a home. Long before we enter, the first thing we are able to do is smell the scents wafting out. It speaks volumes for our spaces and who we are. What do you want it to say about you? Whether you are trying to create a homey, comforting feeling, a masculine feel, or you are trying to achieve a clean smell, our spaces represent us and who we are. Make it add the finishing touches to the story your decorating style is trying to tell. Choose the scents you use to help pull together your home.

Make it your own... and maybe even link it to a memory.

Berries and CinnamonCoffee Cup

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