The First Thing We Look for When We Go Into Someone’s Home

It may not be what you'd expect!
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Anyone who's hosted a party knows that guests tend to make beelines towards different things. Whether it's the bar, the best friend who arrived before them, or the appetizer table, it gives a bit of insight into where their mind is. Similarly, but usually more subconsciously, we all notice different things when we enter someone's house for the first (or fifteenth) time. Here are the things our team always pays attention to when going to someone's place.

Emily: The first thing I notice when I walk into someone's house is the setup of their entryway. Perhaps it's because I've never had a formal one (in my parents' home or in any of the other places I've lived), so I'm always curious to see how different people arrange theirs. I look for things like whether there's a little table where they set their keys, a mirror to quickly glance in on their way out the door, or perhaps a nice candle nearby. Beyond just my curiosity with how they've designed the area, I like to look for tips that make the space feel personal and functional so I can implement them into my own home.

Leslie: Bathrooms are usually overlooked in the list of 'things to get ready before a party,' but they're also where guests spend the most time solo, so a well-prepared bathroom indicates the host knows what he or she's doing! Whenever there's a lit candle, nice linen hand towel, and fancy soap, I take notice (and try to remember to do the same at my own house!). And little details go a long way, like having a subtle container of tampons or a room spray. Bonus points if there's a speaker in the bathroom playing the same music as the main entertaining space—this may sound funny, but having music in the bathroom truly ties the entire party together and keeps the good vibes going! 

Marilynn: As someone with a background in architectural design, I surprisingly don't look for any design-related features like furniture or artwork selection. Instead, I try to ascertain where I ought to leave my shoes. This is practical but also slightly creepy - I derive some voyeuristic pleasure from figuring out whose shoes belong to whom and what they say about the people who wore them. I go so far as predicting a person's personality and what they've gone through that day based on their shoes. What were they thinking when they put them on, how stylishly adventurous are they, etc.? The game continues when I actually see them and can confirm or reject my shoe-based hypotheses. 

Hannah: This is going to sound weird, but I always notice the smell of someone’s house right away. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the scents their attracted to, and I’m always interested to see what candle brands/scents or other scent-related products people use. Also, obviously, an off-putting smell is super noticeable and is a major red flag for me because I'm kind of a neat freak.

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What are the first things you notice when entering someone's place?