I hate company.
I prefer being alone, in my quiet house, wearing whatever I want (Dirty Dancing t-shirt), eating whatever I want (garbage) and doing whatever I want (watching Bravo). Of course, having a husband and kids makes this a little trickier (someone’s gotta take the girls to school, do the food shopping…go outside every once in a while so squatters don’t break into our house). Fortunately, we’re all on the same page. Like me, my husband hates parties and places where there are sure to be crowds of people. My kids both enjoy doing things on their own – my oldest loves to draw by herself; my youngest prefers playing with her dolls away from everyone else. We’re definitely all related. But since I’m the mom, it’s my unspoken responsibility to be the one who prepares our house for the RARE occasion we’re expecting company. To decorate for the holidays. To cook the food and present it in a way that is pleasing and inviting to whatever strange, new human is in our habitat. It’s not like I’m being forced to do these things against my will – it’s that if I don’t do them, nobody would.
I WANT to give the illusion that I’m into it. I want people to walk into our house and be like, “holy shit this woman is a modern Donna Reed. Look at her tablescape!” I love Donna Reed. I love people that know what a tablescape is. I just hate the work that goes into making one.
Over the years, I’ve come across this phenomenon that I’m going to share here with you today. I know there are others out there like me, because if there weren’t, then switch-outs wouldn’t exist.
What are switch-outs?
Okay, so like, if you want to be “festive” but also you’re really cheap and
lazy busy, you buy a product that lets you switch out some component of it while keeping the same foundation up all year long. Maybe there’s a technical term for this, but for the sake of getting this post out in a timely manner, I’m going to stick with the term “switch-out.”
Let’s take a look at my switch-out front door.
Okay so the star and the “welcome” stay up all year but the little picture hanging off of the sign gets switched out with others throughout the season.
I used to look for wreaths or flags for each season, but who has the money for that? And yeah, I could “make” a wreath, but buying all that fake greenery and stuff to stick in it is just as expensive as buying a cheap wreath, which is still pretty expensive. So I got this door switch-out set, and when I have more time, I’m going to make my own little cutouts to hang off the welcome sign because that’s easy AF.
After I did the door thing, I started to notice more and more switch-outs for different places in the home. Take Nora Fleming.
Nora Fleming started a WHOLE COMPANY devoted to the switch out concept for serving dishes.
As much as I want to make fun of that lady, I really want one of those damn platters. Okay so you start with the base:
And then you go wild on the switch-outs.
I mean, you get the idea. There’s a switch-out for every occasion you can imagine. Every holiday, every mood, every whim. It turns out I love switch-outs. Is it because I love hosting and being festive? No F’ing way! It’s because I’m lazy, cheap and I have a thing for miniatures. I have literally watched every tiny food video that exists.
But back to switch-outs. Here are some switch-out sets I’ve come across that may help foster the illusion that you’re on top of your game for every season.
See the pattern here? You buy once but you’re set for the whole year, every year. And people think that you’re just really into your home and the spirit of the season.
Do you have an awesome switch-out system in your home? Give me the info so I can continue this lazy but practical tradition. Happy planning! xo