home about me our home

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Pet Peeve of Mine!!

How Welcoming Is Your HOME?

How do you greet your guests at the door? I am sure most of us have a welcoming greeting to those who visit our homes.

Remember how we use to see a “Welcome” sign at the  front door?


You would enter knowing you were welcomed. Sometimes in the entry hall there would be another reminder, another sign of welcome…..

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think you have to have an actual sign to make your guest feel welcomed. I truly believe it is the host or hostess that will  make their guest feel comfortable and welcomed.
Having said that, I think there is a sign that can make a guest feel unwelcome!

Really!? You want me to take off my shoes before I enter your home?

I remember the very first time a client asked me to take off my shoes because she just had new carpet installed. I was a guest in her home and she asked me to take off my shoes!!! I was so tempted to say, “ I would, but I have this horrible foot fungus so I probably should not take my shoes off!!” I know I am being a bit dramatic about this situation, but this is a real pet peeve of mine. I find it offensive and not welcoming in the least. Too me, it says my home's cleanliness is more important than your comfort.


I realize that in some countries it is a sign  of respect  and we show honor by removing our shoes, but in our country, when it's a matter of a clean floor, it's lacking in hospitality.

I am a practical girl so I can see where it would be very beneficial for the family that lives there to take their shoes off when they come home. I am sure it would make the carpets last a lot longer than mine have lasted.  So I do see the practicality of this way of thinking. I think this sign below would be darling in a back door mud room for the family members, but not at the front door to greet guest.

I have actually had some guests come to my home and they want to take there shoes off because they don’t want to get my floors dirty. I practically have a fit right then and there. My guest comfort is much more important to me than my floors remaining clean.

After my guests leave I can clean until my heart is content. While my guests are in my home, I want nothing more than for them to feel like they belong here. If they want to put up their feet and relax, I  consider that to be one of  the nicest compliments to me that they feel very at home here.
So know this…….. If you come to my house you do not have to take off your shoes!!!

 How do you all feel about this way of thinking that has become in vogue in our society?
Please let me know your feelings on this subject in a comment. I am really interested in how others feel about my pet peeve.

Kathysue Is Enjoying the Process Of:

Visiting with her guest with their shoes still on!!


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

When our home was on a Christmas tour, a few years ago, we did not asked people to remove their shoes and we did not have the booties. Xanti, age 16 at the time, was acting as one of our docents. She was the greeter. At the end of the day, she told me about half the people removed their shoes and half did not. Even though shoe removal was not required. Over 300 people walked through our home that day, we believe. We didn't count people but that's how many tickets were sold and it seems like that would be right. Lots of people were curious about our home.:-)
Our floors were fine.
Oh, and just to add another element to this story. We had a large amount of snow on the ground! Great backdrop for a Christmas house tour, don't you think? Our sidewalk and driveway were cleared and the street, but all were wet. Still no tracked up floors. There is a mat on the porch and that caught just about anything that might be on shoes.
I kick my shoes off as soon as I get home, but I've never asked our guests or service people or anyone to remove theirs. Some service people bring booties.

The enchanted home said...

I am with you. I don't expect anyone to do it (exception would be a worker who has huge muddy or dirty work boots on then thats a no brainer) but the average person or guest coming to my home, I want them to remain fully clothed, shoes included:) Ditto when I go to someones home, I can't help but find it off putting if i am asked to remove my shoes...I feel the same way. Again in other cultures such as Japan its commonplace but then you grow up knowing this and well, its just different. If I went somewhere that had that sign up there with the "instructions" I think I would hightail it in the other direction..lol.

Anonymous said...

Kathysue, I completely agree! When people ask me if I want them to take their shoes off I always tell them "no, it's fine!" I actually have a Welcome Friends sign in my foyer so I think you would feel welcome at my home... anytime your in the Boston area, Girl, you are welcome here!! xo

A Room For Everyone said...

I agree with you. My husband is absolutely adamant though that shoes are off! I see his point, absolutely, but I feel uneasy if I have to ask people to remove their shoes! Rachaelxx

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Wow, we both begin our posts today talking about pet peeves...and for once I find I'm in disagreement with you on an issue. I was raised in a home where we didn't wear shoes in the house and it feels incredibly strange to me on the rare occasion I do have shoes on in the house. For me it does have to do with cleanliness, but in a different way. It's not so much about having to clean the floors, its about what on earth is brought into the house and deposited on my floors from shoes that have walked through lord only knows what on the streets. I don't really want to hang out on the floor and get all of that on me! It became a big issue when I had little ones crawling on the floor and eating stuff off the floor after they had dropped it! And the habit continues...so, No shoes in our house.

Isn't it great how we can all not agree on something and be okay with it? Are you okay?


Kathy said...

I have gone into homes where you're asked to take off your shoes - I understand both points of views - one of the homes offered slippers - welllll, whose feet were in them last?!
Thoughtful post,

L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys said...

Hi Kathy! I talked about this a while back on my blog and after your comment, I completely changed my mind! But I can't help but wonder this, if me and my family take off our shoes in our own home, why would we want our guests to keep their shoes on? Just a thought. I figure if I don't do it myself (wear shoes inside), I wouldn't want them (my guests) to do it either. What are your thoughts on that? I know my friend's family take off their shoes in the garage out of habbit before they enter their home, but they don't ask visitors to take off their shoes. But because they do it in their home, I do it too.

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Agree, Kathysue.
I don't have any friends that would walk in with mud caked on their shoes, haha!

Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

i'm def a shoe's off in the house girl - but i don't tell my guests they have too - but all my friends just DO it -- i also have large sheepskin rugs that i'm nuts over people getting dirty (you can't clean them) ..

and also i don't think i ever opened the door for other then UPS and stuff - all my family and friends - just walk in, some ring the bell and walk in other just walk in - which is FINE with me ..

i LOVE the "take off shoes" i'm stealing that! haha

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

Oh, I am with you 100% on this. OUr realtor used to always take off his shoes in our old house and I always told him it wasn't necessary! When I had my dining room rug first delivered....I would secretly CRINGE seeing people walking on it. It is partially silk. But, now....even the dog lying on it to catch the AM sun doesn't bug me....my home is to be enjoyed....not a museum. Having kids has mellowed me I think!

Tote said...

I agree with you Kathysue. I would never ask my guests to remove their shoes. I do understand that all kinds of gunk can be brought in, if you were playing in the grass etc! I want my home to be enjoyed, and not worry about every little thing that might happen. We are very laid back kind of people anyway, so I guess that helps. My home isn't a museum, it's a home.


Hamptontoes said...

It is so interesting to read the various mindsets on this topic. I believe we all arrive at our opinions because of (or in despite of) the way were raised, taking cues from the owners of a home we are visiting, where we are in our life at a particular time, etc. Before I had children, I used to think it was sheer silliness to have people take off their shoes when entering a home, but after having my daughter I completely changed my mind. I lived in NYC until my daughter was 9 months old. In the city shoe bottoms are disgusting, you've stepped in all kinds of filth, remains of dog waste, and human urine for that matter...of course none of this is stepped in intentionally, but rather city streets/sidewalks are very dirty. When it came time for Ella to start sitting on the floor I could not stand the thought of gross germs on the bottom of city shoes to now be on my carpets. I did not want my daughter exploring and then putting her hands in her mouth. At that moment in life we became a no-shoes household. Now, I would never dare to hang a sign as it seems a tad off putting, however if guests take cues from the shoeless homeowners then great, if not I truly don't mind! It is the daily grind that creates dirty floors for my little ones, not the guest who stops by from time to time. I do a lot of entertaining and have never once asked a guest to remove her/his shoes. If fact, I would say some don't even realize we are a no-shoes household. I will say that I love laying on the floor with my kids and rolling around with them, it feels clean. Our home is very welcoming and I consider myself to be a warm hostess who isn't frazzled when my guests arrive, so I believe the big hello and hug I greet them with them with creates for a lovely gathering. When visiting others, I take cues by the pile of shoes at the door or not, before just sliding my shoes off or not. Kathysue, if you are in NY visiting you are going to be invited to my home and I'm not letting you take your shoes off!

Anonymous said...

you know what I dislike even more? If people who ask guests to remove shoes, invite them to wear socks or slippers from a basket they've put out, some of which don't look like they've been washed, maybe ever! what kinds of cuties are having a heyday on my feet!

vignette design said...

This debate is very interesting, and I believe a two way street. I don't require guests to take off their shoes in our home, but I've noticed my kids do it automatically. I didn't raise them to do it, they just do it. When I am a guest in someone's home, I notice when entering what their "house culture" is. If they have their shoes off, I either ask if they would like me to remove my shoes or I do it anyway. It's a respect thing. We were all raised differently. I can agree with both sides of this issue. Tracking toxic dirt into our homes is not a good thing. I just never think about that aspect though. When you come for a visit, I will not require you to remove your shoes Kathysue. I want my guests to feel comfortable too. ~Delores

Anonymous said...

It's never really occurred to me to ask people to remove their shoes when they come inside - despite the fact that our floors have seen some damage due to guests' high heels at Christmas parties, etc., and the fact that we live in DC, which has its fair share of dirty sidewalks. I personally always take my shoes off as soon as I walk in the door, though it's out of comfort more than cleanliness. In fact, my husband teases me because I immediately remove my shoes when I go into other people's houses out of force-of-habit, whether they are a shoe-less home or not. Not a big deal when visiting good friends, but we've definitely been invited to the homes of people whom we don't know as well, and I've slipped off my shoes before I even realize it...

Kathy said...

I am so lucky to have a slate floor in the entry and wood floor in kitchens and living room...carpet only in dining room and bedrooms so I tell everyone who starts to take off their shoes not to! Some insist and that slate is hard on feet, I hate it and always have my *house* shoes on I won't be in socks on slate. However my Montana summer house is all carpet and everyone enters through the mudroom it is natural to take them off...but I so prefer my flooring now and would never have carpet again! And you gave me an idea to come up with a saying by the door to ask people to keep shoes on!

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I think it would bother me more to arrive at a clients house and be greeted by a barefoot homeowner. Shoes are designed to keep our feet clean. What if I don't want to walk barefooted in your house? Maybe your floors aren't all that clean either...or maybe I don't want to show you the ugly bunion on my foot? I like folks fully dressed, especially in a business situation. Keep your shoes on Please!!


I've never taken nmy shoes off at someone's home where I'm a guest...I usually wear better shoes for an invitation, nice and clean and I never tell my guests to take them off, either! I guess after an invite I just have someone clean the house again. I do believe if you were full of mud or snow, but reagularly, no! This was a nice post. Hugs. FABBY

quintessence said...

I would never ask an adult to take their shoes coming into my house but am not offended if they want to!! The kids all seem to leave their shoes by the back door, which is just as well since they are frequently mud encrusted!!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

No, I don't ask or want anyone to take off their shoes unless they like to go barefoot or in sock feet like me. I never wear shoes at home. I love to roam around in my socks all day. Makes me feel so comfortable. Hugs, Marty


Well Kathysue...I was just pondering that question since I now have white floors!!! But I know I will be the biggest rule breaker! How about no golf shoes....:)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Kathysue, when Debbiedoos and her family visited last Friday they all came in and started taking their shoes off. I told them not to and Debbie said they always take them off at home. I told her I wear my shoes and they could certainly leave theirs on.

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

I can see both sides especially the comment about city (DIRTY) streets. But, I would nEVER ask guests to remove their shoes, their comfort is much more important to me. I, too, want my guests to feel AT HOME when they are here. XO, Pinky

debra @ 5th and state said...

i ask when i arrive but i do not ask a guest to remove shoes, so agree kathysue, seems rude.
i have these two crazy friends; think eddie & jaithan. they were having a ridiculous contest; who could grow a big toe nail the longest (i know, i know) well christopher was "winning". he had an appointment in the home of a wealthy socialite to discuss her estate. and you guessed it he was asked to remove his gucci loafers and he did not have socks on. as you can imagine he was mortified!

Claudia Fabiana said...

Yeah! Shoes on girlfriend! I love that green door. I would love to come home to that color!


lvroftiques said...

I'm really interested in what others think about this one? I'm torn because I hate having to take off my cute shoes....often times it's the best part of my outfit! *winks* But on the other hand you really do track some nasty stuff into your house on your shoes + my husband is Japanese so it bothers the heck out of him if people don't take their shoes off. So I'm really zero help aren't I? Lol! Vanna

lvroftiques said...

Oops forgot to add that in Japan it's very bad manners as a host not to offer house slippers to your guests. They shouldn't have to walk around with bare feet, so I have a slipper tree with some different kinds of house slippers for guests if they "want" to put them on. But I personally won't ask a guest to take off their shoes. V

lvroftiques said...

Kathysue I read this to my hubby to get his perspective (because this is an ongoing issue for me) and he offered up that you're "having a fit right there and then" when people were trying to remove their shoes might be construed as making your guest uncomfortable....His opinion not mine girlfriend!!..Just sayin' I come in peace! *winks* V

Judy said...

I know a girl who always insisted everyone remove their shoes before they entered her house. It was okay in the summertime with flip flops or sandals but during the winter it was a different story. She didn't have anywhere to sit to remove boots and it was so awkward. Then when she and her hubby came over, they automatically removed their shoes! It felt weird when they did that. My entry floor is tile and I have a rug there that hides all sorts of dirt. Shoes left on doesn't bother me one bit!


Sarah said...

I have a brother-in-law whose family has always taken off their shoes at the door, but they have slippers there that they slip on. They don't expect their guests to do the same, but i always felt awkward leaving my shoes on in their home. I agree with you. Leave the shoes on and don't worry about it. ;-)
~ Sarah

Privet and Holly said...

I'm with you;
it's about making
your guests feel
right at home : )
If that means THEY
want to drop their
shoes, then that's
okay....but I never
make it a requirement!
Great topic, KS!
xx Suzanne

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Wonderful topic, Kathysue. It is also a pet peeve of mine. I want people to feel welcomed and relaxed. I don't want to greet people at the door with "rules". Come with shoes on or
come with shoes off, it doesn't matter to me...I just want happy guests.

xinex said...

I totally agree with you, KayhySue. I would never ask a guest to remove their shoes before entering my home....Christine

Marcus Design said...

Wow, this is so interesting to me, because here in Vancouver (not sure if it's like this in all of Canada) I've NEVER kept my shoes on in a house before so to me that seems so weird! We are in a VERY rainy city, I think we could never keep our shoes on in homes. And because this is all I've experienced I can't imagine any different!
Nancy xo

deborah said...

If you know your friends don't wear shoes in their home isn't it considerate to take yours off too - unless you've got hobbits feet. From where I come from people don't wear their shoes in side because it's a mark of respect for the home owner and their dirty. I always take my shoes off and I kind of don't see what the big deal is if you like the people you're visiting.

Mel @ Georgica Pond said...

Unless you are a tradie (as they are called in Australia) and your boots are generally covered in mud or dirt or something else, then anyone should be expected or asked to take off their shoes in a normal, domestic, suburban home. Ridiculous! I completely get it it if there is a religious or cultural reason, but just because you don't want your house mucked up - pulease! Get a life!

Anonymous said...

I was on here yesterday when there was only a handful of comments..and now so many. Certainly you have hit upon a sensitive issue!
I've given it a lot of thought and here goes:
We take off our shoes, always, when we enter our house. When I go to someone else's house, I respect their wishes, although I will offer to take off my shoes, even if it seems they don't.
When we have people over...well...it depends. Friends generally know to take off the shoes. New friends are asked to do so. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, if we are having a party, or really more than one couple, then shoes stay on! I wouldn't dream of making it a rule, at a dinner party, for instance, that everyone take off shoes!
When workmen come in, I DO generally ask them to remove shoes.No one, and I mean no one, has ever looked askance!
Bottom line for me: I feel you should respect how others live in their own house and follow their example when there!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Such a good question/toppic! As a family we take our shoes off and I wipe the dogs paws off when necessary, but I never ask anyone visiting to do the same. Some of my close friends do it, not because they know I'm a germaphobe, but because they too ditch the shoes in their own homes. I always wonder if there are people who have paties and ask for the guests to remove their shoes???? To me that's insanity!

My one exception is for contractors. Unless they've already put down the necessary protection, I always make them take their shoes off as we've had mud and even tar once deposited onto the carpets! And, it's funny how they never offer to pick up the cleaning tab :) So it's shoes off for them and surprisingly most don't seem to mind.

Stacy CUrran said...

I totally agree! I HATE when I have to take my shoes of, because sometimes I'm totally unprepared (yo know, no pedi....) A potential client asked me once in the middle of winter!!! I was so offended. I didn't get the job, thank god!

for the love of a house said...

you can wear your shoes in my house when you come to visit;)! I do 'sometimes' think about the yuck brought into a house on shoes- but then I think of something else and get over it!!

happy weekend!

Marianne said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I always wear shoes in my own home and tell all of my guests who want to remove them not to. I have a few friends who make everyone remove their shoes at their homes and I always make sure to pack a pair of socks in my purse. I do not want to walk on anyone's bare floors no matter how clean they think they are! No thank you!

lisaroy said...

This is so interesting because growing up in Canada and visiting anyone, it was always a given that you would remove your shoes at the door. I wouldn't even think of walking into someone's home with my shoes on - I mean, I could have stepped in dog poop on the sidewalk!
While living in Ireland, I visited someone and when I removed my shoes at the door, her daughter asked me why I did that - her mother said that in Canada it's very common and her daughter replied "oh, what a strange tradition!".

Anonymous said...

Another great post. I understand the shoe thing when you have carpet and NO I never ask anyone to take off their shoes but was pleased when they did. Now that we have wood flooring it is not a issue, but my family still does it out of habit. Love your post, you are a blogging queen ! vicky room service

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I agree with you. I understand taking boots off if the weather is that way...but shoes, no. I just think it is a little tacky to ask your guests take off their shoes. If they want to, fine too, because I never have shoes on at home!!

Matthew Celestine said...

I am sorry you feel this way.

The thing is, at least in my experience in the UK, a lot of people take their shoes off anyway ande often don't wear shoes much in their own homes. Etiquette has changed a lot.

It is a simple request to do something very commonplace and which a lot of people find more comfortable.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking people to do this.

I have an whole blog on this subject: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.