Guest Shine blogger Candy Spelling on her special Haven (always a work in progress)

Today Make Home a Haven welcomes guest blogger Candy Spelling. Candy is the wife of the late TV titan Aaron Spelling and mother to Tori. Get to know the woman behind the mogul and what she has to say about her special Haven. Now here's Candy in her own words...

People have different expectations when they visit my home. What would you think if you were going to see the "largest home in Los Angeles," and if you sometimes had to navigate around busloads of people on a "tour of stars' homes" in order to get into the driveway? In my chronic state of insecurity, I wonder how my house could possibly live up to the expectations people have.

It wasn't that long ago that I realized that other people's expectations counted a whole lot less than how comfortable I was in my own home (does that make me a slow learner or proving that wisdom comes with age?). When Yahoo told me about its expanded focus to make home a haven, I realized that's what I had been trying to do. They just put it into better words.

It was actually more fun when my husband and I were just starting out - long before he was a "mogul" and when our houses were more regular-sized. I thought I was all set, as I had studied decorating and thought my career someday would be to decorate homes and apartments for the long list of clients I'd have someday. I was going to drive a Corvette, wear high heels, have my hair piled in a style that was part corporate and part glamour, and spend my days in showrooms and stores picking out beautiful things that other people would pay for .

It turned out that training -- and those fantasies --came in handy over the years as my husband and I bought various houses and my job was to make them nice houses and happy havens.

There are a few things that define home as a haven for me. First are gardens. No matter where we lived, I had gardens outside (when we could) or herb gardens in the kitchen. It was always very important to me to be able to create and work in a garden.

Secondly, I love crafts and hobbies, so my homes have always been filled with things I either created or thought of. Not too many other people will ever have to figure out how to store more than 4,200 hours of television your husband produces, but I was pleased with my answer of leather-bound scripts in a library setting, with his desk as the centerpiece of the room. I have many collections, and the challenge is always how to display them properly. For instance, for a glass collection, I decided the ultimate highlight would be if I could find a wallpaper to hang behind the pieces, so the effect through the glass would be pleasing. For another, I designed special stands to hold them and display key features. (No one is allowed to look underneath, as these are clearly not made by a professional craftsperson, but they do work for my purposes.)


My home is a haven if I look at one corner and see something that makes me feel comfortable or happy. It's a haven because my dog has access to the whole house because it's hers, too. It's a haven because I have a room full of toys and books for my grandchildren, and they head there first when they come over.

It's not about how much money you have to spend. Some of my favorite comfort items cost nothing. As we get older, we like to say we're finally feeling comfortable in our own skin. With our homes, it's the same thing. The key is to be comfortable in our own space.

Candy Spelling's bestseller, Stories from Candyland, is now available in paperback.

Candy Spelling serves as an Ambassador for Tourism for Los Angeles serves on the Board of Directors for LA INC., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Candy invites you to visit the LA INC. "green living" site. For all things Candy Spelling, visit candyspelling.com