by Jennifer Jones
Your guests’ first impression is usually the front entry of your home. Friends, relatives and even delivery people are influenced by that walkway to your front door. It also says a lot about your personality and the character of the family that lives inside. The area leading up to your home should present a warm and inviting welcome for all who arrive. Whether you have a wide country porch or a city stoop, there are plenty of ways to spruce up your entryway.
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The Front Door
When revamping the entry, the first question on every homeowner’s mind is usually, “What color should I paint the door?” It is important to take into consideration the color of your house and surrounding elements. If you noticed that you door has become chipped or faded, sand it down and give it a fresh coat of paint. A can of bold-colored paint will definitely pop against neutral siding. This will definitely brighten up your front entrance. In London’s row houses, each homeowner paints their front door a high-gloss paint in a bold color to make their entry stand out from others. Each color has a different meaning and says a lot about your personality. A red colored door invites good energy and makes a welcoming notion. Wood doors with a dark finish look excellent with just about any color combination. White provides a pure impression, however, it must be cleaned regularly. Dignity, knowledge and compromise are expressed with the color gray. Power and confidence are represented through a black front door, especially when it is framed by stark white trim.
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Glass front doors and surrounding windows can provide a handsome entrance. A lot of clear glass at your front entry means you are very transparent with your life. It also allows plenty of natural light inside to brighten the foyer. Some homeowners, who enjoy the light but not the view, will purchase decorative or stained glass. This gives some privacy, while displaying plenty of décor. Decorative window films are a great way to provide more privacy without investing in custom work or a whole new door. They are inexpensive, removable and repositionable as well as come in a variety of motifs and designs.
This is an excellent opportunity to restore and repair the architectural details surrounding your entry, such as columns, trim, railings, moldings, brackets and awnings. A new coat of stain or paint will give new life to these elements. If your entry is lacking, consider adding some of these details for more interest. An awning or small roof is a very considerate option that keeps the rain and the sun away. Entryways are perfect locations to indulge in expensive materials. Not only do they look much nicer, they usually last longer than inexpensive items. Another nice touch is achieved by repeating prominent design elements. For instance, if your awning boasts an arch top, consider repeating that arch curve with the windows and moldings around the door.
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The path to your entry is a key element for making a good first impression. It provides guidance from the street or driveway to the front door, so it is important that the walkway is clearly visible and maintained. Most front walkways are at least three feet wide and offer enough space for two people to walk comfortably side-by-side. Proper maintenance is vital for a safe path. Keep bushes and other vegetation trimmed to avoid trips and falls. A fresh coat of paint to porch steps and decking can spruce up and brighten the entrance. This is also a good time to repair warped wood boards, chipped concrete and loose railings.
Shrubs and flowers create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors approaching your door. Boxwood and evergreen bushes are very popular thanks to their tidy appearance. Blooming flowers in the spring and summer add plenty of warmth and beauty to the entrance. Many homeowners enjoy keeping flowers in pots and other containers. They are simple to care for as well as easy to move around when the seasons change. Window boxes are very charming decorations that frame windows or sit on the porch railings. Many country homeowners adorn their entry with multiple hanging pots filled with beautiful foliage and flowers for a friendly appearance. Whichever plant you decided to grow, remember to keep them properly trimmed to avoid blocking the path to the door. Not only does this keep your entrance from being hidden and overgrown, but it also shows that you take great care and pride in the appearance of your home.
Empty entryways can be so disengaging and lonely. Even the smallest of entries can benefit from a bit of decoration or a stylish focal point. Doorknockers, house numbers, door handles and locksets are all excellent features that can create a sophisticated and polished appearance by matching the finishes and colors. Even if you have a doorbell, a decorative doorknocker is still useful as well as portrays class and style. A friendly welcome mat is another great way to express your personality. Wreaths are always inviting people inside and can be changed out according to the season.
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If you have a spacious front porch, make it a useful space for entertaining with weather-resistant furniture. This provides added comfort and warmth to the entry. Wicker, also known as rattan furniture, is lightweight and sturdy. Many Craftsman and country homes enjoy the durability of wicker furniture on their porches and patios. A table and chairs are perfect for enjoying meals outdoors. A mini table, a small stand or decorative chair are great for smaller entries and provide an extra display of flair. If you already have existing furniture around your entry, a good cleaning and some new cushions can make for a fresh, inviting appearance. A pretty vase with fresh flowers on your entry table definitely says, “Welcome home.”
Mailboxes come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and designs. Some homes have a mailbox mounted next to the front door, while others have roadside mailboxes. A lot of country homeowners like kitschy mailboxes in novelty animal shapes. Other homeowners like the looks of a sleek black box mounted to the side of the home. Whatever your choice, your mailbox should be straightly positioned with a secure closure and dent-free for the most inviting appearance.
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It is important to have your entry properly lit for convenience and safety. There are a huge variety of light fixtures in all different shapes and sizes. A light on each side of the door provides twice the illumination as well as a pleasingly symmetrical appearance. Some people like having motion-sensor lights near the front door so they know if someone is approaching and shut off automatically to save electricity. Solar-powered lights are popular to easily light the walkway to the door. They are not costly and easily replaceable. If you want a cohesive appearance, the light fixtures should match the style and designs of the rest of the home.
The entrance to your home says a lot about who lives inside. No matter what your favorite style, the most important thing is to keep your entry neat and clean. Periodically check the area around your front door for needed repairs and dirtiness. First impressions can last a lifetime, so take some time to enhance your entry.
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