While we continue to adapt to a post-pandemic world, the front entrance to our homes still gets a lot of visibility. We may not be entertaining as we once did, but between Amazon and meal deliveries, as well as friends dropping off items while remaining masked, your front entry is seen quite a lot. Is yours making a good first impression? Here are 7 tips for creating a welcoming front stoop.
1) Clean up. Sweep or blow leaves and debris away from the front door. Remove any cobwebs that may have accumulated. If your mailbox is placed at your front entry, wipe that down with soap and water to give it a fresh look. While you have the cleaning materials nearby, wash down your front door as well. You won’t believe how much grime has accumulated there! These are things that really should be done on a regular basis. However, some homeowners find they regularly enter their homes from a back door or garage entrance so they don’t see their front often. Guests will typically approach your house from the front and curb appeal matters.
2) Light it up. Depending on the set back of your house and the type of community in which you live, your front entrance may be visible from the street. Adequate lighting can create ambiance as well as provide safe viewing of the walkway up to your front door. Path lighting is critical and the lighting experts at YLighting have a multitude of lighting options.
According to our friends at Houzz: “Aim for at least three sources of light to create a warm glow — a pair of sconces near the seating area plus a light above the door should do the trick. Even better: Add a fourth light near the house numbers to make it easier for visitors to find your address at night.” Wipe down your light fixtures with glass cleaner periodically to ensure the front door lights emit brightly when turned on.
3) Spruce up the front door itself. It may just need a good washing with warm water and some elbow grease. Alternatively, it may be time to repaint or refinish the door. Remember: If your front stoop gets a lot of direct sun light, your door color or stain is likely to fade over time. Also examine your door hardware. Does it need a bit of polishing or is it time to replace it altogether.
4) Add decorative planters with flowers or plants. Pay as much attention to the planters or urns as you do the plants since many of us will reuse the planters year after year, while the flowers may not make it that long. We especially like to add plants with varying heights and color for visual appeal. Changing the plants out seasonally is also a nice touch. For instance, boxwood topiaries like the one shown here are a nice option and can be bushy or pruned into a decorative shape. “As a bonus, they’re low-maintenance and do well in cold weather, too,” according to House Beautiful. When spring arrives, update your front stoop with a floral arrangement that includes a sunny yellow as a reminder of brighter weather ahead. Marigolds are a good option. When the winter holidays are approaching replace the plants with crotons for October and November, followed by red and white poinsettias in December. Rotating the plants also gives you the opportunity tidy up the area.
5) Greet guests with a welcome mat. If yours is worn, replace it with a fresh one. We replace ours about once a year. Consider layering a larger mat under a smaller one that is coarse and really will remove dirt from visitors’ shoes. The larger mat also allows you to update the feel based on the season with some extra color.
6) Have a seat. If your front porch has ample room, add a few chairs or even a porch swing like this one. This beckons days of old when neighbors gathered casually on a front porch to enjoy a refreshment and enjoy a slower pace. “Be sure to have your swing safely anchored to ceiling joists. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, hire a pro to install it for you” the experts at Houzz said. Also use weather-resistant fabrics on seat cushions and pillows.
7) Polish the look off with a seasonal wreath. It’s a great way to capture the changing of the seasons. We love this 24-inch Faux White Rose & Green Hydrangea Mixed Wreath from Pottery Barn for $299 as a celebration of spring and summer. As beautiful as this one is, you do need to ensure that it’s hung in a sheltered area to keep it in good condition. We also recommend keeping the box that it ships in so you can repurpose it as a storage container when the wreath is not in use.
When you’re finished with creating your welcoming front stoop, check out “A Few of Our Favorite Outdoor Elements” for more ways to update your outdoor living spaces. If you’re ready for a professional’s help, contact us