As interior designers, we often focus on the inside of our clients’ homes but the curb appeal is also an aspect that we enjoy addressing. The aesthetics of a home are not only important when homeowners are trying to sell their home. Consider how many times you walk in and out of your front door, how many guests are greeted at your homes’ entrance and even the number of people passing by. Even if you live on a quiet street and seldom have visitors, your entrance needs to work for you and how you use the space. In this article we’ll share some tips for improving your property’s entrance to welcome guests and residents alike.
Start with the landscaping. Is your yard well maintained or are there plants that have struggled through the winter that now need to be replaced or at least pruned? Many yards need some extra care in time for spring and summer. Proper watering and fertilizing also makes a big difference.
The driveway is another feature that’s often overlooked but imagine the first impression of one that’s full of weeds and broken concrete. We invested in pavers from Alamo Stone for our driveway as shown above since the driveway is regularly used for parking for both personal and professional visitors. We’ve been very pleased with how this turned out and how it contributes to the polished look that we sought. Another must have: House numbers that can be seen clearly from the street.
I also recommend looking at the path leading up to your front door. Is it clear of debris? Is it level to avoid any tripping hazards? Our friends at YLighting have some fabulous options for path lighting in both traditional and contemporary styles. Proper lighting near your front door not only illuminates the area for better safety but it’s one more way to create the ambience you want.
Next, how does your front door look? It may just need a good cleaning to remove any pollen and cobwebs that have collected as well as other dinginess from the outdoor elements. The material of your front door will dictate which cleaning ingredients should be used. Grab a damp wash cloth and wipe down the door, starting at the top. Remember to also wipe down in between the door and the frame. A wood door can be cleaned with Murphy’s oil soap and warm water, followed by some furniture polish if the door is stained. Touch up the paint if it’s peeling or dull, which happens often with doors that get more sun exposure. Steel doors are known for their durability and can be cleaned with a mild, nonabrasive cleaner and a wet sponge. Fiberglass doors are environmentally friendly and energy efficient, but require cleaning methods that don’t leave a residue or damage the surface. Liquid dish soap and warm water are great choices. Also clean the hardware such as the door knob and fixture.
Front porches are great spaces to place comfortable seating and lighting as well. As Better Homes & Gardens mentioned, “even a small chair or a minuscule table on your porch can serve as a resting station between outside and inside and boost your curb appeal. And because your front porch is the public face of your home, seating can encourage guests to stay outside and engage with neighbors and streetside activity, too.”
Harness some flower power. Arranging flowers on either side of your front door is an easy way to add color and personality. Sheri Silver, a landscape designer and owner of Fiori Garden Design advised HGTV: “Spruce up your porch containers, window boxes and front beds with some colorful flowers for instant lift.”
I like to add seasonal colors in pretty pots at varying heights and widths. In fact, having a fragrant plant like Rosemary at my front door is a clever way to appeal to multiple senses. (It also makes it easy to grab fresh herbs to add to dinner.)
A clean, absorbent welcome mat is a must. I like the sturdiness of the mats from Frontgate and the options to monogram your front door mat is a nice touch. While people intentionally wipe their feet on this mat to prevent dirt from unnecessarily entering the home, homeowners should shake out your mat regularly to keep it working optimally. You can even vacuum the outdoor mat for a better clean. If you find that dirt at your front door is a persistent problem, place one mat on the outside and a durable rug on the inside to contain the dirt.
So now it’s time to get started. Spruce up your entrance for a great first impression and a home that you treasure inside and out. If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy “Back Yard Updates that Extend Your Living Areas” and “Tips for Updating your Patio Design.”