Creating a welcoming front entry should be a top priority for every homeowner – after all, it’s the first impression your home makes.
The good news? Once you’ve invested in an attractive entrance, it’s not difficult or expensive to maintain year after year.
“There’s an initial investment in painting and door hardware, perhaps some large containers or pots or a bench,” says Jeff Hester, of Hester Painting and Decorating, which specializes in painting, faux painting and exterior and interior maintenance. “After that, it’s just maintenance, and in our weather, going from zero to 90 degrees, it’s key to do that yearly.”
Steps, the walkway, the paint on the front door and surrounding woodwork – all of these should be checked for wear and tear and repaired as needed.
Flowers and plants are a quick and inexpensive way to bring a sense of welcome to the front door. The color and style of pots, the scale of the pot and flowers, and the choice of colors and height can all be used to evoke a feeling.
“We look at an entry from a holistic standpoint,” says Chuck Hyams, landscape architect with Scott Byron & Company. “We examine the scale of the house, whether the entrance is cozy or grand, and we work with the door color, the color of the brick and exterior paint. ”
A dark, enclosed entrance can be brightened with light colored flowers, or with landscape lighting.
Hyams adds, “Don’t overlook scent. Flowers can bring a welcoming scent. Even in the spring, we use primrose pansies, which have a beautiful scent.”
If your entry is in need of a facelift, one place to start is with your door.
“You can change the look of a house with the color of the door,” says Hester. “You can do a high-gloss red or green. You can take a painted door and change it with a faux mahogany finish, by painting and graining it. Either will give a dramatically different look, and painting the door is a low-risk change that’s easy to undo with little cost.”
Hardware systems take a beating in the wintertime. Disassembling the front door hardware and sending it to be refinished and replated—something that can be accomplished with a 24-hour turnaround—can give the entry a new look.