Welcoming Entrance

11 Ways to Create a Welcoming Front Entrance­


Wouldn’t it be nice to approach your home’s entrance with a grin instead of a grimace­ Take our tips for beating a clear, safe, and stylish path to your front door.


First impressions count — not just for your friends, relatives, and the UPS guy, but for yourself. Whether it’s on an urban stoop or a Victorian front porch, your­front door­and the area leading up to it should extend a warm welcome to all comers — and needn’t cost a bundle.

Here’s what you can do to make welcoming happen on the cheap.

1. Clear the way for­curb appeal.­The path to your front door should be at least 3 feet wide so people can walk shoulder-to-shoulder, with an unobstructed view and no stumbling hazards. So get out those loppers and cut back any overhanging branches or encroaching shrubs.­

2. Light the route.­Landscape lighting makes it easy to get around at night.­Solar-powered LED lights­you can just stick in the ground, requiring no wiring, are suprisingly inexpensive.­We found 8 packs for under $60 online.­

3. Go glossy.­Borrow inspiration from London’s lovely row houses, whose owners assert their individuality by painting their doors in high-gloss colors. The reflective sheen of a royal blue, deep green, crimson, or whatever color you like will ensure your house stands out from the pack.

Related:­Pictures of 10 Great Value-Add Exterior Paint Jobs

4. Pretty up the view.­A door with lots of glass is a plus for letting light into the front hall -- but if you also want privacy and a bit of decor, check out­decorative window film. It’s removable and re-positionable, and comes in innumerable styles and motifs. Pricing depends on size and design; many available for under $30.

A way to get the look of stained glass without doing custom work or buying a whole new door: Mount a decorative panel on the inside of the door behind an existing glass insert,­$92 for an Arts and Crafts-style panel 20-inches-high by 11-inches-wide.

5. Replace door hardware.­While you’re at it, polish up the handle on the big front door. Or better yet, replace it with a shiny new­brass lockset with a secure deadbolt. Available for about $60.­

6. Please knock.­Doorbells may be the norm, but a hefty knocker is a classic that will never run out of battery life, and another opportunity to express yourself (whatever your favorite animal or insect is, there’s a door-knocker in its image).­

7. Ever-greenery.­Boxwoods are always tidy-looking, the definition of easy upkeep. A pair on either side of the door is traditional, but a singleton is good, too. About $25 at garden centers. In cold climates, make sure pots are frost-proof (polyethylene urns and boxes mimic terracotta and wood to perfection).

8. Numbers game.­Is your­house number­clearly visible­ That’s of prime importance if you want your guests to arrive and your pizza to be hot.­Stick-on vinyl numbers­in a variety of fonts make it easy, starting at about $4 per digit.

9. Foot traffic.­A hardworking mat for wiping muddy feet is a must. A thick coir mat can be had at the hardware store for less than $20. Even fancier varieties can be found well under $50.

10. Go for the glow.­Fumbling for keys in the dark isn’t fun. Consider doubling up on porch lights with a pair of lanterns, one on each side of the door, for symmetry and twice the illumination. Many mounted lights are available well under $100.

11. Snail mail.­Mailboxes run the gamut from kitschy roadside novelties masquerading as dogs, fish, or what-have-you to sober black lockboxes mounted alongside the front door. Whichever way you go, make sure yours is standing or hanging straight, with a secure closure, and no dings or dents. The mail carrier will thank you.


Jill Robinson

Jill Robinson

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Jill Robinson