The front entrance to your home provides an introduction to your home, and you, for visitors. A well-designed front entrance makes the house look attractive and inviting. Whether it’s a Victorian bungalow or even a Colonial cottage featuring design details from hundreds of years ago, or a minimalist modern townhouse whose only “decorative” features are buzzers and peepholes, you can make the entrance to your home welcoming by choosing colors, lighting, and other details that enhance the style of your home.
A suitable introduction takes into account the natural lighting, architectural highlights, and landscape surrounding your home. Brick, stone, siding, shingles, wood, and metal can enhance each other as design elements in the “composition” that is your front entrance. To unify the front entrance with the rest of the house, use the same shapes in different materials, colors, and scales that pull together an overall theme and give your home the beauty you are looking for.
Light the way
Some houses look beautiful in the daytime, but at night they seem dark and uninviting. You can use architectural lighting to make your home as welcoming in the evening as it is in the morning. Landscape lighting can be considered an architectural detail, as it illuminates steps, sidewalks, walkways, and porches or patios. “Uplighting” can enhance columns, niches, and other trim enhancements on the exterior of a house. Modern house entrances may feature reflective covers above lights to improve the visibility and safety along the walkway, or small, solar-powered lights that illuminate steps and walkways with a soft glow of light energy stored during sunny afternoons. There are a great variety of house entrance design ideas that can help make your home as beautiful at night as it is in the daytime.
Highlight architectural period details
Whether the architectural period details of your front entrance are neoclassical columns, Victorian “gingerbread,” Spanish-inspired brick work, or the stark bare lines of the early twentieth century, they make a strong visual statement that is part of the house’s overall theme.
Step back and look at the details of your front entry. Look at your front facade as a whole. Look for details that can be painted, enhanced, or updated to give your home a unified, attractive appearance. Trim around doors and windows, shutters, and cornices can blend in or contrast with the rest of the house. Roof eave details and gutters can become color highlights that make a bland front facade more interesting.
Give your front entrance the attention it deserves
While this may seem obvious (now that you are reading an article about it), the front entrance is often the most neglected part of the home. Once people are inside their homes, they don’t see the entry, so they forget about even cleaning it for most of the year. Clear away dust and leaf litter. Shake out and wash mats. If the front porch is the only place to store rakes, snow shovels, bicycles, lawn mowers, etc., arrange these things in a neat, organized way so that they are easy to find and use. Repaint, wash, and pressure-wash bricks, wood, and siding.
Mix and match materials
Often the best way to beautify a front entry is to use existing materials, then enhance them with a variety of others. Strong geometry makes an attractive front entry. Use the same geometric shape to unify the contrasts of brick, stone, wood, metal, siding, and shingles.
Simplify your front entry
Small, functional details can make the front entry sing. Instead of using color to signify the front door, you might change the style and shape of the front door to match surrounding exterior details. If you have steps leading to your front door, consider using mosaic tiles and quarry tiles to highlight the steps. Try updating your house numbers, wall-mounted mailbox, and door hardware to complete the look.
The front entry can add color and whimsy to your home
Many people consider the front entrance an ideal place to add a personal touch to the look of their home. You might want to use color to create a whimsical, individual front door. Red, yellow, orange, and green are popular colors for front doors.
- Front doors don’t have to be made from wood;
- Steel doors are also available;
- Add a fresh touch to your front entry by using plants.
Plants are a key element of landscaping that can make your home decor successful. Depending on how much space you have, you can choose small or large plants that give your front entrance a welcoming look.
- A flower pot, terrarium, or green plant can add interest to the look of the front steps.
- Edge or corner plantings can soften the “hardscape” effect of bare cement steps and stoops.
- Rows of decorative plants can define a sidewalk or walkway.
- Pairs of potted plants create symmetry along steps or walkways. (Add an iron arbor for a classic, feminine decorative touch.)
- Plants in decorative pots look friendly at the front door.
- If your house sits on a steep slope, rows of hardy perennials, bushes, or even small trees below the house may help prevent soil erosion.
- Hedges of shrubbery or rows of trees along either side of a long walkway or driveway create a peaceful, welcoming entrance “avenue.”
- Hanging plants in pots are part of a traditional American look that goes well with brick walls and wooden doors.
For outdoor plantings, choose attractive plants that are native to the area where you live. They’re likely to be hardy and need little further care or expense.
Consider outdoor furniture
Depending on the size of your front entrance area, you might want to add furniture that suits the purposes of the people who use the entrance. Consider park benches (made of traditional wood, more durable metal, or recycled plastic) or picnic tables and seats (also traditionally made of wood, sometimes cedar, and also available in recycled plastic). If you have a patio, wrought iron chairs or “bistro style” seating is traditional.
A porch is an open-air room that’s ideal for summer entertaining. A covered porch, whether it’s enclosed by screens or left open, can be furnished and decorated like a room. It will be used mostly in warm weather and should feel like a cool, quiet place to relax.
The traditional look may be the best for your front entrance
Brick walls, wooden doors, a fully covered open porch with a few flower pots and hanging baskets, are the traditional look of the American front entrance. This look offers as much room for creative individual touches as a pair of blue jeans.
Consider inexpensive seasonal decorations to vary the look of your front entrance
Now that you’ve chosen simple, functional design elements that work together to create an attractive front entrance, you’re free to have fun with temporary seasonal decorations that express your creativity. Handmade yard decorations and spring flowers can be simple and elegant displays of taste.
Check out what the neighbors are doing
You might get ideas from neighbors’ front entry design, and they might get ideas from yours. Neighbors’ houses are part of the overall environment into which your house should blend harmoniously.
A beautiful front entry is an asset you and your guests can be proud of. It will increase the “curb appeal” of your house and the attraction of entertainment in your home. You can use simplicity, architectural details, and lighting to make your front entry beautiful.