Making Your Entryway More Appealing
You don't always get a chance to correct a first impression, so making the right first impression is key -- especially if you're trying to sell your home. The entryway is the first thing people notice about your home, and sets the tone. Like a handshake or a haircut, it can send a strong message about it and the people who live in it. Sadly, most front doors don't really say much at all (except lack of imagination), and still others send the wrong message entirely.
There are many simple ways to add some pizzazz to an entryway, and most are very budget-oriented. You can usually work with the door you have, foregoing a new one (unless your front door is beyond hope, or you want to make a really dramatic change in material). The biggest investment in most curb appeal projects is time, and a little sweat equity. Combine that with a little imagination, and your entryway could send out the welcome wagon to all who arrive.
Some of the simplest, most economical, and most effective treatments are:
Paint -- This is a tried and true method of brightening up the look of your entryway, and it is also very inexpensive. Even if you just repaint your door the same color, the effect is powerful -- it'll look fresh and clean and welcoming. For extra impact, try a different color than the one you had. A bright, vibrant color is a real attention-getter. Be bold with your color choices (keeping your home's other paint colors in mind, of course). Take some cues from your garden or any container plants near the area. If you have a swatch of bright-blooming geraniums or peonies, etc., every year, try painting your door that color. Color coordinating structural and natural elements is eye-catching, innovative, and very appealing. It also adds depth.
Lighting -- Changing the lighting in your entryway has many benefits. With the right choices, it can not only be more appealing and inviting, but it also can improve security. Today's fixtures also offer energy-saving, environmentally-friendly options, from motion detectors to timed lighting, and solar-powered, LED, and CFL options.
Trim-- Consider adding casing to your doorway. Casing can enhance the appearance of your entryway by dramatically changing the style and proportion. It can also have practical applications, such as hiding the gap between the jamb and the opening. Casing comes in many styles, from simple to more stately, period or contemporary -- there are many looks to choose from. Adding millwork doesn't have to be expensive. Several companies offer casing made from high-density urethane foam, which mimics handcrafted wood molding but offers a much more affordable price tag and less maintenance.
Upgrades: If your mailbox is in the entryway, give it a quick inspection. If it's weathered, rusty, or just really plain, consider getting a new one. Function is great, but good form never hurts. Try to tie it in with your garden and architectural features. Add hardware to your door. Kickplates and door knockers aren't just practical, they are attractive. They are focal points and add contrast and visual interest. Replace your old, ratty doormat with something new and welcoming. Choose something weather-resistant, in a dark color that will hide the dirt. Replace your mat regularly to keep the entryway clean and fresh-looking -- don't wait for your mat to start fraying.
Design elements -- Add or replace address numbers. The numbers can provide a nice, homey touch as well as being practical. Add flowerpots, shrubs, or topiaries to the entryway. Large pots at either side of the entry frame it and draw the eye, add sophistication, and provide symmetry. Varying heights and unusual containers add visual interest. Bright flowers in the spring and summer are friendly and inviting, and ornamental plants in the winter can add a sense of vitality in the winter.