Front Door Decorating Ideas

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First impressions can only be made once, so be sure the entryway to your home is creating the positive response you want. Your front entry sets the tone for your entire home. Don’t let scruffy paint, dead plants or tired hardware take away from the appearance of your house. Take a weekend to focus on sprucing up the entryway, and your entire home will benefit.

Clean It Up

You will be amazed at the difference a thorough cleaning can make. Paint will appear brighter, the concrete or brick floor will look renewed, and even the overhang of the porch will be refreshed. Your entryway makeover should start with cleaning the entire area.

  • Sweep the walkway and entry.
  • Throw out any dead plants; remove any rubbish or items that don’t belong.
  • Use a power washer or hose with jet nozzle to wash the walls, door and floor of your entry.
  • Dust away cobwebs.

Freshen Up With Paint

A fresh, clean coat of paint on your front door will improve the entire entry. While white or black are always appropriate colors, consider adding spice to your house by going with a bright front door. A forest green or deep red are excellent choices that match most typical house colors, and add a cheerful touch without being overwhelming.

  • If your house has entry steps leading up to the front door, paint any railing or balustrades. Black wrought iron, or wooden trim painted to match the house trim will be fresh and tidy looking.

Vintage Lighting Vintage Lighting Vintage Lighting

Replace the Hardware

Now that your door is freshly painted, replace the hardware with bright, new models. A new doorknob, deadbolt lock, and hinges will make your door look brand new.

  • Replace your doorbell with a new unit that has a pleasing ring or tone. Look for one with attractive metal embellishments around the button.
  • Adorn your door with a doorknocker that adds flair, or hang a wreath to make your home welcoming.

Improve the Lighting

You can find a vast assortment of outdoor lighting fixtures at any home improvement center. Replace your entry light with a stylish new fixture, looking for one that matches any wrought iron trim, or the metal of your front doorknob.

  • Use energy-efficient bulbs that are yellow and won’t attract flying insects.
  • Light your front walkway thoroughly, especially near any steps. If you don’t have electrical wiring in place, you can purchase solar fixtures that install as easily as pushing them into the ground.

Renew Plant Beds

  • Liven up any plant beds near your entryway.
  • Remove any dead plants.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Work some compost into the soil.
  • Plant with new perennials or annual flowers that are suitable for the location’s light.
  • Trim shrubs to a tidy shape.
  • Edge grass, and replace any plastic or wood edging strips that are missing or damaged.
  • Prune tree branches that hang too low over your entry.

Show Off Potted Plants

Be sure to have at least one pot of flowers near your front door. If you like a formal style, and have the room, matching pots on each side of the door look very traditional and inviting. For a less formal look, or if your entry has space on only one side of the front door, use an odd number of pots.

  • Your containers don’t have to all be the same; in fact, it is more interesting if they don’t exactly match. They should share at least one common characteristic though, to avoid a clashing appearance. Use pots that are the same in color, material or shape.

Fill them with easy-care flowers such as:

  • Marigolds
  • Geraniums
  • Impatiens
  • Petunias
  • Chrysanthemums

Add a Water Feature or Furniture

If your entry is large enough, a rocker or small bench is very welcoming, and provides a nice place to sit and watch the world go by. A coat of white paint and an outdoor chair cushion in a cheerful, bright print will make an instant impression.

Consider adding a small fountain near your front entry. The sound of water is very pleasant and tranquil, and makes guests feel at ease. You can:

  • Hang a wall fountain.
  • Place a small, traditional fountain in a plant bed by the entrance.
  • Install a tiny waterfall fountain in a corner of a plant bed.

Make Your Address Easy to See

Having your home clearly marked with the address number has several benefits.

  • Emergency personnel can easily find your address.
  • Visitors can spot the right number.
  • You can add a decorative touch with the address.

Depending on the style of your home, you might want to install a beautiful mosaic with your address, hang brass numerals, or even install a lighted plaque with the address.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, effort or money to make a big difference in your front entryway. Spend a weekend making small improvements, and your home will be more welcoming, attractive and pleasing to you and your visitors.

Last Updated: December 29, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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