Front Door Fix-up

Seven simple ways to give your front entry a makeover

You may have heard that windows are the soul of your home (of course, we ARE biased), and we agree—a fenestrational freshen-up is an excellent way to change the look of your home! But when it comes to fast fixups, making an impression, and boosting curb appeal, don’t forget about your front door and entryway.

Often overlooked in favor of more expansive projects like new siding or windows, sprucing up your front entryway can have a major impact—with minimal effort! This month, we’ve got a variety of tips on how to design your front door for maximum curb appeal.

Count On It

Want instant eye-catching entry appeal…with a minimal amount of effort? You would be surprised how much porch panache a new set of house numbers can bring. It seems like a small change, but the effect can be large. House numbers can be a striking standout accent, or a subtle complement to the design theme. decorating and landscaping tips, will up your home's curb appeal for a more inviting appearance.

Want to try a vintage/throwback look? Swap house numbers for letters, spelling out your address if space allows. It’s elegant and classic and really lets you showcase a favorite font.

Pro tip: Make sure your numbers are at least 4 inches tall so you can see them from the street.

Décor Dazzle

When it comes to your front entry, a little can go a long way—meaning a few quality pieces can really set the tone. Choose a few attention-grabbing elements—stylish lighting or sconces, new hardware on your door, or tiles inset into your steps can all add bling without breaking the budget.

Add a few architectural details such as decorative brackets, moldings, columns, and trim for an extra pop. Already have them, and like what you’ve got? Give them a boost with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Choosing a contrasting color for the trim can make these architectural details really pop.

Speaking of painting—you can also paint your concrete steps for a custom look. Just make sure to use a concrete-sealing primer, as well as non-skid concrete paint. Freehand fashion a faux stair runner, use a stencil to create a tile-like pattern, or simply add a splash of solid color.

Light It Up

Outdoor lighting elements can be the workhorses of your front porch perk-up. Not only can you use the fixtures as décor elements, they can also enhance convenience and safety. 

Motion-sensing lights near the front door are an energy-conscious way to add a bit of security. Use low-voltage solar lights to illuminate pathways without impacting your energy bill—they come in myriad styles, colors, and designs to match just about any look.

String lights are another popular trend in exterior lighting—they can mark walkways or add a bit of welcoming warmth to a front porch seating area.

All in the (Color) Family

For a quick coordinated refresh, accessorize your front stoop with colorful accents made up of analogous colors. An analogous color scheme is one made up of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, and it is great for adding energy to your entryway. Put pops of color into planters and pots, patio furniture, throw pillows, welcome mats, and more. All are easily swapped out if you decide to try a different color palette next year. 

Color Me Inspired

If you’re not afraid of color, and want to try something a little more permanent than accent pieces, give that old front door new life with a coat of paint (or three). Painting a front door is not difficult to do—although you should be sure to follow all of the steps in the process to ensure the best results…the cleaning and prep, the necessary number of coats with appropriate dry time, and the working when temperatures are in the appropriate window. Check out Real Simple’s guide for tips on how to get started.

Which color to choose? Neutrals are timeless—shades of black, white, grey, brown, or navy can be found for virtually any home style. But if you feel adventurous… a bright paint color can make the whole front of your home pop, while a darker shade can help the exterior feel elegant and sophisticated. 

Red is never boring—and somehow manages to be both timeless and modern. It adds energy and a welcoming air.

Try a tangerine orange to convey fun, joy, and playfulness. It’s a great pop of color, especially for an otherwise neutral home. It pairs well with sage greens for an understated look, but can also go with bright pastels for a beachy vibe.

The inherent energy of yellow means it is perfect for a welcoming front entry. It’s a ray of sunshine in your day, and can give you a little pick me up when you return home after a long day.

Blues and greens run the gamut from the calming and serene—think blue-grey or sage—to the invigorating and exciting of such colors as turquoise or lime.

Sit, Stay

Nothing creates a warm welcome like a cute and comfy spot to sit and read a book, chat with neighbors, or relax with a glass of iced tea on a hot day. A swing or glider on a covered porch is as relaxing as it sounds. 

If you have the space, a weather-resistant patio furniture set—loveseat and/or chairs plus a coffee table—can define an outdoor room and make a great place for hanging with the neighbors for happy hour. 

Short on space? A bistro set is a compact addition that can fit on many porches and is a perfect spot to relax outdoors with a cup of coffee or to sit and play a few hands of cards as you watch the world go by. You can also do a bench with comfy pillows or a couple of overstuffed poufs for seating, as well.

Tie it all together with a fun rug or a painted floor, and a few accent pieces like side tables or patio pots.

Green Thumbs Up

Like our friend and designer Laurie March always says, plants are one of the easiest ways to change your décor. Your front landscaping can go a long way in freshening your façade.

Cut back overgrown plantings that block views of the front door, impede access to walkways, or cover up your windows. 

Your walkway adds character and charm—so showcase it with a border of mulch and shrubs, flowers, or decorative grasses.

Placing containers of flowers near the front entry is an easy and inexpensive way to add a dose of eye-catching color. Vary the size and shape of containers to add interest. Check out our article on container gardening for some inspiration. Pro tip: don’t forget to consider the light levels—if you have a covered porch or front entry that is shielded from much of the daytime sun, be sure to choose flowers that do well in the shade.

For another budget-friendly front entry idea with a lower maintenance level, densely plant garden beds with a combination of perennials. Select varieties that have different bloom times and you can have color and visual interest throughout the growing season.

Door Dash

It’s an investment—but one that can pay dividends. Probably the most surefire way to dramatically change the look of the front of your home is with a new front door. Make a bold statement with solid wood; let the view go both ways with an all-glass door; make it modern, rustic, or traditional by changing the detailing. 

Open up your front entry with full-length windows called sidelights on one or both sides of your door. It makes your front door pop, and will bring additional light into your home, making your entry seem larger. Use grille styles to underscore your design style.

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