Tips for a Welcoming Front Entrance

Your front door area should extend a warm welcome to anyone who stops by. For better or worse, it’s the first impression people have of your home (and sometimes, of you). It doesn’t have to take much time or money to transform this important space.

A little bit of planning and a few quick replacements will make the area right outside your front door look intentional and put-together. And with a few minor improvements to the indoors, that feeling will stay as people walk through the front door. Read on for a few suggestions to improve this often-neglected space.


The walkway to your front door should be at least three feet wide so that people can walk shoulder-to-shoulder without anything obstructing them. If you have any bushes in the way or any branches that extend over the path to your door, get out some gardening shears and cut them back.

Make sure you have a well-lit pathway. Solar-powered lights are an inexpensive and incredibly easy way to add light anywhere. Just stick them in the ground—no wiring required. Check out these and these.

Paint your door a bright color so that it stands out from the other houses on your street. A deep, glossy sheen usually looks nice (check this out for some ideas). Consider a door knocker like this one or this one to add a bit of personality to your door. And pay attention to the door hardware—either polish or replace it.

At the same time, think about replacing any dingy or outdated light fixtures that are nearby. Match door and light fixtures for a streamlined look—oiled bronze is good for traditional homes, and brushed nickel is a nice choice for modern homes.

Make sure the street number on your home is easily visible from the street. And don’t forget to look at your mailbox. Check that it’s straight, that it doesn’t have any dings or dents, and that it closes properly.

A few other easy additions are a brightly colored welcome mat and tall plants, one on either side of the doorway. Make sure they are symmetrical. And last, don’t forget to sweep yard debris and clutter away from your front door!


Extend your classy entryway to the indoors. An entryway needs flooring that can stand up to heavy traffic. Adhesive vinyl squares are inexpensive and very easy to install. You can even arrange them in an interesting pattern, as long as it meshes with adjacent flooring.

If you don’t have a dedicated foyer, create the illusion of one by using a room divider to separate the entryway from the living area. A bookshelf or a screen works well for this (look at this video for more details).

If you have the space, add a few more decorative items or another piece of furniture. A table or console, especially one with a lamp, is a nice touch.  A bench (get one that has storage room, like this) is great for people who want to sit down and take off their shoes.

Don’t forget a focal point—a large piece of art, a sculpture, or a gallery wall of photos are good options. And a mirror, especially one that is positioned to catch sunlight, can help light up a dim entryway.

If you store umbrellas, coats, or shoes near the door, find ways to contain them so that people don’t have to navigate around such items when they come into your home. Look at this article for more visual inspiration.

Photo by David Sawyer

Nice newsletter. Good article. Good information. Thank you. Carol

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What are the advantages of a score over 800

Thank you Mike for this information. As a residential realtor the information that you provide is crucial to a successful transaction for my clients. You are indeed a pleasure to recommend to all of my clients. You are so professional, thorough, conscientious and pleasant to work with. !!

Hi Dane! Wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. Am I right in saying that on whichever remodel is done you still take a loss rather than an increase in value - the ROI will never exceed 100% of cost?