Come On In, Y’all!

Behavioral studies show us that we have seven seconds to make a first impression… and we don’t get a second chance.

Would this same rationale not apply to the exterior curb appeal of our home and how guests feel when they first walk up?

Just like a good, strong handshake or warm smile, our front door sets the tone for our homes. You can either lure guests in or bore them. Your front entry should be inviting and clearly say, “Come on in, y’all!” to everyone who sees it.

Here are some ways to greet your guests with a proper welcome:

Open Door Policy

Be sure the actual profile of your front door matches with the architecture of your home. Perhaps you have not had the time or money to invest in renovating the exterior of your home, but changing the door can make a big difference for minimal out-of-pocket expense.

The study of door configurations above shows a reference for the various styles on the market.

  1. Full Light Glass: simple, modern style that allows natural light to the entryway. Pair with Modern, Contemporary, Ranch, Midcentury style homes.

2.Two-Panel with Decorative Glass: a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright and the Craftsman movement

  1. Three-Panel Solid: This door has great flexibility and works well with different architectural styles. I’ve paired it with Bungalows, Craftsman and even Contemporary homes.
  2. Half Lite, Two-Panel with Arch Top: More traditional in style, the arch top adds a softness to the entry. The top half of the door is glass, so the doorway is very inviting for guests.
  3. Nine-Lite Door: Colonial in nature, this door pairs well with various styles.
  4. Cottage Style: The paneling works well with Bungalows, Coastal and Cottage style homes.
  5. Five-Lite: Mid-century modern lines, with five glass panels, evenly spaced.

If you are comfortable, I suggest having a touch of glass on your front door. The transparency of glass makes a door psychologically more inviting. For added privacy, opt for a small pane at the top of the door.

As I mentioned last month, do not be afraid to paint your door an exciting, inviting color that will pop visually from the curb. Painting the front door is a simple way to create personality on the exterior of your home.

Frame the Entry

Picture your entryway from a camera lens…if you were to snap a photo of it right now, would it be framed beautifully or fall flat? Creating dimension is the key.

An easy way to do this is by adding planters on either side to balance the door. Check out Modernica for modern ceramic options.

Terrain also has a variety of planters to choose from.

Add Lighting

Lighting the walk path and front porch is necessary for the safety of your guests. Install motion detector fixtures at the corners of your home, especially near the driveway and main access points.

Beyond safety, lighting adds warmth and friendliness to your entry. You know when you first meet someone, if they look you in the eye and smile, you automatically feel more welcomed. Lighting is THAT layer to your home.

I encourage you to explore lighting options and decorative coach lights that accentuate your front door.

A few of my favorites:

Gooseneck barn lights

Art Deco beauties

Copper gas lanterns, straight from the heart of New Orleans

Install new hardware

The hardware is the final accessory to the front door, so be sure it is updated and matches the style.

Like a good, solid handshake on that first introduction, the doorknob to your home is the very first tangible object your guest touches. Use a quality material and finish that feels strong and complements your personal style choices.

Use a Door Mat with Personality

Finally, before your guest takes that first step into your sanctuary, you have one last place to make a lasting impression…the door mat.

Whether you choose to say something funny, or just leave a kind gesture, give your guest something to take away as they enter and exit your home.

Funny: The Neighbors Have Better Stuff door mat

Welcoming: Good Day door mat