How to Make Your Exterior Entry Pretty and Welcoming

Even if you think you have a lovely foyer in your home, your entry also extends to the outside of your home.  It all depends on which direction you are going!

So it pays to take a look at the front of your home, or at least at the entrance that most people use when they visit to make sure it is telling the world what you want the world to know about you and your family.  I know this can be difficult, but you can start by looking at your home as if you were a stranger.  I find that if I can do this, I can see my house in a whole new light making me more open to doing things I never would have thought of before.

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I’m using this entry as my example for you.  As you can see, in the “before”, it consisted of a single red entry door and a bronze screen door.  There is a second door to the garage, a small deck or stoop as it used to be called, we had some lighting and that’s about it.

The couple that lives in this home has taken stock of their entry and they’ve started to do something about it.  They started at the most important part of your entry – your front door.  Now let’s talk about this for a while….The old door was wood and painted a bold red.  They did have a storm door that was in a bronze color so the two contrasted a bit.  The issue was that the wood door was a very poor insulator and was letting too much cold air inside.  Also, this front entry gets a fair amount of direct sunlight so the paint finish wasn’t holding up as well as they would like. 1entry2

They had two alternatives to buying wood again: steel and fiberglass. They chose a ProVia fiberglass door for its insulation properties and because they could have the beauty of a stained wood door, without the maintenance.  I’ll bet you thought this was real wood…it’ll fool almost everyone!

But it’s the color that I want to talk to you about.  How do you go about selecting a color for your front door?  Well, whenever you select any color whether it’s for a carpet, a wall or even a pillow, you first consider the colors surrounding it.  For instance, this house is painted a lovely deep sage green.  It is grayed enough to be considered almost a neutral.

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Knowing where your houses body color is located in color space can really help you figure out what colors would look best as accents with it.  For instance, colors that are opposite your color are some of the boldest accents you can use.  Since this house is green, its opposite would be red.  A bold, bright red like the original door looked nice with this house.  We have opposites working here with the green and red, but the green is very neutral and the red is the bright bold accent!

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However, it’s all about what you want to say to the world when you select your colors, so if you wanted to say less, you might use this deeper, spicier Mountain Berry which would be gorgeous and a bit more understated.  See what I mean?

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A more subtle combination would be to select a color closer to the houses body color on the color wheel, like a blue or a yellow. These are neighboring colors and the blend together in a comfortable way.

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Again, since the body color is very neutral, to stay more subtle you would have to select a more neutral color in the blue or yellow range like Enzian Blue or the most neutral of yellows, Rustic Bronze.

Now if you are asking how this is supposed to help you because your house is yellow or blue, I’m trying to teach you how to use a color wheel to give you options when you are selecting accent colors for your home.  So start on the wheel with YOUR house color and go across the wheel for something bold or stay close to your house color for something subtle…and neutrals, of course, are more subtle than brights!

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OR, you can try some of the great software out there that will help you visualize the colors on your own home! This is a photo of the entry we are talking about colorized with ProVia Door’s Software. Pretty realistic wouldn’t you say?

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OK, now, let’s talk about what this couple actually chose.  I told you they chose a ProVia fiberglass door, but they elected to have a wood stain finish put on it which in color terms is a brown!  So they chose to go neutral and the brown is very nice with their neutral green body color.

Having a glass insert is more than just beautiful, it offers some visibility and of course, it helps to bring in natural light to an entry that is a bit too dark.

And I know you don’t need to be reminded, but a wood stained door enhances the look of the interior as well!

Notice too that their storm door is a retractable screen door which I just have to tell you about because it is so cool.  At a moment’s notice you can open your entry door and enjoy fresh breezes by sliding over the retractable screen.  PLUS, if you happen to push the screen out of the track – no problem, just return the screen to its stored position and slide it out again to return the screen to its proper position.  Wild huh?

So this couple has a great beginning to their entry makeover; a lovely front door that works beautifully with their home.1entry9

So, what’s next?  Well, lighting is another important entry detail and I am so excited to say that if you haven’t shopped for lighting recently, you haven’t seen lighting!!  There are so many different, creative designs out there to purchase right off the shelf.

Try selecting a style that reflects the style of your home or picks up any metal tones you are already using.  Scale is important too and most fixtures come in at least two different sizes.

I think after lighting, I start to hone in on the presence or lack of architectural detail.  Maybe your entry could use a column and arch or perhaps a railing or two?  I think this home could use a little more detailing.  The front door window is quite elaborate and then the rest of the entry seems to be a bit bland.  A railing on this stoop maybe painted in the trim color? And perhaps staining the wood decking would help.  But until that work can be completed, perhaps the addition of some outdoor furniture would perk this space up.

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You can’t deny that a bench makes sense!  It would be the perfect place to sit and remove your running shoes or muddy boots after working in the yard.  It’s a great place for incoming and outgoing packages, or if you aren’t a stickler for function, you could just say that this bench creates a warm welcoming feeling at the entry and be happy with that!

And you know what?  I am happy with the bench here.  I like that the angle sort of directs you to the front door, but there is still room for…what?  What can’t I live without?  Accessories!  Of course!

As you can see, I hopped right on that and added some outdoor pillows on the bench that I would take in if it was going to be stormy.  I chose some of that bright red we were talking about earlier for the door and put it instead on the seat cushions.  The throw pillows could get their color inspiration from the flowers in a wreath or whatever art you have on the wall above…1entry11

One of the most important accessories for safety is your house address, and this home could use some house numbers!  And I don’t mean the old boring black ones, something new and interesting, maybe like these.  They pick up the tone of the door and the lighter ones would stand out nicely against the dark house color.  They could be stacked since the siding runs vertically, or angled, even just mounted horizontally, they add interest and important information.  You know I’ve had several EMT’s tell me that they have the hardest time finding house numbers.  And we all know that in an emergency, seconds count so get your house numbers out where everyone can see them!

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Once those are up, we also need something decorative above the bench.  The large blank wall could benefit from an interesting floral arrangement that could change out for the seasons.  Or, if you aren’t into floral, add a piece of architectural detailing – an old window, a sculpture, wrought iron designs, an exterior picture – you do know they make art pieces for outside?

Well, we decided to use both floral and art!  The combination looked great and filled up the empty wall space.

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For the stoop or decking, an outdoor area rug warms this up a bit until there’s time to add a stain or do some refinishing.  A runner does the trick since the deck is a rectangular shape.

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Then, the addition of some live potted flowers and plants finish off this entry.

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Looks pretty nice doesn’t it?  It has now become an area that has truly enhanced the look and feel of this home.  So keep that in mind the next time you are looking for a cozy place to sit and enjoy a drink or a good book – that place just might be your outdoor entry!

Shari

For more information on ProVia Fiberglass Doors please visit them at ProViaProducts.com

Comments

  1. Sheila Kercheville says

    Shari, I love this porch idea, but my problem is, as with many of the photos on your site… Their too small!! I cannot see the details very well and I know I am missing something!! Please, see what you can do to allow your pictures to be clicked on and enlarged! Thanks!!

    • Shari Hiller says

      Thank you for the input, Sheila. I’m going to talk to our super web guy and see what he says about that!!!

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