Does your home make you breathe a big sigh of relief when you walk in the door? It can, and should, though daily life oftentimes gets in the way of creating a space as beautiful and comfortable as we would like. Join us this week as we scout out inspiring entrances and share tips for pulling together a welcoming home, from appeal at the curb to creature comforts inside the door.
Home & Harmony
The welcoming process begins before you step foot inside, so pay attention to the front of your house first. This does not have to entail spending a lot of money, as it’s often the small touches that make the most difference. Go outside and take a few moments to consider the front of your home, imagining that you are visiting for the first time. What strikes you? What changes would you like to make?
Style notes: Giving your front door or porch ceiling a coat of blue paint is a great way to increase curb appeal. Always try to have something fresh and green near your door as well — even if it is simply a few branches plunked in a pretty bucket.
Tom Meaney Architect, AIA
Think about leading a guest from the sidewalk to your front door: Is there a gently curving path, or is it difficult to find the way to your door? If you have stairs, is there a proper railing within reach? Are porch lights working and turned on in the evening? Are house numbers clearly visible from the street?
Once the basics are in order, consider adding a few finishing touches to delight the senses:
- Create a peaceful atmosphere and mask street sounds with a small fountain.
- Plant jasmine, honeysuckle or rose near your front door and be greeted with delicious fragrance each time you come home.
- Add solar-powered garden lights along your walkway.
Deborah Needleman in her book The Perfectly Imperfect Home compares the entryway to “the butler we don’t have,” which is a wonderful way to think of this space. Under ideal conditions, it should graciously greet us at the door, find a place for our belongings and dole them out again when we leave.
Style notes: Because the entryway is usually a small space, it can be fun to be a bit more adventurous in this area. Try wallpaper, a bold mirror, a shapely pendant light, or all three.
Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.
A console table with a tray for mail on top and a bin for recycling beneath, hooks or pegs on the wall, good lighting and an ample mirror are always a winning combination. If you are lucky enough to have a coat closet nearby, you can skip the hooks and perhaps the recycling bin.
Style notes: A driftwood mirror, an iron table and a beadboard wall add up to a rustic-modern look that would be right at home in the city, the country or anywhere in between.
Tara Seawright Interior Design
Not much room? That doesn’t mean you can’t still make a bold style statement. A petite ottoman covered in a luxurious fabric looks chic and can hold a coat and bag. Add an extra-large mirror on the wall to create an expansive sense of space.
Style notes: Want to recreate a glam look? Plush velvet, curvy shapes, crystal (or anything with a bit of sparkle), silver and chinoiserie accents all bring to mind old Hollywood elegance.
Brian Watford Interiors
Built-ins can be a smart investment if you are working with an awkward entry. Try a window seat with integrated storage or tuck a coat closet into a nook beneath the stairs to convert previously unusable space.
For a really tight spot, look for wall-mounted solutions. Sconce lighting, floating shelves, decorative brackets and coat hooks are all great options. If the budget is as tight as the space, scour local flea markets for one-off finds like antique doorknobs (that can become coat hooks) and architectural castoffs that can be repurposed as wall shelves.
Style notes: An urn near the front door is a wise choice for decor. It looks great filled with flowers but makes a strong statement even when empty — and it can be pulled into duty as an impromptu doorstop.
Last, consider adding a personal touch, something that will make you smile each time you see it — whether it is as small as a special shell or stone or as large as this amazing photo mosaic.
Style notes: Matt and Kimberly Weishoff created the mosaic shown here by blowing up a favorite photo, then cutting it into sections that were used as an alternative to the traditional guest book at their wedding (read the how-to here).
Welcoming and Stylish Entryways
Entryways Take a Seat