Entryway — published on October 23, 2008

Making an Entrance

COLOR, COMPOSITION AND CUSTOMIZATION

The integration of these three key concepts can ‘make or break’ the way that a home is perceived by visitors, upon entering from the outdoors to inside the home. Whether preparing an existing home for sale or anticipating the purchase of a home in the near future, explore the advantages that thoughtfully considered paint applications can provide with regard to re-energizing a home’s entrance.

With today’s emphasis on everything ‘natural’, shrubs, foliage and flowers assist with the creation of harmonious transitioning from the outdoors to inside of the home. Colorfully painted hanging flower baskets sharing an identical color scheme can be fashioned to stylishly mimic or contrast with the home’s exterior paint color. Generously mass the hanging baskets around the entire perimeter of a covered porch in order to lend fresh fragrance, an abundance of color and interesting texture beginning with the outdoor area and continuing onward to the entrance of the home’s interior. The same concept may easily be applied to a deck that wraps around the home. Simply substitute hanging flower baskets for window boxes that attach to the perimeter of the deck. Carry the natural theme inside the front entrance by greeting visitors with festively painted planters. (Dried or silk flowers and plants offer a practical alternative for homeowners lacking the time or inclination to maintain living flowers and plants.) Consider painting the planters using a color palette that reflects the wall covering colors that permeate the front entrance.

Nature’s colors can also reflect strong hues. If your home lacks an abundance of natural light, why not take advantage of one of today’s popular bold hues, creating a dramatic front entrance focal point that guests will not soon forget. Rich forest green, bronze gold and deep marine blue are a few of today’s hottest bold, earthy choices. Two oversized, painted planters that sport generously overflowing greenery can be placed symmetrically on either side of an entrance door, representing a harmonious natural focal point that graciously transitions the outdoors to indoors for family and guests entering the home.

Once inside the home, there is a multitude of ways that nature can display its presence, illuminating our natural environment as we enter and leave our home. Instead of overlooking the garage area, why not spotlight the space? Painting interior walls, ceiling and even floors in any of today’s contemporary neutral shades adds fresh, modern appeal to the space that is no longer used simply to park our cars! The door that leads from the garage into the home can be painted using a flattering tone reflecting two or three shades deeper than the adjacent walls to further demonstrate stylish use of color. Applying a decorative trim around the door, and painting the trim in a contrasting color draws viewer attention to the desired color palette and further personalizes the garage space. A palette of relaxing natural hues, such as muted moss green, subtle sandy brown, pale wheat or weathered gray provides a soothing escape upon entrance into the home, further accentuating the desired theme.

Providing a practical place to drop ‘things’ once inside the home, need not sacrifice style! Any entrance to the home can benefit from the addition of a compact table or shelf to place house keys, mail and other small daily necessities. When highlighted in an underutilized location that offers maximum impact, these decorative accessories offer an attractive point of interest (particularly when painted using a color palette that echoes the wall coverings, ceiling and floor covering belonging to the entranceway and surrounding area). Consider repeating a stenciled motif that has been used to frame the doorway on the face of the table or shelf for a truly custom appearance. Meandering vines and leaves represent fresh botanical stencil pattern options that harmoniously integrate the exterior facade with the home interior.

The visual perception of the natural world offers a serene environment that any homeowner would welcome at the end of a hectic day. Consider the many ways that nature’s beauty can be incorporated within the framework of your existing home, to seamlessly assimilate the exterior with the interior. Painted applications manipulate the use of color and materials, lending significance to the natural theme and uniquely personalizing any entrance to the home.

Entryway — published on April 6, 2008

Adding Curb Appeal

An entryway has the unique position of welcoming visitors to a home and setting the mood for the rest of the house. A front door design theme can be carried from the exterior to the interior and throughout the entire home. Since today’s door manufacturers offer an abundance of striking entry systems that are compatible with most budgets, it’s possible to create a million dollar look for almost any home.

By adding sidelights and transoms, you can can create an elegant entry system. Transoms are shaped windows, usually with decorative glass, above a door. Sidelights are windows, with decorative or clear glass, that frame a door. Included below are tips to create an impressive entry system to fit most budgets.

Even with a limited budget, homeowners can create an impressive entrance. Fiberglas, steel and composite doors are now crafted to emulate the look of wood, while offering energy-efficiency. Steel doors are extremely strong and cost-efficient; Fiberglas doors resist rusting, cracking and splitting; composite doors withstand all types of weather. These types of doors are low-maintenance and cost-effective.

With a more open budget, a homeowner can select from a wider range of entryway designs. Whether the home is stucco, brick or wood-sided, wood doors make a remarkable upgrade to the front of most houses. Wood doors are offered in a variety of species, including oak, fir and pine to fit the homeowner’s personal style.

An inviting entryway can be fashioned within any budget. By creating a unique doorway, a homeowner can change the look of the entire house and increase curb appeal with an inviting, new exterior.

Entryway — published on March 27, 2008

Entryway Curb Appeal

When it comes to creating curb appeal, your entryway plays a major role. Your entryway should be very attractive, neat and inviting to prospective home buyers. The appearance of your entryway can make or break your curb appeal. And that makes all the difference in the world when it comes to prospective home buyers.

The first step in creating an inviting entryway is the front door. Your front door says “Hello, come on in!” to potential buyers. To maximize curb appeal, paint your front door an imaginative color. This will just light up your entryway! You can choose something that matches or offsets your shutters. For example, if your house is white and your shutters are black, try a bright red front door! It’s cheery, and it will get your entryway noticed! Few colors attract the eye and stimulate the psyche more than red.

To bring a cohesive and charming look to your entryway, add accents that harmonize with the door. For example, if you have a red door, you can paint your mailbox red, too! Or maybe you prefer an eggplant door for your entryway to offset your beige vinyl siding; you can paint your house numbers eggplant, too.

You can also add other elements to your entryway to maximize visual appeal. For example, you can add a large terra cotta planter, and plant annuals in a color that harmonize with your door. Petunias work well in a sunny entryway, and impatiens do well in shade. And both varieties will provide color from spring through early fall. Be sure to choose bright, vivid colors that will draw potential homebuyers’ eyes to your entryway! You should note that pansies, although adorable, will wither by late spring in all but cool, northern climates.

Regardless of what color you choose for your entryway door, go for a storm door with the largest view area possible. A full-view storm door, one whose entire face is glass, can help make your entryway more inviting.

And when you’re creating curb appeal with your entryway, don’t forget that all the elements you use should complement one another. In other words, the style of the door knocker, mail box, lights and any flower planters you use should harmonize with each other. For example, if you live in a Cape Cod house in an historic neighborhood, an antique style mailbox that says “Post” coupled with a flower planter placed on an antique white cottage chair will lend charm.

Now here’s the final touch for your entryway to exude ultimate curb appeal: Add a decorative element, such as a wreath or a flag. A wreath hung on an entryway is very welcoming and reminiscent of the comforts of home. A flag will help attract the eye to the entryway, but make sure it displays an image that appeals to the broadest audience possible; elegant flowers are a sure bet.