Outdoor Entry: Add A Welcoming Room To Your House

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By Barbara Kaplan –

Is the outside entry to your home welcoming and a good representation of the way you want people to enter your lifestyle? This area is an opportunity to make a good first impression. The outside entry of a home can give a wonderful feeling of anticipation for the people who are about to enter. What feeling do you offer them as they wait to be invited in?

Many homes today don’t have formal entries. This makes the outside area of your front door even more important. It’s the place people are waiting to be greeted. Here in just a few seconds your guests’ attitude begins. As they cross the threshold the tone is set as to how they will feel in your home.

At my front door, I have created an actual entry. I have a bench on one side, and an entry table and mirror on the other side. Potted plants and a fountain finish the look. People tell me that when they come up to my front door, they feel peaceful. When I entertain, I often put candles, flowers or a theme accessory on the table to express a special personal and welcoming message.

Are you aware how you feel when you approach someone’s front door? Is the bell clean and easy to find? We don’t think about cleaning our doorbells. However, the doorbell is the first thing people touch when they visit our homes.

Here are some questions you might like to consider about your outside entry.

  • Does your front door correspond to the architecture of your home or the style of your interior and is it in good condition?
  • Does the handle compliment the door design?
  • Is the doormat the right scale for the size of the entry and does the color match the scheme?

DOOR MAT HINT: Buy an oversized mat and turn it at a 90-degree angle, like a runner. This way, people have a few more steps to wipe their shoes. Make sure it’s the kind of mat that really captures the dirt from your shoes. The dust and dirt that enters our home from our shoes is what soils and destroys carpets. If dirt is caught outside, we have less to clean later.

At night, lighting is important, too. You can light the outside entry from a chandelier above (which is harder to clean) or you can place sconces on the walls. Of course, make sure the bell is lighted, too. The walkway to your entry can be dramatic. Use just enough light to illuminate the path to the front door. Drama can also come from well-lighted plants.

If you haven’t done so already, experience what it’s really like to come into your home by the front door. See how your guests feel. You might like it so much you will decide to pull your car into the garage and come in through your front door all the time.

And remember, even outdoor rooms have no feelings, YOU DO!


  1. Great article — home improvement ideas such as this are great for increasing the value of your home. Do you recommend certain types of entry doors, such as ones that bring more or less light into the front home area?

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