Making a good first impression is important when you’re welcoming visitors to your home – whether they are friends, family, potential buyers or tenants. Whether you’re doing a major renovation or just carrying out some minor improvements on your nest, working on creating an entry with visual impact will pay dividends.

Firstly, give the entrance curb appeal. Offer visitors clear access from the gate to the doorway by keeping plants or trees pruned back and removing any obstacles. For night-time entry, install an effective overhead light for the doorway, and use solar-powered lights to mark the pathway.

You can make the view of your entrance impressive from the street by using a striking colour and/or high-gloss paint to highlight the door. Matching of existing steps and railings to the colour of the door creates a visual pathway leading straight to the entrance.

Install shiny new door fittings such as handle/lock, knocker and security screen. If the street number is located near the entry, make it large and readable from a distance.

Add a bit of practical comfort with a well-designed bench seat, or small outdoor setting. This shouldn’t detract or block the entrance-way but serve as an aside feature that is functional while complimenting the façade.

Frame the entrance with tight hedging, or a group of pot-plants. Dark-coloured foliage and bright flowers look great against a neutral-coloured façade, or add nicely to a coastal, country, traditional or Mediterranean themed décor. Alternatively, use fragrant plants such as Daphne, Jasmine, Lavender, herbs or roses, to create a subtly perfumed welcome.

For those with an interest in feng shui, the front door directs energy to the rest of the house. The health and strength of the front door rely on a clear flow of energy, regular care and maintenance, a feng shui colour, and a structure consistent with the rest of the house.

Finally, make sure the approach to your entrance is visually impressive. Cement pavers amongst light coloured gravel, weathered stonework, hardwood decking, tiles or patterned brickwork may be the material that matches your outer décor. Choose a base and colour that complement the façade and offer a safe and stable surface.

When working on improving the entrance to your home, what you’re really trying to evoke is emotional appeal. This area is reasonably simple with few elements to install and maintain. Get the combination right, and you’ll be smiling every time you walk towards the door.

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