Whenever anyone visits your home, the very first thing they'll see is the entrance. Your home's entrance creates a first impression, like it or not, which is why it's so important to make sure that it reflects your style, looks great, and feels welcoming.
First Things First: Your Front Door
Your front door should never be an afterthought. It's something that will be used by family, extended relatives, guests and neighbors again and again, day after day, and year after year.
A battered, creaky or otherwise worn-looking front door creates a bad first impression of your home. It can detract from curb appeal and make the rest of your home seem unkempt and neglected. For something that takes up relatively little space on your home's exterior, the front door packs a huge design punch! That means that if your front door is not the knock-out design element that you'd like it to be, it may be time to consider a change. In addition to improving your home's looks, a new door can also make your home more energy-efficient, which actually raises its value!
Here's how to go about choosing the right front door for your home ...
- Consider the direction your front door faces before choosing a wood front door. Why? Exposure to direct sunlight over time can crack timber-veneer doors. South-facing timber doors are the most vulnerable. Of course, there are things you can do to mitigate the damage. An overhang helps, as does a front porch. But if your front door faces south, you may want to consider an aluminum or fibreglass door instead of a hollow timbre one.
- Moisture is another factor to consider. Over the years, timber can be adversely affected by moisture, so it's important to be sure that pre-finished timber door has a durable stain and a high-gloss finish, and if you finish it yourself -- whether by painting it your favorite colour, or staining it, follow the same rule. Buy the most durable paint or stain you can find, and use a high-gloss finish, which not only protects the wood better, but also makes cleaning the door when necessary, easier.
- For some people, only timber will do for a front door, but if you want an affordable, low-maintenance alternative, fibreglass composite may be perfect for you. Durable and long-lasting, fibreglass composite doors also offer great insulation value thanks to their foam cores. Fibreglass doors also resist dents, warping, rot and rust, making them an excellent choice for a harsh climate.
- Metal doors can dent, but repairs are relatively easy to make using an automobile-repair kit. A paneled steel door can have great insulating properties, and is cheaper than either solid timber or fibreglass composite. However, it also has a shorter lifespan and since it conducts temperature and is subject to rust, it probably isn't the best choice for an extremely hot, humid or cold environment.
- From a design standpoint, if you want to make a really grand entrance statement, consider an extra-wide front door with sidelights. It will definitely become a focal point all on its own! So will something like a pivoting front door or one that's been custom-designed for your home.
Once you've chosen a new front door that enhances your home's exterior, it's time to consider some other important aspects of your front entrance -- namely, is it well-lit and is the lighting that's currently in place enhancing -- or detracting from your home's curb appeal?
Your home's overall style is an important thing to consider when choosing lighting since lighting that clashes with its design style can really detract from the beauty of your entry. If your home is traditional, stick with more classic lantern-type lighting and avoid the ultra-sleek styles that better enhance a modern or angular home. And don't think you have to stick with sconces. If you have a porch or a portico surrounding your front door, use the ceiling to hang a beautiful oversized light fixture!
Plants and Other Embellishments
The embellishments you choose for your front porch, front steps, or even those you hang on the door, should also reflect elements of your home's exterior. For example, if your home's front door is in the center of the front of the home, and windows are similarly symmetrically placed, consider a symmetrical arrangement such as an urn with flowers or topiaries on either side of the front door. Here are some other ideas for punching up the style of your front entry ...
- Add a portico or an overhang. Not only will it give your front door more "presence", it also offers shelter from the weather for guests waiting for you to answer the doorbell.
- Consider adding a charm-filled screen door to a farmhouse or a coastal cottage. (There are even versions that fit well with a thoroughly modern exterior.)
- Hang seasonal wreaths to welcome each season -- use traditional evergreens in winter, a flower filled wreath in springtime, summery shells or blooms in summer and bright orange, gold and nature-inspired elements in the autumn.
- Decorate a front porch with comfortable wicker furniture, outdoor rockers, or a porch swing to make it feel welcoming and inviting to family and guests alike.
- Add some bold, oversized house numbers and light them with a sconce so they're visible by both day and night. (This idea is practical as well as style-enhancing since it enables first-responders like firefighters or police to find your home easily and quickly during an emergency where every minute counts!)
Your front entry -- starting with your front door -- is your home's focal point, a fact that makes it well worth the time it takes to do a bit of planning to make sure it enhances the overall look of your home and extends a welcoming feeling to visitors! If you're shopping for a new front door, be sure to take a look at the incredible selection of doors available at Parkwood Doors. All of our doors -- whether solid timber, fibreglass or aluminum -- have incredible warranties and are crafted with attention to detail, and with an intrinsic understanding of the importance of "making an entrance" that your guests are sure to remember!