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Home Entrancing Entrances
Entrancing Entrances PDF Print E-mail

Do’s and Don’ts For Your Front Entranceway

Our clients' wishes for the entrances to their homes generally fall into two categories. They want their entryways to:

  • welcome them home; to soothe away the stresses of the outside world, refresh their spirits and make them happy.
  • set the mood they want their guests to feel and prepare them for the happy experience that they’ll find behind the front door.

Hazel suggests taking the following steps to create an entrancing entrance:



1. Have it speak to who YOU are, not to your neighbors

Your front entry can be a place where you introduce your guests to your personal style. Express yourself by choosing between the following style ideas:

2. Provide seasonal interest

Using seasonal change is a great way to add a sense of wonder to your front entrance. A container can overflow with flowers or greens of the season on your stoop. Objects such as a bundle of wheat hanging next to the door remind us of the fall harvest season, or a sunny straw hat can welcome you home in the summer.

3. Engage as many of your senses as you can

Awakening the senses with beauty at the entrance to your home will put you and your guests in a positive mood. Fragrant flowers or herbs, the trickle of a fountain or stream, a soft or vibrant color palette at the entrance to your home can put you or your guests in a positive mood. Try adding a bush laden with berries to your foundation plantings so you can grab a handful on your way in your front door after a hard day's work.

4. Draw the eye to your door naturally

One of the best ways to call attention to your front door is with color. Paint or stain it in a color that contrasts with your home. Brightly colored flowers, vines and containers also work well.

5. The entrance should be a series of events – not too many or too few

Capture the interest of your guests by providing them with a mood-enhancing experience as they approach the door. Placing a pond next to the walkway can soothe even the most frazzled nerves. A bench along the way triggers an instant reminder to the viewer to relax and slow down as they enter.

6. The importance of evergreens

Winters can get really long without the respite of green around your entranceway. To make winter plantings even more interesting, vary the sizes and shades of the leaves.

7. Integrate the outdoors with the indoors

Blur the boundaries of outdoors and indoors by using a door that is largely made of glass. You can also use the same flooring material in your foyer as you have on the floor of your courtyard, landing, or porch.

8. Respect the flow of space needed for comfort – not too narrow or too wide

This is especially important with front walkways. The ideal path to your front door should accommodate two people walking side by side – usually five feet wide, or six feet for a larger home.

9. Light the way

One of the best ways to freshen up a tired-looking entry is to update the lights around the front door (unless you’re fond of 50’s style décor). Lighting the pathways that lead to your door can create an enchanted forest look if your home has several large trees in the front yard.

10. The difference is in the details

Nothing speaks of your personality as much as the details you choose to adorn your entry. Put pillows made of weather-resistant fabric on benches, porch swings, and chairs. Hang a unique address plate next to the front door.

Wort’s Worst Ways To Design Your Front Entrance – (who’s Wort?)


  • Plant shrubs that will grow too big and cover the path to the front door.

  • Build the steps up to your front door using the wrong ‘riser/tread’ relationship, making it difficult to get up the stairs. (To avoid that situation, the rise, or vertical part of the step, should measure six inches high, and the tread, or horizontal part, should be 15 inches deep.)

  • Let weeds grow in the cracks of your cement walkway. (Wort is particularly fond of this one – he’s always looking for ways to let his friends move in!)

  • Want To Use This Article in your E-zine, Website or Publication? Yes, you may use the text but not the pictures. Also, you must provide the following copyright notice and information about the author: © Peter Bochenek & Associates, Inc., 2006. All Rights Reserved. The author is Gay Enright. She is a garden writer and designer who can be contacted at her website, www.myidealgarden.com, which is dedicated to helping its visitors have a home garden they’ll always love.