Welcome Your Guests from Outside First!

With the holiday and entertainment season upon us, we turn our attention to our homes and the special people with whom we want to celebrate. As we invite guests into our homes our thoughts turn to how we can make them feel most welcome.

It all begins at the front door…outside our homes!

As our invited guests approach the path to our home, it must be properly lit to encourage easy and safe movement. Drama can also come from the surrounding well-lighted plants.  Then as the door ahead appears, inviting as you move ahead, it can stimulate some thoughts as to what’s behind it.

The visual greeting you have created sets the tone! The welcoming feeling that we send to our guests begins outside our front door. This is the real entry to our home!

The outdoor environment design creates the mood that introduces and welcomes people to your most personal space and lifestyle and indicates to them how you want them to feel in anticipation of you opening the front door.

As someone approaches your home and rings the bell they have an expectation, a wonder as they wait for the door to be opened. They look around are affected by the surroundings. The way you greet them, of course, adds to the feeling of how they feel about entering. This is the beginning of their experience in your home!

Many homes today don’t have formal entries. You open the door and step into a room. This makes the outside area of your front door even more important. It’s the first identity they associate with you and the rest of the rooms as they step further in. Your guests’ attitude in your home begins here. It sets the tone as to their comfort in your home.

Outside at my front door, I have created an actual foyer feel. I’ve put 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 they come up to my front door and feel peaceful.  Additionally, when I entertain, I often put candles, flowers, or a theme accessory on the table to express a more joyful and relevant feeling.

Have you given thought to how you feel when you approach someone’s front door? Do you have to look for the bell? Is it easy to find? Is it clean? 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 home. What does your front door look like? Is it an attractive color or finish which may be a hint of the interior color scheme. Does it represent the architecture of your home? What condition is it in?  Is the door handle one you would like to touch? Does the handle go with the door design? Is there a doormat? What does it look like?

Here’s a hint about door mats. Buy an oversized mat and turn it at a 90-degree angle. 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 minimized. There are also many choices of design textures and patterns that could blend with the outside and coordinate to the interior design.

At night, lighting is most important. But don’t over light. Lighting creates excitement and adds drama. You can light the entry with a chandelier above (which is harder to clean) or you can place sconces on the walls.

The front outside entry to your home can be the most important and fun experience and set the tone for the entire visit! Making people happy in your home begins at the front door and can stay with them until they leave and feel the same environment sending them off with affection.

If you haven’t already, experienced what it’s really like to come into your home through the front door, try it. 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, rooms have no feelings, YOU DO!

Article first published in Trends Magazine in October, 2022 on page 14.  Click here to read the magazine.