As a young girl, my family often moved, which meant a new school and new friends to make. I remember in 6th grade, nervously approaching the school gates and questioning myself: Did I wear the right outfit? Will they like me?
Back then, I knew from experience that first impressions mattered. They could be the difference between an enjoyable year with close friends or one spent mostly in solitude. Now, I understand their power even more fully, especially when it comes to design.
Like that first day of school, your home’s entryway creates a first impression, one that sets the tone for the rest of the home. Designed well, it can inspire feelings of deep belonging, community, joy, and warmth. Or, it can fall flat, making you feel tired and uninspired when you come home each day.
So, how do you design an entrance that creates the first impression you crave? Here are some tips I’ve learned from personal experience and years of working with clients…
Tip 1. Paint the Front Door
Colour impacts mood, no question about it. Coming home to a door that boasts a shade you love can instantly bring a smile to your face. You may already know this about me, but my favourite colours are blue and green, and they are both easy wins when it comes to painting a front door. These tones look beautiful with a brick or stone exterior in particular.
Note: If you already have colourful Hardie siding, you may want a more neutral grey or perhaps a copper colour to highlight wood details. I recommend:
- Benjamin Moore Copper Kettle (looks fantastic with wood accents)
- Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray (a perfectly neutral gray)
- Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (a classic almost-black)
Tip 2. Layer a Neutral & Colourful Door Mat
Right now, the layered door mat is popular and very practical! It allows you to have fun with pattern or colour and then layer a practical jute outdoor rug on top for guests to wipe their shoes. The jute rug is also great for showing your personality with an endearing saying or eye-catching print.
Tip 3. Get Creative with Greenery
There are so many ways to add greenery to your entry. I prefer having trailing vines around the door or large pots with plants, such as ferns, boxwood, hostas, or olive trees. I love how enchanting and welcoming the greenery looks as it beautifully wanders around the doorway.
Tip 4. Add Planters & Pots
Planters and pots are a great way to add pops of colour with seasonal flowers and greenery for year-round colour. Depending on the size of your space, I would recommend a large planter pot on either side of the door or a grouping of 2-3 of the same colour but different sizes. As a rule, I love the oversized pots for a dramatic impact. And don’t forget to consider hanging plants! They draw the eye up and add balanced interest to your entryway.
Tip 5. Sprinkle In Lanterns & Lighting
Lanterns are an easy way to add a warm, welcoming touch to your entry. They are also perfect for lighting in the evenings. I recommend the faux candles that you can control with an app on your phone or with a simple remote. I also love adding faux candles and other layers of lighting to my entry.
I also suggest turning on your porch light in the evening. Your porch light welcomes guests and enhances the community feel of your neighbourhood. You’ll probably find me adding a string of twinkling white lights to my entryway during the holiday season as well.
Tip 6. Top It All Off with Seating & Accessories
If you have the space, a small chair with a toss cushion is a stylish accessory, plus a sneak peek into your design style for the interior. It creates a charming and confident first impression your guests will love. Not to mention the added functionality it offers during the warmer months.
Where to Find Entryway Decor & Foliage
Your local garden centre is your best bet for finding gorgeous pots, decor, and inspiration. For example, I recently got inspired with a great idea to add a large Sumas branch to one of the pots in front of my new office. I also wound some tiny twinkle lights around it to add warmth in the evening.
Last, and not surprisingly, I love finding pieces at antique stores. They are a favourite haunt of mine for finding unique decor items and pots for the front entry.
That’s it for now, but I hope these ideas inspire an entryway that brings you all the right emotions and first impressions of your home. If you’d like help designing, renovating, or furnishing beyond the front door, I’d love to help. Reach out, and let’s chat.
Until next time,
One of our new office neighbours is a wonderful and cheerful shop called Madison and Muse. It is filled with colourful, patterned decor with a distinctly coastal feel. We love all of their high-quality items sourced from around the world. One side of the boutique contains beautiful classic linen clothing and curated Swedish styles perfect for everyday luxury. Well worth a visit!