First Impressions Really Do Count
Have you ever arrived at someone’s house and wondered, “Where is the front door?” Creating a warm, inviting front door and entry to your house is so important. It needs to scream out “Here I am – enter here!” When we are working on budgets for the overall house, I am emphatic with our clients to allocate ample funds for their front entry door, door surrounding walls and space, door handles, entry lights and furnishings. This is the first impression guests will receive when arriving at your home; make is as special and unique as you can! But most important, make is so that they know where to go to get to the front door!
Creating a successful and exciting entry may involve some added architectural elements such as a portico (open covered area that sticks out in front of the door supported by columns,) a front porch or simply adding a new layer of a richer, more textured material. Many houses lack a front door or their front door is placed on the back of the house that has to be reached walking around on a porch. This is confusing for guests and requires special emphasis on the arrival area and the trail leading to the front door. If this is your situation, then the arrival point will need to be emphasized to lead guests in that direction.
The front entry at near right was a completely new structure that was created specifically to show where the front door was and give guests an exciting experience upon arrival. The original front door was down a set of steps, which were barely visible from the driveway. When guests arrived, they had to walk down stairs to get to the front porch and front door. This new portico, that includes a bridge leads guests from the driveway across a ravine to the front door. The front door leads to an elevated foyer that overlooked the great room below.
The addition of the new portico dramatically transformed the guest’s experience when arriving at this house. Confusion was eliminated and the new structure connected the driveway and arrival to the house very successfully.
Top: Entryway after renovation.
Above: Before renovation.
Right: Front entries always stand out if wrapped with a more expensive finish material such as stone. Make sure your entry is well lighted for evening guest arrivals. This entry has been wrapped with stone, given a soft arch over the entry portal and has two large carriage lanterns on either side clearly indicating where the front door is located.