Ostensibly, a home’s front door is there for one reason and one reason only: to let people come and go while keeping the inside environment secure and separate from the outside. But a front door is so much more than that. It is often the first thing that draws the eye of a passerby or visitor. It also sets the style and mood of your home, welcoming guests with an air of elegance, friendliness, whimsy, or warmth.
If your front door is not setting the tone you want, here are some fun, easy, and rewarding upgrades to make it the arresting centerpiece it deserves to be.
1. Decorate It
There are nearly limitless possibilities for decorating your front door. You could simply paint it a different color (or colors), hang a wreath on a nail in the center, or add a dramatic house number above or to the side of it. Other options include installing long shutters on either side, or adding a playful, historic, or decorative specialty door knocker. Online retailer Architectural Depot sells a wide range of knockers, from chili peppers to poodles, that are sure to make you smile when you come home at the end of a long day.
2. Replace It
A study commissioned by door manufacturer Therma-Tru found that replacing a home’s front door can increase the perceived value of the home. In the study, enhancing an entryway upped a home’s perceived value by as much as five times the cost of the new door.
When replacing your door, don’t think only about swapping one door out for another—although even that switch could dramatically increase the appeal of your entrance. Instead, look to enlarge the entryway by installing a door with windows to either side or above it. This adds a sense of grandeur to the front of the house and creates a more pleasant atmosphere inside, thanks to the added natural light.
3. Light It Up
If you don’t already have lights at your front door, installing them can be a big presentation booster. If you do have lights, consider replacing them to update the look of your entry. Wall sconces are available in myriad designs, from traditional lanterns to sleek modern steel models; you can find thousands of sconces at online retailer Destination Lighting. If you have a porch, install a hanging fixture to cast a welcoming pool of light at the front door. Finally, to add dramatic flair, place outdoor spotlights on the ground and aim them at the door so that it can truly take center stage.
4. Add Planters
One of the quickest ways to enhance your entryway is to set a planter containing a variety of different colored and textured plants and flowers on either side of the door. You can create a Old World look with vase-like cement planters, go Zen with simple geometric glazed pots, or strike a whimsical note with old tin or wooden buckets. A common approach is to place a tall plant, such as a grass, in the center of the pot, then surround it by a low-grower like ivy. If you live in a cold climate, after the growing season has passed, use the planters to display seasonal decor, such as pumpkins for Halloween or painted white branches with twinkle lights for Christmas.
5. Go High Tech
The front door isn’t necessarily the most technologically advanced part of the house, but with the new IS7121-2 Audio/Video Door Answering System, a doorbell and phone combo from VTech, you can change that. You simply install a doorbell module beside the front door, then indoors, plug in the two video phone receivers wherever you’d like. When someone rings the doorbell, the module automatically snaps his picture and sends it to the handset. You can then choose to stream video and have a conversation with the visitor, or go answer the door in person, or—if you’re not feeling very social—pretend you’re not home. The system stores up to 100 images, so at the end of the day or a week later, you can review who’s stopped by.
As a phone, the IS7121-2 includes Voice Announce caller ID, HD audio, speakerphone, last 10 number redial, caller ID for both the current call and call waiting, and many other features. It’s a system that’s sure to banish the phrase “dumb as a doornail” forever!
While style and budget will be considerations, any improvement you can make to your home’s most prominent feature is certain to be worth the investment of time and money. Remember, your front door sets the first and last impression of anyone you comes knocking.
This post has been brought to you by VTech. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.