First impressions are everything. This is especially true when you’re hosting a dinner party or get-together at your home. If you want to make people feel welcome, then you must do your best to design an entrance that’s warm and inviting. Don’t worry – it’s not as difficult as you may think! Here are some helpful tips:

Paint the Front Door

There’s nothing worse than a boring front door that lacks character. If your door is a dull white or faded cream color, you may want to consider adding a splash of color to give it a bold new look. Depending on the rest of your home’s exterior, a pop of red or blue can add some diversity to your entry. Not ready to go that bold? A dark brown or black can complement windows and shutters and tie multiple architectural elements together.

Replace Outdated Hardware

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Sometimes you don’t even need to paint your door to bring new life. If your hardware is outdated, a simple replacement can reinvigorate an archaic looking door. But make sure you consider your options before making a purchase.

There are many different styles of levels, knobs, deadbolts, and knockers – not to mention colors. Silver, black, gold, and bronze are some of the more popular finishes, but it’s also possible to paint hardware with metal-specific primers and paints. Keep your options open and think about the bigger picture when selecting this seemingly minor detail.

Hang Decorations

You don’t have to change the color of your door or the existing hardware to make a statement. Sometimes simple décor can make the biggest statement. Door hangs are great for seasonal parties and events because they can be hung up and taken down with very little effort. They can also be reused on an annual basis!

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While wreaths can be great, try breaking out of the traditional wreath mold and go for something unique and alternative. Here are some clever options that may give you a creative boost.

Put Furniture on the Porch

Do you have a large front porch or outdoor entryway that’s currently being underutilized? One of the best things you can do is establish some outdoor living space by adding furniture. Benches are great for the front porch.

“A bench is the perfect opportunity to introduce color and pattern,” writes Kelly Lee-Creel, a fabric and craft designer.“Use an outdoor fabric to upholster the seat or add some throw pillows for a punch of color. For a design classic, try using a bold stripe in the same color as your front door.”

Incorporate Colorful Flowers

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Few things are as inviting as colorful flowers. Ideally, depending on the season, you should incorporate flowers in two different ways. First off, planting flowerbeds on either side of the front steps is a nice way to establish color and draw the eye to the entryway. Secondly, potted plants and flowers on the porch are ideal for establishing continuity from the lawn to the home.

Encourage a Smooth Transition

The key to making a guest feel welcome is to wow them with your front door and porch, and then gently transition them into the home. In order to do this well, you need to spend time with the indoor portion of your entryway. Check out this article for some tips on how to master this important design aspect.

Make a Welcoming First Impression

When you’re hosting people at your home, you want to make a warm and welcoming first impression. And while there are many different ways to do this, focusing on your home’s entrance is key. By paying attention to the door and entryway, you can set a positive tone for the rest of the visit.