Making an entrance that sets the tone

The front garden is the point of arrival so it’s worth spending a little bit of time making sure it is welcoming and inviting

If you don’t have a front garden try a window box or pots with flowers

If you don’t have a front garden try a window box or pots with flowers

Thu, May 29, 2014, 00:00

The back garden gets a lot of attention but this week I wanted to focus on the often-neglected front garden. It’s the point of arrival and sets the tone for a home, so it’s worth spending a little bit of time making sure it is welcoming and inviting.

A great starting point is painting the front door. Move away from traditional shades and opt for something brighter and fresher. Colours like rich sandy shades work really well, or try something fun and vibrant for real impact.

My brother lives on a terrace of 1900s houses, all of the doors on the terrace are painted in traditional shades of red or green. He opted for a vibrant turquoise. The original brass ware was still intact, but had tarnished over the years. He removed it and had it all refinished.

The turquoise sets the gleaming brass off beautifully and he now has people ringing the doorbell asking what colour it is.

If you don’t have original ironmongery and are looking for something to set your home apart try this novel idea which Rachel in our office came up with: handwrite the house number on the glass panel over the door with a glass marker.

This is a really fun and inexpensive way to literally put your own mark on your home.

If your handwriting isn’t up to the task you could use a stencil as a guide or alternatively there are companies who supply adhesive numbers which can be stuck to the glass.

If you have a garage, treat the door as you would your front door.

I’m a fan of painting them the same colour. If the door has glass panes, try replacing these with opal or white laminate glass which lets light in but gives great privacy and will hide the contents of the garage from nosey parkers.

Lighting is really important; nothing is less inviting than arriving home to a dark house.

Lighting around the front door will instantly make your home feel welcoming. Add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or fit LED lights into a path. This will not only be a lovely feature but is also a great security measure.

Introduce some flowers. Consider replacing some of your lawn with some planting or if you’re short of space pots work really well. For those without a garden try a window box. You can change the blooms each season to make sure you have a burst of colour all year round.

And finally, and easiest of all, is to do some housekeeping, clear out weeds and give paving and paths a good clean. Stone can discolour over time, so use a power hose to get stone surfaces looking as good as new.

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