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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Entryway

Written by Jen Visosky Posted On Thursday, 04 August 2016 10:19

It's funny how one of the most important spaces in your home can often be the most overlooked. The entryway tends to be a place where you just hang your coat, toss your keys into a bowl and take off your shoes - yet this is the first thing your guests see when they enter your home. Doesn't sound very welcoming, does it?

It may be small and it may be humble, but your entryway is crucial when it comes to making a good first impression. Here are a few easy ways to transform your entryway into something unforgettable.

1. Front Door Fix

Don't neglect your front door. Even the nicest home on the block can look a little "blah" with a subpar front door. A stand out shape, unique color or interesting finish can make a door the focal point of your exterior and transform the entire look of your home. For example, if your house is painted in a basic beige, grey or white, choose a brightly colored door to complement the subdued exterior.

Have a small, dark entryway? Choose a door with a big window or multiple panes of glass to let more natural light in. This will help the space appear bigger and offer a brighter first impression to your guests.

2. Change up Your Hardware

Looking for a quick change? Update the hardware! By switching out handles, locks and door knockers, you can easily change the look of a simple door from traditional to modern or from boring to eclectic.

Sure, they are a little old fashioned, but I love the drama of a big, heavy door knocker. Historically, door knockers have symbolized everything from the faith to the business or trade of the people in the home. This piece of hardware doesn't carry as much meaning these days, but it is a great way to show off your personality and the things you love. Keep it simple, keep it classy, but definitely go big or go home.

3. Turn up the Heat

Although radiant heat flooring is most often seen in bathrooms, we're starting to see these systems used in other spaces. For tile, stone and hardwood entryways, this is a fabulous upgrade that will make your family and guests love you, especially if you live in a cold climate or in the mountains like I do. Radiant heated floors are also a bonus if you prefer to go shoe-free. I guarantee that no one will be complaining once their feet hit that warm floor! Talk about a good first impression.

4. Make Way for Color

I always say that a bright coat of paint is the best way to update any space. It's budget friendly, reversible and nothing will transform your mood faster than a new color. I love the idea of a bold, painted entryway that makes your mouth drop open. This is an opportunity to make an impact. If you don't want to go with a bright purple, yellow, orange, red or green, think about your entry as the beginning of a progression of color. Here, you can set the tone and build up to bolder color choices. Or, you could try the gradual approach with a darker entry that gives way to lighter colors to make the space seem bigger.

5. Mood Lighting

Adding a dramatic light fixture or lamp is like that final piece of jewelry on a perfect outfit. Light fixtures pull double duty. They serve to create a more inviting space and set the mood for the rest of your home. You already know about the dramatic chandelier approach, but don't feel obligated to go the traditional route. If a chandelier seems too formal, pick a conversation piece. Choose something modern, witty, colorful or edgy. If you don't have space for a big fixture, a really cool accent lamp, or even some clever wall sconces, will do the trick.

6. Accessorize

Accessorizing is the most fun part of updating your entryway. Whether you're working with a completely bare space or you're adding a few new items, this is your chance to let your personality shine through. Add a mirror, a unique work of art, a narrow console table or a vase with fresh flowers. If you have enough space, you can even add a few pieces of furniture to create a small seating area.

I love incorporating closet-style organizational elements to eliminate the clutter craziness. Hooks, shoe storage and even that little bowl of keys can all easily be contained. Get creative here with storage boxes, bookshelves, cubes, cubbies and lockers.

You spend so much time designing and decorating your home - don't let the entryway be an afterthought! This is your chance to give your guests a little sneak preview into your style. Try a few of these simple upgrades and your entryway will be looking phenomenal in no time.

Jen Visosky is an interior designer with a brash, bold, no-rules approach to life and design. Her front entryway design advice includes bold colors, a new door and plenty of unique accessories. If you're looking to jazz up your entrance with a new front door, check out the selection at Home Depot.
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