Welcome Home: How to create a statement with your front entry

March 22, 2016

Your front entry is the first impression for guests and visitors approaching and entering your home. Front entrances are a great place to express your personal style and create visual interest. Both the exterior impression and interior design are equally important to creating a beautiful and functional front entryway.


The exterior view of your front entry is incredibly important, as it is the very first thing people see of your home. Whether your front entryway is visible from the road or is more private, it must offer a distinct presence. Presence can be created using landscape, colour, pathways, lighting, scale, etc.

Lighting, landscape, and pathways are essential elements for me when I design an exterior entryway. Lighting is important for both visual aesthetics but is also considered a safety feature for your family and guests – so, I will often layer my exterior lighting. Some exterior lighting strategies I use include: recessed down lights, wall sconces, up-lighting to highlight landscape but also provide brightness, and solar lamps. Pathways allow safe travel between different access points to your home as well as footpaths between front entry and driveway. Landscaping personalizes your yard and is incredibly aesthetically pleasing. The photos below demonstrate a great level of presence with their use of lighting, pathways, and landscaping.

Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/6699931/Madison-Park-Mid-Century-Modern-midcentury-entry-seattle  Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/8487016/Custom-New-Construction-Front-Entry-contemporary-exterior-portland Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/45808129/Highland-City-Utah-Residence-traditional-entry Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/5099779/Mediterranean-Entry-mediterranean-entry-san-diego


Colour can be a brilliant feature for an entryway, but I haven’t listed it as essential because some of the best entryways often lack in bold colour, as we can see from the photos above. However, when used correctly, colour can be a focal point for the exterior font view of your home.

Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/18982741/Kingston-upon-Thames-Surrey-victorian-entry-london Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/13221228/Ave-A-farmhouse-entry-los-angeles Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/2087374/Kirkland-Residence-contemporary-entry-other-metro


As we can see from the photos above, the use of colour in these examples are attractive and add visual appeal to the entrance. The use of colour actually pulls you towards the door, in these cases. I like to use colour when there is less opportunity to create presence through the use of landscape and pathways.


The interior functionality of the front entryway is just as significant as the exterior impression, as it is the first place guests will enter inside your home. You and your guests want to feel welcomed home, it needs to feel comforting and should express your personal style, as well.

As important as it is for your entrance to feel welcoming, it’s just as important for your entrance to be secure. Whenever possible, I try to create a semi-private (as opposed to public) space at the interior of the front entrance as this can be a very vulnerable area of the house. It’s important to me to avoid visitors having an exposed or accessible view to the entire home at the front entrance – especially when sometimes we are greeting people whom we don’t know (delivery persons, for example). Another way I try to add security to the front entrance is by providing plentiful light within the interior as well as exterior, with the light switches adjacent to the door.

The front entrance interior needs to allow you and your guests to get in and out of the house efficiently, making organization a key element to the functionality of the space. Storage is a necessity: closets, hooks, baskets, shoe and boot racks will all help get you and your family organized. I find a bench or a seat an essential piece of furniture for the front entry, especially for children and seniors trying to get shoes or boots on or off. The best kind of bench will have some hidden storage, maximizing the use of space. Storage doesn’t necessarily have to be hidden in a closet if your space doesn’t allow it. Below are some great examples of beautifully exposed entryway storage.

Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/23147541/Park-Slope-Brooklyn-Rowhouse-traditional-entry-new-york Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/368872/ASID-Showcase-House-traditional-entry-minneapolis Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/8418957/La-Playa-Residence-traditional-hall-miami


Making a statement with your front entryway is integral to demonstrating your personal style. I love to include large artwork, large lighting, and usually an area rug to indicate the direction of travel. Using these design elements in combination can help you create a stunning front entryway that is both functional and beautiful.