Psychology Today notes that we’re “built to size each other up quickly” and that these impressions are lasting. “Even if we’re presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we’re attached to our initial impressions.” (www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/first-impressions.)
But we don’t only size up other people. We also size up the world around us and make mental judgments whenever we enter a new environment. Consequently, even if your home is gorgeous on the inside, the effect may be lost on first-time visitors if it’s less-than-gorgeous on the outside. This is especially problematic if your home is for sale and the visitors are potential buyers. That’s why it’s so important for the entrance of your home—the porch, front door and entryway—to make a good first impression.
The good news is that you don’t have to completely remodel these areas to make a good impression. Here are some easy suggestions for making your entrance a standout this summer.
If your front door and surrounding trim is chipped, scaling or fading, then it might be time for a paint or stain touch-up. Touch-ups are relatively easy and quick to accomplish. Simply scrape and sand the surfaces until smooth and then add a coat or two of a good-quality coating, using an equally good-quality applicator. If you have porch rails, check these too, to make sure they are perfect in appearance and smooth to the touch.
If your front door is a little lackluster, consider painting it another color to give it some punch. While your door color needs to work with the rest of your exterior color scheme, don’t worry about it being too match-y. Generally speaking, brightly colored doors—in such hues as vibrant blue, yellow and red—work well with neutral and dark siding colors and dark-colored masonry. Meanwhile, deep colors—such as avocado, dark olive and navy—work with light or warm-colored siding and lighter-colored masonry. One of the more stunning front door colors is black, which creates an elegant look and statement of opulence. Hint: Paint your door in the morning and give it all day to cure to make sure the door doesn’t stick when closed.
You wouldn’t think twice about painting or staining a wooden porch deck. But what if your porch deck is made of concrete? Increasingly, homeowners are painting concrete porches, too, in colors that coordinate with the rest of the home’s décor.
While you can paint your concrete porch the same color as your siding, a more dramatic look is achieved by matching the concrete deck to the trim color or by selecting a slightly deeper accent color. Regardless, concrete paint treatments offer a variety of benefits, from protecting the concrete surface and adding another element of color to helping delineate the space. Currently, there are many excellent-quality concrete paints on the market. Check with your local retailer to learn about the products that are available and how to apply them for the best results.
The welcome mat is a traditional point of entry for many homes, but the mat isn’t what it used to be! There are many weather-resistant rugs on the market—in all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns—that look like area rugs for the interior but are intended to be used outdoors. Select a rug that ties in with the rest of your colors, both inside and out, and don’t be afraid to be a little bold. And be sure the rug on the other side of the door coordinates, to create flow from the outside to the inside.
Your entrance might also benefit from:
- updated porch and accent lighting;
- a bead-board porch ceiling, painted or stained in a pleasing color;
- the addition of window boxes or a few potted plants;
- a new screen door, in a color that matches your front door; and
- a couple of porch or garden chairs painted in bright summery hues and adorned with colorful outdoor pillows.
Additionally, don’t forget to keep the front entry clean and tidy and free of pollen, mold, and mildew. A good household cleaner can help you maintain these areas. Be sure to read the product’s instructions to make sure it’s safe with your given surfaces and materials.