Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ramp up your exterior entryway a notch - or three!

Think of your exterior entry as the front of your head.  More people see it than the inside entry of your home (or the back of your head).  People will form their initial opinion of you by your face and they will form their initial impression of your home by its exterior entry area.

Whether you have a grand old porch or just a set of steps, all exterior entries can look welcoming and appealing.  Below are a few ideas to help you showcase your home and make just the right first impression.

Paint a  rug.  Really nice door mats can be a little pricey and chances are at least one of your neighbors has one just like it.  My recommendation would be to create your own.  Using a plain unadorned sisal, bamboo or jute rug won't break the bank and you can spray paint it to add your individual style to it.  

Look around your front entryway.  What colors do you love in the garden by your door?  Maybe you have pink roses or a vivid violet?  Use those colors when you design your rug.  Or maybe you have a few cans of spray paint in the shed left over from a previous project.  Use those.  You are only limited by your own imagination.  The rug in the picture below is simple as can be.  Stripes spray painted on it.  Nothing else.  

This probably took all of 30 minutes to tape off, spray paint and then another 30 minutes for it to dry.  Don't worry if you don't have some super exterior rated paint.  Any spray paint will work.  When (or if) it begins to fade, tape and spray it again!

Now let's look at your stairs or steps leading to your door.  The biggest transformation to your steps is a can of concrete paint.  Make sure if you paint your stoop/steps that you either add in some sand to the paint or you get the kind of concrete paint that is already textured.  The reason for this is simple.  Painted surfaces tend to be slick when the humidity level is high, it rains or it snows.  Homeowners claim and/or visit to the ER waiting to happen if you don't texture your concrete paint.

But what to do if your steps/stoop is brick or you don't want to paint it?  Too many people forget all about the riser component of a step.  Below is a picture of someone who trained English Ivy to cover the risers.  I think it's stunning!  It will take a little while to train the Ivy and a few minutes out of your week to keep it under control, but the results are well worth the effort.

The next picture is one of risers that have been tiled.  

If you like a more simple approach, simply paint the risers a contrasting color from the steps.  The one pictured below was done with exterior paint and stencils.  If you don't want to go this ornate, just paint and leave off the stencil step.

My last example of ramping up your steps is to add lighting to the risers.  You can find solar lights made specifically for risers at any big box hardware store.  No wiring to mess with.  Simply slap in the battery, affix them securely to your riser and wait til the sun goes down.  The picture below is this idea on steroids but it looks pretty impactful.
Always remember a  little whimsy makes the heart warm!  

But that's just me.

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