The first thing that any guest in your home or building will see is the front door. While we’re all notorious for claiming we’d never judge a book by its cover, it’s a fact of human psychology that people do rely on their first impressions to make judgements. It’s a survival mechanism that has evolved with us over the years, allowing our cave-dwelling ancestors to quickly assess the danger of any given situation.
These days, we use that sense less for survival, and more for the types of judgements that allow us to thrive in our professional and personal lives. For example, if you’ve ever purchased a house, you probably recall the days spent considering all the many pros and cons, and searching for just the right place. For many homeowners, the choice was finally made, seemingly for them, by that last minute feeling of “rightness”. This gut instinct that can tip a decision into a firm yes or no is grounded in exactly these types of first impressions.
It’s for this reason that entrances are so important in framing the overall look of your property. No matter what you want to communicate to your guests (a feeling of welcome? Of confidence in your abilities? Of peaceful relaxation?), you can make your first impressions count by getting your entrance way right.
Adding Colour and Style to Your Entryway
It is important to recognise that your entryway is comprised of more than just the door. If you have a porch, a balcony, a small doorstep, or a simple concrete pad that leads guests into your home, you have the opportunity to bring colour and style to the area. As the first thing your guests see, this place acts as a sort of book cover, so it’s important to hint at what is to come. Get your guest in the right frame of mind for the space they are about to enter.
This theory isn’t just for your guests. It also works subconsciously on your own mind. When you come home, if the first thing you see is the same colour and style that relaxes you throughout your home, your brain will immediately react with a soothing instinct.
Colours outside are usually used the same way as they are inside; that is, bright, warm colours make people feel energized and excited, where cool or neutral colours bring a calming feeling. But there is actually a language of door colour, believe it or not, just like the colour of roses can carry a specific meaning.
Blue is a popular colour for doors, and can be used to create many different feelings. Light or medium shades of royal blue indicate prosperity and abundance. Dark navy blues simultaneously bring a feeling of peace and traditional security. Red is another popular colour; in fact, many cultures consider this colour lucky. White doors may seem boring to some, but to others they appear serene and relaxed, like a cottage on the beach welcoming them inside. A purple door is both energetic and a symbol of royalty. Bright colours like yellow and orange are energetic and cheerful, indicating a sense of curiosity and humour. Finally, greens are thought to represent harmony and balance.
In addition to the door colour, you can also add colour in plants, door hardware, or decorative door hangers like wreaths. This is a great option for those who can’t or don’t wish to paint their doors. The style of your door hardware, planters, or other decorative elements also add to the feeling of your entrance.
There are as many different styles in door hardware as there are in interior décor more generally. Traditional, vintage, contemporary, eclectic, bohemian, cottage, and many other styles are represented by the items you choose to display just outside your home. Whatever feeling you’ve invoked inside your home is what you should aim for outside as well.
Door knockers are a great place to add a specific style, because they are often prominently placed at eye level. A traditional knocker, like the Carlisle Brass Urn door knocker, works perfectly in a home that has classic style. A sleeker option like the Carlisle Brass Postal knocker is perfect when you want to convey a contemporary style.
But you can branch out beyond the basic door knockers. If your home is filled with an artistic, eclectic style that revels in unusual details, the Carlisle Brass Lionhead door knocker might be perfect for you. A matching letter plate, or the house number shown in simple brass, can put the perfect finishing touch on your front door.
Be careful not to overwhelm this space. The entryway should only be a hint at what is inside, not a room itself. Allow this space to prepare the mind, rather than truly inform. If you have a porch or a walkway, remember that the goal is to provide a clear, direct path to the house, first and foremost. With this in mind, be sure that any plants or decorative benches or hangings that you’ve used are easy to move around.
Keep an Open Path
On that note, remember it’s essential that you keep the path to your front door clutter-free, to make it easy to carry in groceries or other items. If you use plants in your entrance décor, keep them framing the walkway or entrance, rather than out in the space. A pair of tall, slender plants works better for a small entrance, rather than a horizontally spreading bush. Another way to make the path feel more open is to use windows, around, in, or above the door, to give the space a larger feeling. The light and sights from indoors help expand everything visually, giving the approach a pleasing and roomy aspect. The architecture can also play a part in how open your entrance feels - for instance if you have a heavy, dark-coloured awning overhead, it may help open everything up if you paint it white, or remove it altogether.
With a stylish entrance that prepares guests for the home they are about to step into, your house will feel as though it was planned especially for you from the very start.