The front entrance to your home is the first impression that your guests get of you and your home. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so start out right where it counts; at your front door. Here are some ways to put a welcoming look on your home's entrance: 1. Courtyard - Think of cool, cozy areas deep within adobe houses and you have an idea of what a courtyard could be. Another example is a New Orlean's style iron gated entrance complete with climbing vines and bubbling fountains. If you don't have a large entrance, borrow some square footage from the front yard and draw the eye into your entrance. Create interest with arches, greens, seating, and anything else you can imagine in the interior courtyard of perhaps a Spanish villa. Then scale it to fit your entrance and enjoy. You may want to hire a landscape designer to create an enclosed courtyard to suit your particular style. 2. Fireplace - Nothing says high style like a niche fireplace in your front entrance. A warm, welcoming fire behind a glass wall is one very upscale style. Depending on your climate, of course, there are many options for installing a fireplace that can be enjoyed right there in your front entry. If you plan it right, you can use this feature to your advantage as an overflow area for parties. Guests may stay out of the kitchen if they can linger in your beautiful entry staying cozy next to the fireplace. 3. Water Feature - From traditional to Gothic to modern, a water feature of some sort improves any entrance. The sound of trickling or bubbling water is instantly relaxing and calming. You'll find many variations, some free-standing and some that are built into a niche. Even a small tabletop water fountain can add a relaxing, inviting feeling. 4. Container Gardens - This feature can be used as a continuation of the landscaping in your front yard or you can create an entirely new color scheme and design on a smaller scale. Filling a variety of containers to overflowing with lush flowers and greens is a gorgeous look for any front entrance. Choose a cool monochromatic look or go for a riotous display of color. Either way, it will give your entrance the attention it deserves. 5. Seating Area - Choose a cozy seating area much like the front porches we remember from years gone by. Welcoming porches often included roomy sofa and chairs, or swings to sit and visit. If you don't have the room for this type of arrangement, try borrowing extra square footage from the adjoining lawn and walkway. A small bistro set placed strategically at the bottom step beacons the visitor to stop and sit a spell. 6. Rugs - Outdoor rugs, whether one big one or several small ones, make the entry feel more like the interior of the home. Choose rugs that are weatherproof and suit your decor. Don't just get out a simple rubber â€œWelcomeâ€ mat. It may say â€œWelcomeâ€ but it won't feel very welcoming at all. Choose a rug that begs your guests to kick off their shoes and stay a while. Hopefully, these tips helped inspire you to give your front entrance a make-over that can't help but say "Welcome." The possibilities to create a wonderful first impression are endless when you use a bit of imagination.
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