How do you enter your home? If you’re like most American’s, you probably enter through a garage or a backdoor, preferably with easy access to the kitchen for unloading groceries. But how do your guests enter your home? Your guests enter your home through your front door. They pull up to your curb, unload themselves, saunter up your front walk, and ring your doorbell. That experience does a lot to define the rest of interaction. I’m not exactly talking about curb appeal here, although curb appeal is nice. I’m talking about the sense your house exudes to your guests. Here are some easy steps to prep your home to be as welcoming as possible to guests:
ZONE 1: Your front walk
Where do your guests park? Is there a defined space? Do they park on the street? How do they get to your front door? Do you have a front walk? Do they go up your driveway? I know this seems a little silly but, if you give this a little thought, you might realize that your home isn’t as welcoming as you think. Do you have a front gate that isn’t working well? Is your driveway so full of cars, toys, and other things that there isn’t a safe path? Are there any tripping hazards or trees and bushes crowding the way? Is there enough lighting? These are some easy fixes that will make guests excited to enter your home.
ZONE 2: Your front porch
Raise your hand if you’ve been inspired by Better Homes and Gardens and attempted to make your front porch “Pinterest Perfect?” If you’re like me, you put a lot of money and effort into that endeavor once and never revisited it. Get rid of old faded or broken items. Chances are front mats are dirty and sun-bleached, pots go unplanted, you have a bistro set or Adirondack chair that’s getting more use as a home for spiders than a place for people to sit. Assess what really works for your front porch. If you don’t have a big Southern style porch, don’t crowd it with furniture – especially if you never actually sit out there. Make sure you have plenty of space for guests to stand and wait for you to answer the door. If possible, make sure that space is out of the weather and not under a dripping gutter. I do feel the front mat really sets the tone for your house, so if you make any new purchases as a part of this refresh, let it be a quality door mat that really reflects the style of the people who live in your home.
ZONE 3: Your front door
Make it part of your regular cleaning routine to spruce your front door, front light and doorbell. Remove spider webs and finger prints if you can. There is nothing worse than approaching a house and having a nasty spider web over the doorbell or handle and not knowing what to do. Additionally, make sure your guests know if they should ring the bell or knock. If you have little kids who are often sleeping and want guests to knock instead of ringing the bell, put up a cute sign that will withstand the weather. If you have a doorbell that isn’t working, stop procrastinating and find out why. Are you are one of the lucky homeowners who’ve been “blessed” with two doors in close proximity that confuse guests? Make sure you draw attention to the one you’d like them to use. This can be done with paint, a wreath, flower pots or a door knocker. Do what you can to help the secondary door blend in while playing up the primary door.
All it takes is a little time to step back and look at your home from a guests perspective – and a little elbow grease – to make your home much more inviting from the outside. Do you have a way you make the front of your home more welcoming? I’d love to hear it! Please share them in the comments below.
READ THE WHOLE SERIES:
(Links will become live as each blog is posted)
Introduction | Creating a Hospitable Home
Your walk, porch and front door | Beckoning in your guests
Your entryway | Helping guests feel at home
Your bathroom | Creating a comfortable “intimate” space
Your pantry | Making impromptu entertaining a breeze