By Mary Beth Breckenridge Akron Beacon Journal
A front door is your home’s chance to make a good first impression.
Help yours say “Welcome” with these ideas.
Look it over
Start by taking a good, hard look at your front door’s condition, said Sharon Kreighbaum, owner of Staged Makeovers, a home staging and interior design company in Hudson, Ohio.
Make sure the paint or stain is in good condition. Clear away the cobwebs and sweep away debris.
Check the condition of the lighting fixtures and door hardware, and the welcome mat.
Play up the numbers
House numbers can give a door personality, but they also have a function. If they’re not visible from the street, visitors will have trouble finding your house, Kreighbaum said.
She has large, black numbers right on her red door, so they’re hard to miss. You can just paint the numbers on if you like, perhaps using a template created on a computer or a vinyl stencil cut by a sign shop.
You might even add the street name below the numbers, in a smaller font and different color, said Pamela Andrella, co-owner of the home decor shop Alter’d Relics in Barberton, Ohio.
House colors are usually fairly subdued, but your front door doesn’t have to be. It’s a place where you can inject a little personality, Andrella said.
She repaints her door about every other year, because “that’s the one thing I can change.”
Choose any color you love, she said, as long as it complements your home’s exterior.
Can’t choose a color? Take your cue from flowers you love or a favorite outfit, she said, or just browse a fabric store. Fabrics often combine colors in unexpected ways that work well together.
Beef up the surround
New materials make it fairly easy to swap your door surround for something with more presence.
Polyurethane moldings are available that are lightweight and easy to install using adhesive and noncorrosive nails or screws, said Kathy Ziprik, a spokeswoman for millwork manufacturer Fypon Ltd.
Plain to pretty
A door with a flat front can be given the look of a paneled door by attaching rectangles made from narrow moldings, Andrella said.
If you’re nervous about mitering your own, you could achieve the same effect using narrow picture frames, she said.
Paint the moldings and door the same color, she said, and perhaps accentuate the grooves and crevices with a second paint color.
Accenting your entry with something besides the classic wreath, said Jessica Paris of J. Paris Designs, a shop in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Antiques stores and flea markets are good hunting grounds: a ceiling medallion, maybe, or an interesting piece of metal, old watering cans or a pair of rain boots filled with flowers, or hang a colorful vintage umbrella on the door.
Pots and urns aren’t the only accent choices. A tall pair of men’s rain boots could hold floral branches, Andrella said. Or park an old bike by the door, with flowers in a vintage handlebar basket or a crate perched on the back fender.
Take care of plants
Just make sure the containers are big enough to have a presence, and maintain them if they’re filled with living plants, she said.
There’s nothing welcoming about greeting your guests with a bunch of dead twigs.