There are many elements involved in the main entrance of any home, both exterior and interior, which combined create the desired first impression for visitors; each element plays a role in the experience, some more than others. When building a luxury custom home, the door, lighting and hardware are carefully selected to complement the home’s architectural style, and the same consideration should be given to the supporting elements, as neglect can greatly diminish the impression made when entering.

A home’s entrance is not merely a physical entity, but an emotional or sensory experience as well. An entrance is “an opening…that allows access to a place”, and, in the case of a home, it is the access to the family’s personal space and collection of their life. This is a compelling reason to make the entrance personal, both inside and out. Dream analysts contend that seeing a house in dreams symbolizes one’s own soul and self, and seeing specific rooms or areas indicate a specific aspect of one’s psyche; entering through a door signifies new opportunities that are being presented to you.

The Approach:

The approach to the home can set the tone for the first impression guests receive; it should naturally draw one towards the main entrance. It can be bold or subtle in style, yet décor and architectural elements aside, it should look well tended and be welcoming. A few hints to achieve this:

  • A clean, safe and attractive pathway to the door
  • A well-lit front entrance
  • A well-maintained front door (polished hardware, freshly painted or stained)
  • A welcome mat; both decorative and functional
  • A personal touch on the exterior: a sneak peek at the family who resides there (a handprint, sign, piece of art, etc.)

The front entrance can leave a lasting first impression to the outside world; thus, it is fairly important to make it an accurate reflection of the homeowners.

Opening the Door:

The anticipation on the approach to a new home is matched by the curiosity preceding the first glimpse of the interior. Many luxury custom homes boast a traditional foyer, which functions as a “holding area” prior to entering the inner-sanctum. Here guests pause to greet and bid farewell, remove and gather coats, etc. From a design perspective, it can flow seamlessly into the living space beyond with wall colors and flooring materials, or, given its designated purpose, can easily be decorated as its own distinct space.

Some helpful ideas to consider when planning and decorating the main entrance area of your home embrace the dual concept of welcome and practicality:

  • Flooring should be durable and not delicate to endure any outdoor elements entering
  • Lighting sets the mood, and carefully chosen fixtures that enhance or frame the entrance are a worthwhile investment
  • Any furniture, such as a side table or bench, should be versatile, being both decorative and useful
  • Decorative touches can also be functional for storage; consider wrought iron hooks, antique bowls for keys, umbrella stands, etc.
  • Add a living touch with a vase of flowers or plants
  • Make plenty of room for coats; closets near the front entrance should always have extra space and hangers for visitors

Lastly, keep it fresh:

The daily home-life routine makes it easy to overlook simple details that can be improved upon or repaired. Busy homeowners are immune to the scratches on baseboards, flies in the outdoor sconces or tears in the screen (just to name a few), yet it easily catches the eye of an occasional guest. Since the main entrance is arguably the most visited space of your luxury home, it deserves special attention, which requires frequently looking at (and admiring) it as if for the first time.