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Southlake Style

Make Your Entrance!

Mar 20, 2012 09:44AM ● By Mike

by Bob and Jami Zimmerman, Cheap Thrills Decor

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. That’s what my mom always said, anyway. Pile on the pressure. Just imagine how the entryway to your home must feel. It goes prime time every day when you open your front door. Whether it’s a friend popping by or just your local FedEx guy, your entryway says a lot about the rest of your home to potential guests and strangers.

Your foyer or “fo-yeh”, if you like to be fancy, is the first part of your home any visitor will encounter. If you’ve forgotten about this little space, then it might be a good idea to start at the front door and welcome yourself home with fresh perspective and a few tricks for making a grand entrance.

Start at the welcome mat. You’d be shocked at how an attractive door can change your entrance mojo. This is the focal point of your house and a great way to add both interior and exterior personality. A decorative iron door is a fabulous choice because it’s naturally weather resistant and adds instant curb appeal to a home. There are glass and iron choices that work for any style home. Natural wood doors can be rustic chic. Painted, they can add a bright pop of color that gives interest to an otherwise drab entryway.

Invite us in. A great entry should feel warm and inviting with a twist of hip happening style. Guests should feel a little urge to peak around the door and check things out. Make your entryway individual by adding fun family pictures or objects from your travels -- something that tells a story about the people who live in the house. A vibrant wall, found furniture piece, or cool artwork can all lure visitors inside.

Make your foyer the ambassador for the rest of your home. This is one space guaranteed to be used every day, so treat it as a room and not just an awkward transitional area. It should create the flow that will be part of all rooms in the house. The color scheme, lighting and flooring all need to be part of the plan because the flow starts here! An entry rug or runner can make a huge difference — they can separate the space just a bit so that it feels like its own room while also coordinating the color story.... and they also stop the dirt trail. Bonus!

Be our guest. Channel your inner Lumiere and think like a guest. Arrange a seating area in the entry with a bench or a space for fabulous chairs. They not only add decoration and texture but are a necessary place to take off shoes or coats and for rifling through your purse searching for keys. I always like mirrors in a foyer too. They make the space seem larger and also give you a chance to take a last look at your outfit or makeup before you leave the house.

Standout stairs. If you have a stairway smack in the middle of your grand entrance, then make the most of it. I’m a huge fan of patterned carpet for this area. Hear the call of the wild and add major oomph with a cheetah patterned or croc embossed carpet. Darken your handrails and add iron spindles. These are easy and instant updates to an otherwise basic space.

Backdoor guests are the best. Sometimes your backdoor is actually your entryway. Our favorite visitors all know to come on in and kick off their boots. Create a mudroom style cabinet that makes organization a no-brainer. Let's face it; no one in your family is going to keep things clean unless you make it ridiculously easy (or offer a reward). Make it clear where everything goes so that there's no room for confusion (or the ability to feign confusion like my kids). Create a stylish spot where you can store your keys, toss out junk mail, take off shoes and grab a dog leash. Hooks, baskets and bins -- oh my! Whether you need a place to hang your cardigan (while you sing Won't you be my Neighbor) or a place to stash your extra coinage, cell phone or your child's greatest new artwork, create storage that doesn’t feel like clutter.

Help your foyer make a grand entrance. It’s the first and last thing your visitors will see and probably what they will remember the most. A lame entryway with crocs lining the wall is probably not the great first impression you’re hoping to leave. Puhleeze! Give your foyer the chops to take center stage and then wait for the roar of the crowd -- or the doorbell to ring!