Don’t forget about first impressions when decorating your home. From the moment your guests drive through the gate until they are comfortably seated on your sofa your home will create lasting impressions.

The pathway and porch

Make an effort to have a well-maintained footpath leading up to the front door. Paving, stepping stones or a wooden pathway are all good options. 

Enhance the path with a row of plants on either side.  If gardening is not your thing, go for repetition - a row of the same plants look neat and graphic.

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Install lighting where needed, whether streetlamp style, LED strip lights under stairs, wall lights or uplighters. A simple solution would be a row of solar lights pegged into the ground.  Also invest in an attractive light by your front door. If space allows, add a bench or planters for colour and character.

The front door

Even the fainthearted should experiment with the power of paint when it comes to front doors. Red, yellow, green, blue – any colour is more exciting than brown.  Yet if you are adamant about having a wooden door, buy a beautiful door and sand and treat it regularly. Make sure you buy an exterior door that is weather resistant. Doors with straight grooves look more modern than ones with curves and panes. Invest in a beautiful doorknob and knocker. 

The entrance way

The entrance way is the room where first impressions are formed. This room is most inviting when kept uncluttered, but not completely bare. You need a space to hang keys, a coat or handbag, but don’t let this area become a dumping place for bags and shoes. 

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A table or console, with one or two carefully chosen vases or ornaments, is enough to add character. Choose foliage or plants that will last several weeks. Hang a painting, mirror or coat rack above the table.  A loose rug, on a non-slip under carpet, will add warmth. The entrance way is a preview of what to expect in the rest of the house. Put your favourite furniture items here and not just your leftovers. It is not a room one spends many hours in, yet it is also the first room you as owner enter when you get back home after a long day at work. 

Images: iStock