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Outdoor/Garden
How to Create a Stunning Entryway
If your porch isn’t much more than a small landing, focus on creating a beautiful, welcoming entryway to greet family and guests. Add dynamism with some of these foolproof tricks!
Written by Hillary Black
Photography by Mark Tanner

 

Getting Started

  • Clean stairs, landing, walls and door with a sturdy broom. Use water if necessary, making sure not to get it inside, and dry siding and sills with a cloth. Clean the window glass, inside and out, with your favorite window cleaner.
  • Check the landing’s surface: Does it need to be repainted? Refinished? Does the brickwork need maintenance? If the surface is cement, you might want to stain or paint it. Visit your local paint store for products and information.
  • You may choose to add a pergola to bring dramatic focus to the door or find less elaborate architectural elements, such as a pediment or decorative molding, that create drama. Decorative screen doors are an attractive addition, too.

Integrate Color with Natural Plants

  • Determine a color palette that works with your home’s style and let it guide you in selecting pots, flowers, an outdoor lantern, a welcome mat and other accessories.
  • Strategically place potted plants and flowers to visually support the transition from the outside to the indoors. Be mindful when watering to protect surfaces.
  • Vary heights of plants and arrange in groupings for interest. Choose bloom, foliage and pot colors that harmonize with your color palette, and others to provide eye-catching contrast.
  • Select flowering varieties that bloom at different times for an ongoing summer display. Note shade and sun requirements. You may want to prepare backup potted plants that are ready to move onto the porch as others fade.
  • Choose fragrant blooming plants for further enjoyment. Strategically place a bit of lattice or rows of strong cord or wire where jasmine, wisteria or clematis will climb or create a natural screen.

Finishing Touches

  • Look at the vertical space. If there’s room, consider decorative touches like a hanging plant, stained glass window, wind chimes, a seasonal or patriotic flag, house sign or plaque, or a hummingbird feeder.
  • Decorative touches need not be expensive. Favorite large shells or rocks gathered together make a memorable display on a stair. A small hook for your garden hat becomes wall art. A pretty bowl filled with beach glass, marbles or found trinkets makes a conversation piece.