Fabulous front doors can draw you in like a magnet
I know I should never judge a book by its cover. But as the wife of a book addict, I’ve seen too many boring book covers.And, as a decorating enthusiast, it’s particularly hard for me not to judge a home by its exterior. When I visit new cities, I love to drive around and look at houses, checking out what different owners do to make their homes’ exteriors beautiful and inviting. I’ve noticed that one single feature draws me like a magnet: a fabulous front-door treatment.Show me a drop-dead gorgeous door, and I’m covered with goose bumps. I have to restrain myself from ringing the bell and begging for a tour because I’ve found that when a home has a winning exterior, it’s usually just a prelude to the show that awaits you inside.If you’re up for a decorating project this summer, why not have a little fun cultivating your home’s curb appeal? The great news is, you don’t have to go to a lot of work or spend a pile of cash to make your home the shining star of your neighborhood.Often, it’s the little details that make a huge difference.The first step is to stand back and do an honest evaluation of your home’s front elevation. Are you dazzled by your exterior lighting? If not, perhaps it’s time for new light fixtures. The ho-hum lamps that originally lit my front door lacked the large scale and detailing my tall entry demanded, so I swapped them for two black wall sconces that better suited the style and size of my home. It was a small change, but it made a big difference.Does the hardware on your door look as if it’s had a hard-knock life? Does it lack character and charm? Then try something new. Brass is all the rage again, so consider installing a brass doorknocker, handle and kick plate. If you have a metal door, check out the new magnetized door hardware available.How about the color of your door? If your paint is faded or just plain blah, pop open a can of paint and treat your door to a new hue. I’m crazy about black doors because they are filled with drama, but I also adore bright red and black-green.Once the basics are in place, bring on the door decor! I have an absolute blast thinking of unusual and striking decorations for my front door. Sometimes I hang mirrors, oil paintings, china plates, baskets, urns or melamine platters on my door, then festoon them with beautiful ribbons and seasonal greens.This summer I hung a darling wall clock on my front door. The classic-looking clock face was embellished with the image of a bird and trimmed in a green and cream floral pattern. I secured the clock to my doorknocker with a cream bow edged in a matching green.As much as I like to try wacky, new things on my door, I’m still in love with a timeless classic, the wreath. Today’s hot door wreaths are sleek and simple and green.At market, I fell for two natural beauties: a square wreath made of boxwood branches and a round wreath woven with delicate fern fronds.Once your door is amazing, turn your attention to your front porch. How about adding some planters? I always flank my door with Eugenia topiaries in iron urns so they can’t be blown over by the fierce Kansas winds. Furniture also looks smashing on a stoop, but only if there’s ample room. I have small iron benches on each side of my front door to make my formal exterior a bit more inviting and to provide a spot for my lazy cat, Boots, to sun himself.This summer, get your home noticed by adding the little but delightful details that give your home loads of curb appeal.Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three successful home furnishings stores in Atchison, Kan., and the author of several best-selling books on home decorating. Write to Mary Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more stories visit scrippsnews.comDistributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.net
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