Your entryway and front door don’t just make the first impression, they often leave the most lasting impression.

So you should probably make it count.

“People will decide in the first few minutes whether they want to buy a home, so how it looks from the outside is very important — especially the entry,” says Mary Masters, a real estate agent for RE/MAX of St. Joseph with more than 25 years of experience.

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or captivate your guests and passers-by on the street, spring for these seven relatively easy projects to enhance your home’s entry points.

Make your door a delight

A punch of bright, bold paint that contrasts with the siding and trim is an easy way to revamp a tired entry. Against a white facade, a spring-green or lemon yellow door cheerfully leads visitors inside. Consider the style of your home and choose colors accordingly.

If you really want to make an impact, go with red. According to Lillian Too, writer of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Feng Shui, red represents strength, energy and happiness, hence it’s a good choice for a home’s front door. In times when red pigments were scarce and therefore expensive, a red front door heralded the wealth of the family who resided within.

Light the way

Good lighting is a must for both convenience and safety. Consider motion-sensing lights near the front door. Use low-voltage lights to illuminate pathways, and put lanterns on posts for general yard lighting. Both Masters and Gale Steves, home industries consultant and author of the books “Right-Sizing Your Home” and “Home Magazine’s Best Little Houses,” recommend solar-powered lights so you do not have to run wires in the yard.

Plus, “it gives more accent to the walkways,” Masters says.

Play the match game

According to Better Homes and Gardens, you can create a polished and sophisticated entry by choosing the same color or metal finish for exterior elements such as entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes and porch lights. However, make sure the color or finish contrasts with the door color itself.

“If they do it in a contrasting color, it actually accents it, and in some cases, gives it a larger-than-life appearance,” says Tom Rinderknecht, operations manager for T&G Millwork in St. Joseph, a business that excels at producing historic reproduction doors and windows.

Improve the architecture

Better Homes and Gardens adds that you should research your home’s style and add appropriate architectural details such as decorative brackets, moldings, columns and trim. If you already have those elements, bolster their appeal by giving them a fresh coat of paint or stain.

“Just from the curb appeal, you can easily spend $1,000 or $1,500 and make a $5,000 improvement in the exterior appearance of the home,” Rinderknecht says.

Pump up the personality

An entryway is a prime location to splurge on gorgeous features, Rinderknecht says, such as a wooden front door handcrafted by an artisan or colorful step tiles. With these elements, you don’t need much to achieve a polished look, and they will impress potential buyers in the future.

Add an awesome awning

If the space above your front door seems flat and boring, an eye-catching awning could make a world of difference. Not only will the small roof or awning keep rain or sun off visitors while they ring the bell, it’ll also come in handy while you’re hurriedly searching your purse or pockets for your keys.

Create comfort

Give your front porch a sense of warmth by placing a piece or two of weather-resistant furniture near the entry. Now, don’t spring for the cheap plastic furniture found at the big box stores. A rustic metal bistro set is an easy and elegant addition for any porch size — and it offers a perfect spot to relax outdoors with a warm cup of hot chocolate this fall.

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Shea Conner can be reached


Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.

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