Entry is through kitchen & is not obvious that this is the front door
jimmianne
September 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My house has a design flaw - no proper entrance.
How can I get people to use this door? They keep driving around to the back of the house and going to the back door.
The other problem is that this entry goes directly into the kitchen.
I don't like that, but not much I can do there. I've had the same problem for 12 years - people get confused about where to enter the house. The photo was taken from the parking area. I can go out and take more photos if that would help "see" the problem.
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JudyG Designs
A larger walkway from the driveway and a portico of some design….and lighting.



I had a very old house (1840) which faced South, as houses did in that era, but because my driveway was in the back of the house, no one, ever, ever came to my front door. I finally added an enclosed entry way, decorated it to the hilt and that became my “front” hall.
September 21, 2013 at 1:26pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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Chap De Laine's Interiors
A humorous and/or fun (designed) sign that says the entry is "this way", or, somehow discouraging people from driving farther than you would like, AND the more obvious path.
September 21, 2013 at 1:30pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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jimmianne
here are more images that explain the set up
September 21, 2013 at 1:32pm     
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printesa
I like Chap De Laine's Interiors idea:) Also,you could add a portico so that it shows that it is the main entry.
September 21, 2013 at 1:33pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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jimmianne
2 more...
September 21, 2013 at 1:34pm     
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printesa
Now that I see more photos, it is clear that you need a path going to that door. Right now, the front lawn is enclosed by the rock wall. You need a path from where you have your guests park their car towards the home.
September 21, 2013 at 1:35pm     
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jimmianne
Chap, I love that. Sometimes I put up signs when having a party, but a permanent sign might be very helpful!
September 21, 2013 at 1:35pm   
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jimmianne
The stone path I put in12 years ago has sunk down. Maybe some new hardscaping is in order. I've always wanted to turn that raised area into a patio. The shade from the trees has almost killed the grass anyway.

There are stone steps up onto the raised area where the vehicles are parked.
September 21, 2013 at 1:37pm   
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printesa
You could define the pathway with some Hostas. They do well in shade.
September 21, 2013 at 1:39pm   
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lucindalane
Just wondering, is that a side entrance there-and is that where they are being drawn to? If it is, it might help to put up a small privacy fence that obscures it so guests won't take a detour there. I'm hope that I'm not confused, but it does seem that they would see where the parking was, and park there, and not drive around all the way. I agree you definitely need a walkway that is large enough to indicate that it leads to the main entrance.
September 21, 2013 at 1:48pm   
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sharpkl
Could you run a couple sections of split rail decorative fence to keep people from going to the back.
September 21, 2013 at 3:17pm     
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Matilda Bos Design Studio
Hi....I agree that the path to the door needs to change, If you do a patio and then direct the stepping stones more to the front.Making a break in the rock wall will help your guests see where to go, having the patio with a few chairs and some pots of flowers will also draw attention. If possible I would suggest low-voltage lights along the path, and possibly an up-light under the tree. Your cottage is adorable!!!
September 21, 2013 at 3:44pm     
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brickln
I'm confused. Do you want people to use the kitchen entrance or not? What does the other entrance look like?
If this is the door you want people to use, I kind of feel like the landscaping and stepping stones are indicating this is a secondary entrance. The trees and bushes block the door rather than frame the entrance.
Are drivers bypassing the parking pad on their left, and going around the house, or is the house on the right as you approach it from the road?
September 21, 2013 at 5:32pm   
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Anne
I'm confused too. Where is the door you want them to use?
September 21, 2013 at 5:36pm   
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brickln
Also, looking at the roofline, the kitchen appears to be an addition, so I could see why visitors would be confused because you'd expect the front entrance to be attached to the main home. Stake a "Welcome!" sign about half way up the path but visible from the driveway so people will know they're on the right path.
Agree with sharpkl- split rail along the driveway and parallel to the entrance you don't want used.
Sweet home and lovely property.
September 22, 2013 at 6:32am   
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sharpkl
I like the idea someone stated of portico or pergola type area with paver bricks and larger path. It would be an extra extension sitting area of your kitchen.
Your house is so charming.
September 23, 2013 at 8:18am   
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jimmianne
I do want people to use the kitchen. I like many of the ideas - a portico, some outdoor decor that shouts Welcome, and a sign. Unfortunately I can't block off the drive because it is a circular drive that goes around the whole farm. People often bypass the entrance and go around back, turn around, park on the grass & hunt for the door : (
. The building to the left is where I want the entrance. The building to the right is the carport.
September 23, 2013 at 12:07pm   
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scaplan
I think the biggest problem is that you have cars parked in front of the steps. Can you move the stone steps so that they are more visable and then add more stepping stones to wind back around the trees? If you stick with the stepping stones, probably go with a more stand-out color, as well.
September 23, 2013 at 12:22pm   
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libradesigneye
Here are some other ideas. The old steps and path are hidden from drivers as they come in, so the blue door should be enough, but if they can't get over that wall . . . they go hunting around back.

Lift and lace the two trees - one right in front of the door and one in the center especially so the door is more visible. Then, place a path straight out from the front door, between those two trees in flagstone that the grass will grow between all the way to the stone wall. Put new stairs through and behind the stone wall right there where people see them when they drive up or past the wall. Make sure you have path lighting integrated so the path glows at dusk / night.

Instead of a sign on the existing path, place a sign on the road paralell to the last wall of the carport to the right - "Farm Equipment Only beyond this point" to encourage social guests to turn around :-)
September 23, 2013 at 12:44pm     
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Arley
What an adorable house! I love the stone path, to start with I would make the path wider. I would line the path with flowers. The welcome sign at the beginning of the path. Lights are good as well, all as mentioned above.

Place house numbers by the door somewhere.

How about extending the awning a bit and adding two posts on either side of the door. Or make the cover a pergola style with a solid roof.

I love the idea of a patio, maybe with a bistro set for breakfast and tea?

Place house numbers by the door somewhere. Maybe with a sign that matches the "welcome" sign.

I like the ones that name the farm, and say "Established 19??"

Add more of those lovely flowers by the door.
September 23, 2013 at 12:55pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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sharpkl
Maybe a designated gravel parking area across drive but more in front of door and then steps to new path in front. One tree may have to be sacrificed. A pergola and paver patio near door.
September 23, 2013 at 12:58pm     
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lucindalane
I think that a more substantial walkway and some prominent house numbers by the kitchen door that could be seen from the driveway would probably help direct people in the right direction. You could put a decorative sign out by the curve of you wall by your parking area that says something like "Welcome friends. Park here and stay a while," which would be a friendly invitation, and newcomers would hopefully understand the friendly little nudge as to where they need to park. I think a pergola would help define an entrance, but when I see a patio, I come from the old school where the patio was usually in the back, so putting one could confuse things more. Now, a nice bench close by with some potted plants might help to show visitors that's the entrance that they need.
September 23, 2013 at 1:49pm     
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groveraxle
A better defined pathway, and if all else fails...
September 23, 2013 at 2:07pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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PRO
TRU Landscape Services
Not much to add that others haven't already mentioned. A wider, more prominent walkway, and perhaps LED lighting are all excellent solutions. Maybe some steps and a pathway through the retaining wall (the one between the front of the road and the entrance) would make the walk easier and more obvious for visitors. That wouldn't be that difficult of a job with the right contractor and would lead people right to your door.

You have a beautiful interior, by the way.
September 23, 2013 at 3:09pm        Thanked by jimmianne
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jimmianne
grover - that's funny - sometimes that's exactly what I feel like doing when people sail by the door in their cars and I'm running hither and yon to collect them : )
September 24, 2013 at 7:38am   
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groveraxle
Thanks, jimmianne. I wondered if anyone would get it. I'm glad it was you!
September 24, 2013 at 9:16am   
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Rina
Coming in late, I've just drawn the ugliest pergola in the history of pergoladom. But I'm sure you could erect a prettier one. Can you imagine anyone missing this? (With due acknowledgement to suggestions above.)
September 24, 2013 at 9:55am     
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