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The welcoming process begins before you step foot inside, so pay attention to the front of your house first. This does not have to entail spending a lot of money, as it's often the small touches that make the most difference. Go outside and take a few moments to consider the front of your home, imagining that you are visiting for the first time. What strikes you? What changes would you like to make?
Style notes: Giving your front door or porch ceiling a coat of blue paint is a great way to increase curb appeal. Always try to have something fresh and green near your door as well — even if it is simply a few branches plunked in a pretty bucket.
Think about leading a guest from the sidewalk to your front door: Is there a gently curving path, or is it difficult to find the way to your door? If you have stairs, is there a proper railing within reach? Are porch lights working and turned on in the evening? Are house numbers clearly visible from the street?
Once the basics are in order, consider adding a few finishing touches to delight the senses:
Last, consider adding a personal touch, something that will make you smile each time you see it — whether it is as small as a special shell or stone or as large as this amazing photo mosaic.
Style notes: Matt and Kimberly Weishoff created the mosaic shown here by blowing up a favorite photo, then cutting it into sections that were used as an alternative to the traditional guest book at their wedding (read the how-to here).
Welcoming and Stylish Entryways
Entryways Take a Seat