Easy ways to smarten your front garden and entrance to your home
First impressions count. Making sure that the outside of your home does justice to the inside is something we don’t often think about until we’re welcoming guests or are ready to take steps towards our next homes. Giving your front door a facelift needn’t be costly, time-consuming or difficult – and will make coming home that little bit more delightful.
Whether you’ve just moved to a new home, want to spruce up your long-term abode, or are thinking of putting your house on the market and moving on, our 17 suggestions are the perfect way to bring style and kerb appeal to your entrance.
Tools & materials required
Drives, paths and gates
Let’s begin at the beginning. Before you even reach your front door, think about the areas you might pass through. Do you have a front gate, driveway or lawn? This is a great place to start.
1. Scrub up
Paving, paths and even door steps can get grubby and slippery over time. Pressure washers are easiest for tackling larger areas of concrete and block paving, as they’ll help to return the surface to its original colour. Accessories designed for paving will make light work of this task, so you can work more efficiently and avoid splashes of water.
Whether you’d prefer to work with a pressure washer or scrub by hand (a more practical choice for smaller spaces), use a detergent specially designed for outdoor paving – not only will this help to get the surface sparkling clean, it’ll inhibit mould growth so that it looks better for longer.
2. Tackle overhanging plants
Trim back any vegetation overhanging walls, gates, paths or the front door. Not only will this look neater, it’ll let in more light and be more welcoming to visitors. A good pair of secateurs will tackle this with ease.
3. The cutting edge
Give any grass a good cut. Front lawns can often be a little unloved, as the small space can sometimes be hard to reach with a traditional mower. A hand-push mover or a trimmer can be a useful alternative here.
4. Clear the cracks between paving
Paved paths and drives can spring weeds from every joint over sunny summer months and can be difficult to keep on top of. Opt for a weeder to remove unwelcome visitors in small areas of paving, or choose a weed killer for larger areas. An edging tool is a great way to smarten up the edge of overgrown paths, paving and flower beds, giving a crisp, neat finish.
5. Refresh gravelled areas
Gravel has a habit of dwindling over time, so top up gravelled paths and driveways with a similar stone to look like new again. A lawn rake makes light work of evening out new and existing gravel to give a tidy finish and get rid of any lumps and bumps.
6. Update your entrance
If you have a front gate, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint and updated hardware.
If you’ve a wooden front door, why not choose the same colour for your gate and door for a beautifully co-ordinated look. An exterior gloss or satin will work perfectly for both. Whites, neutrals and muted greens are a great choice if you’d like your entrance to blend in with surrounding greenery, or opt for a bold colour to make a statement.
7. Make room for storage
For many of us, the space outside our front door serves practical purposes rather than decorative ones. It’s often home to larger items that we don’t have room to keep elsewhere, like bins, bikes and other sports equipment. However, these needn’t be an eyesore, with an attractive garden store you’ll be able to protect your possessions as well as keep things neat and tidy.
Doors and porches
Whether you’ve a country cottage, urban apartment, Victorian terrace or suburban semi, we’ve all got a front door that could use a little love. Make sure that yours gives the right first impression with our inspiring ideas that’ll help your home look warm and welcoming.
8. Give your front door a new lease of life
Bring uPVC doors back to life with a specialist cleaner, or if you have a wooden door, consider a fresh lick of paint. If you’d like to update the look of your house, try a new colour that complements the building’s style. Classic pillar box red or racing green looks smart on traditional townhouses, muted moss greens and greys give a contemporary twist to older properties and neutral blacks and whites bring sophistication to modern homes. If you have a garage door, think about doing the same.
9. Refresh your hardware
Update your front door with new hardware. Bring your door up to date with modern brushed nickel effect numbers, knockers and letterboxes or add period charm with polished brass.
If you’d prefer to keep your existing hardware, particularly if you have original features, give brass a good polish with a specialist cleaner and a soft cloth to bring it back to its best.
10. Ring the changes
Never miss the front door again! If your doorbell has seen better days, now is the time to take advantage of new technology. Wireless doorbells take seconds to install, with no wiring to negotiate. A range of styles means you’ll find it easy to pick one that suits your home.
11. Add potted plants or trees
Whether you opt for sophisticated potted bay trees or colourful bedding plants, potted plants either side of the front door bring style and colour to your front entrance. Choose planters that are durable enough to use outside all year round, and evergreen foliage for a classic look. If you’re green fingered, bedding plants can be refreshed throughout the year bringing a splash of colour to your doorstep – or consider hanging baskets either side of your porch to add interest at different heights.
12. Smarten up your doorstep
Sprucing up your doorstep can make a surprising difference. Tidy away any clutter, give it a good sweep and a scrub, and refresh it with a coat of durable doorstep paint if it is painted or looking a little tired.
For a quick fix with big impact, swap out your doormat for something new. Go bold and bright, or neutral and traditional, for a fresh, clean finishing touch.
13. Light it up
On dark evenings, porch and outdoor lights are a welcoming touch. If you’ve already got an outdoor power supply, choose a new fitting that complements the style of your home. We love our Vincent wall light with classic good looks that suit both modern and older properties. Alternative, opt for solar-powered wall lights. They’re easier to install and won’t cost anything to run – plus you’ll be surprised how stylish they look.
Front of house
We know that home is more than just a front door and a place to lay your head. If you’re looking to smarten up the outside of your house, these quick ideas will bring a smile to your face.
14. Wash your troubles away
Clean windows not only look appealing from the outside, but also let more light in to help your home feel brighter. It needn’t be a chore with the right tools for the job. On the ground floor, a window vac will speed things up, whilst for larger areas and windows higher up, professional tools will get the job done quickly and give a sparkling finish.
15. Framing the picture
If you’re considering cleaning your glazing, take a moment to think about your window frames. These might also benefit from a wash and brush up to bring them back to life.
Use a specialist cleaner to rejuvenate uPVC frames, or repaint wooden window frames. A durable, exterior paint will give revitalise tired frames – opt for a colour that complements or contrasts with your front door.
16. Dress your windows
Sometimes the changes we make inside our homes can bring a new lease of life to the outside as well. Updating your window dressings with new curtains, blinds or shutters can have a surprisingly big impact on the way your windows look. Opt for lined curtains and blinds to give the neatest appearance from the outdoors, or install wooden shutters to make a feature out of your window dressings.
17. Add privacy
Frosting film is the perfect way to add privacy to front rooms, or add a delightful decorative touch. Static-cling film can easily be removed if you want to refresh in the future, making it a great solution in rented properties where you may not be able to change the windows or add permanent fixtures. Look for decorative designs that bring character to your home, or traditional frosting if you’d prefer to filter light.