Easy ways to smarten your front garden and entrance to your home
First impressions count. We often don't think about whether the outside of a home does justice to the inside until we welcome guests or are ready to take steps towards our next home.
But fortunately, giving your front door a facelift doesn't need be costly, time-consuming or difficult. It also makes coming home that little bit more delightful.
So whether you’ve just moved into a new home, want to spruce up your long-term place, or are thinking of putting your house on the market and moving on, our ideas are the perfect way to bring style and kerb appeal to your entrance.
Tools & materials required
How to transform the outside of your home
Drives, paths and gates
Before you even reach your front door, think about the areas you pass through. Do you have a front gate, driveway or lawn? This is a great place to start.
Scrub up paving and paths
Paving, paths and even doorsteps can get grubby and slippery over time. Use a pressure washer to clean and refresh any large areas of concrete and block paving, it'll return the surface to its original colour and remove any unsightly moss. Choose pressure washer accessories designed for paving to speed this task up and avoid splashes.
If you've got a smaller space, such as a doorstep or short front path, a scrubbing brush and warm water will work just as well. Whichever way though, use a detergent specially designed for outdoor paving – not only will this help to get the surface sparkling clean, it’ll prevent mould growth so that it looks better for longer.
Tackle vegetation and lawns
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.
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 mower or a trimmer can be a useful alternative here.
Clear the cracks between paving
Paved paths and drives can spring weeds from every joint over sunny summer months. These 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.
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 garden rake makes light work of evening out new and existing gravel to get rid of any lumps and bumps.
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.
Choose an attractive garden store so you’ll be able to protect your possessions, whilst keeping 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 ideas that’ll help your home look warm and welcoming.
Give front doors 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 sage 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 or front gate, think about doing the same to give a neat, coordinated look.
Refresh door hardware
Update your front door with new hardware. Bring your door up to date with modern brushed nickel effect house numbers, door knockers and letterplates or letterboxes. Alternatively, 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.
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.
Add potted plants or trees
Whether you opt for topiary trees or colourful bedding plants, potted plants beside the front door bring style and colour to your 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 added and refreshed throughout the year bringing a splash of colour to your doorstep. Hanging baskets can also be a great option, adding interest at eye level.
Smarten up doorsteps
Sprucing up your doorstep can make a surprising difference. Start by tidying away any clutter and give it a good sweep and a scrub. If it's painted and looking a little tired, refresh it with a coat of durable doorstep paint.
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.
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 Lantern (pictured) with classic good looks that suit both modern and older properties.
Alternatively, opt for solar-powered wall lights. They’re easy to install and don’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 brighten up your entrance as well as inside spaces.
Get glass gleaming
Clean windows not only look appealing from the outside, but also let more light in to help your home feel brighter. With the right tools, it needn’t be a chore.
On the ground floor, a window vacuum (pictured) 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.
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Scrub up window frames too
If you’re going to clean your window, take a moment to think about the frames. These might also benefit from a wash and brush up to bring them up to scratch. Use a specialist cleaner to rejuvenate uPVC frames, or repaint wooden window frames. A durable, exterior paint will revitalise tired frames – opt for a colour that complements or contrasts with your front door.
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 outside, or install wooden shutters to make a feature out of your window dressings.
If your house faces onto the street, frosting film is the perfect way to add privacy to front rooms and bring a bit of personality to your windows. The 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 might not be able to make permanent changes.