The New Year is here, and what better way to turn over a new leaf than by updating the entry to your home? While there are many ways to enhance “curb appeal,” the keys to a successful entrance are actually quite simple. Feng Shui teaches the importance of the entry as the gate for good energy to flow into your home, and whether you believe that or not, we at least agree that it is absolutely crucial to your home’s magnetism. Here are some tricks we use to transform entrances that can make all the difference.
Real talk – Have you ever been invited to someone’s home and had a hard time finding the front door, or had to navigate several obstacles in order to get to it? This surprisingly common problem is probably the most important factor to change in order to make an entrance work. Directing visitors along a clear path to the point of entry creates a sense of design intention (and ensures that your UPS packages don’t end up somewhere else!) The entrance in the image above relies on strong angles and symmetry, right down to the landscape lighting, in order to strongly define the front door.
Keeping with the style of your home is another important part of making your entrance feel integrated. For a prominent house in a Traditional style, a straight path with symmetrical borders or pillars is fitting. The path should ideally be wide enough so that two people can walk side by side up to the door. Using landscape materials that fit with the color, history, or style of the existing architecture integrates the entry path with the house. Curved elements, like this defining wall above, can be used to echo the curved elements in architecture and can soften a highly angular design. The lighting elements here are also chosen for their stylistic connection with the home’s architecture. Even these small touches can have a big impact.
For homes with very large front yards, incorporating gated entries, low walls, planting, and focal points such as boulders or sculpture can enhance interest on the longer journey to the front door. When incorporating these kinds of elements, it’s crucial that they enhance the entrance instead of hiding it or distracting from it. A gate can lend a real sense of charm to a more Traditional home, and creates a kind of entrance-before-the-entrance which leads visitors into a front yard that feels instantly like an extension of the home.
For a house with a lower profile and more casual feel, such as a Ranch home or single-story Spanish Revival, a more meandering path often feels best, provided one can see the front door from where the path meets the street. Just because an entrance is more casual does NOT mean it has to be boring! Matching materials with the exterior of the house, like the used brick in the landscape above, gives the path a seamless effect. The curved brick patio below creates informal elegance for a restored Farmhouse, and is carried through into the interior for an awesome authentic touch.
We hope that these possibilities excite and inspire you to take some extra time on your entrance this New Year. However you choose to define it, remember that the threshold to your home is as important and personal as everything that lies inside. Be boundless and creative when making your entrance! Unique to your home and unique to you, the most important part is that you love it.
Do you have a New Year’s resolution for a new landscape? We are currently booking Landscape Architecture consultations for the 2020 design season. Contact our office and let’s get started talking possibility.