wikiHow to Make Your House Look Welcoming from the Outside

You take pride in the appearance of your house, but when you walk in your neighborhood, you feel that other homes may look more welcoming from the outside than yours. Here are some ideas on how to make your home look more welcoming to visitors.


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    Make sure your entrance is accessible. That means cleaning up the front yard, porch and entrance-way to allow visitors to get to the front door without stepping through or over obstacles. On the actual porch, clear away boxes, boots and shoes and anything else that doesn't belong there (these sorts of things can go at the back or family entrance).
    • Clean up the walk from the street, sidewalk, or driveway. Remove brush, thorny plants, overhanging branches, toys, or other hazards.
    • Make sure the walkway path itself is usable. Try to have cement, flagstones, gravel, or even a wooden walkway so people aren't stepping in water, snow or mud.
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    Have a clear access path to the door. When visitors approach from the street, drive or other public area, can they see which way to walk? They must be able to open the gate, for example. An archway, trellis, or other landscape feature is a good way to announce the entrance.
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    Make sure the entrance is well lit. This means from the initial road entry through to the front door––anyone entering should be able to see their way clearly, both in dim light and dark night. To improve poor visibility, replace any broken or dim bulbs and clean and polish the light fixtures. You might even consider adding new light fixtures to improve both visibility and appearance.
    • Porch areas need at least 60- to 75-watt globes. Lower wattage will be too dim.
    • Garden lights can be used to line a pathway or steer visitors off your lawn and toward the entry.

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    Add decorative features on the walkway or near the entrance. These could include potted plants, benches, paving stones, planter boxes, signs, statuary, bird baths, fountains, flowers, artwork, or decorative plants.
    • Even a simple straight path from the street can be made more interesting with cheap, used or free items. Visit yard sales or flea markets and see if you can find anything colorful that can sit in the outdoor weather and attract the eye.
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    Have a nice front door. This could be as simple as giving it a good scrub and wash down. Or, if it has faded over the years, repaint it to a vibrant new color. Almost anyone can paint a door if they are willing to try! If the door is in really poor condition, it might be time to replace it completely, both for the sake of your sense of security and for improving the appearance of the front of your house.
    • Oil any squeaky hinges and polish up any metalwork on the door, such as brass numbers.
    • Don't forget the molding and framework around the door. If it's flaking, then it needs repainting too.
    • Check the floor beneath the door. If it is chipped, dowdy, dull, then clean it and polish. You might need to paint, varnish or redo the floor, depending on its make and style. Don't neglect this aspect, as it adds to the overall impression.
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    At the front door, add features to make it look like a home. You might have a small chair and table, a bowl of rocks or shells, a potted plant, a sign, a place for shoes or boots, an umbrella stand, hooks for hats or wet clothes, a brush for muddy shoes, a bin for walking sticks or canes, or some shade for hot days.
    • A decent, pretty doormat should be both functional and welcoming. Remove tatty doormats and either spruce them up or buy a new one. The doormat doesn't have to spell out welcome in letters (although some do), but it must make the visitor feel welcome.
    • Chairs or seats at the front door can become dull and discolored over time. If you have these, check that the condition of the wood or other material is good; if not, clean it up and redecorate it to look like new. And replace worn and faded cushions to make it all feel better again.
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    Make the front entrance a living space. If the front door is a place to sit and visit, to meet and greet visitors, to live in, it will definitely be more welcoming. Putting some chairs nearby in a conversational circle would be one way. Or just inside the door, make a space for visitors to transition into the house, with other chairs or benches to change clothes or shoes, to hang coats, set bags down, even to stop and admire a piece of art, a plant, or other decorative feature.
    • Don't allow obstacles at the front door. Don't make visitors step over a pile of shoes, the family dog, children's toys, or other things on the floor to get inside. This isn't welcoming.


  • Entrance walls just on the inside and smooth external walls around the entrance can be cleaned easily with the commercial "Mr Clean Magic Eraser". This is gentle on the paintwork, saving you having to repaint unless absolutely necessary.
  • Be prepared to change your mind. That hedge over the handrail might have been the mainstay of your entrance for the last decade. But suddenly, it might seem old, overwhelming or just plain messy to you. Don't feel hamstrung to keep it just because once it was the centerpiece of your entrance way––when it's time to change, it's good to let go of designs that no longer seem interesting or right for the person you are now.
  • Change potted plants at the front entrance seasonally. Use this space for your most colorful flowers or other interesting foliage.
  • Landscaping decisions can help in welcoming guests. Consider this when re-decorating, adding features, or removing features.
  • Use your imagination. Walk around your area and see what other people do to their entrances that you like. Walk up to your house and see if it looks equally inviting. Move things around until you get the feel you want.
  • Go easy on the seasonal wreaths and such. Why? Rapists and other predators notice these sorts of clues.


  • Motion sensor lighting and or lighting that comes on at dark are a good security measure and add to the appeal of the house. Your desired guests will be welcomed, and undesired ones, deterred.
  • Be careful not to place dangerous obstacles that people can trip over. Watch for overhead branches, wires, uneven pavements. Add a rail or even a rope for people to hold on to if necessary.
  • Go easy on the seasonal wreathes and foo-foo that say, "A woman lives here." Predators use clues like these. Try to be gender-neutral in your outdoor presentation.

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