The look and feel of your grand home entrance play a critical role in setting the right tone for the rest of your home. The first impression of your home’s interior is established here, and you want it to be favorable. The entryway establishes the social contract with outsiders and communicates the position and status of those owning the home.
If the prospect did not seem excited by the exterior of your property, this is your chance to make up ground quickly. And if the buyer was impressed with the exterior, here’s the opportunity to begin cementing a sale, whether your entry consists of a separate room or a small hallway or is simply the first stopping point before walking into an open layout.
The National Association of Home Builders reports that over 74 percent of home buyers want and expect a formal entry hall to be a feature of their next home. When three-quarters of your market speaks, it pays to listen.
Home Entrance that makes a Statement
You want your entry to set the right tone immediately. The entry should suggest that your house or condo is in excellent condition and that your home offers a positive life-style.
The dominant visual influence of your entry is likely to be the walls and the items hanging on them.
Wall Colors and Covers. There are two basic rules of color in areas like the entry. First, in small spaces, use light colors to avoid making the area seem even smaller. Second, colors should be neutral to avoid causing territorial anxiety. You might consider a monochromatic color scheme. Whites, beiges, and light pastels are the safest. Stronger colors should be limited to accents like prints, flowers, or upholstery. Wallpaper in the entry can be especially tricky since it can overwhelm a room. Neutral colors and small prints might be acceptable, but large prints and strong colors can work against you. Get advice from the people you trust to determine if your wallpaper is too personal and, if so, strip it and paint the walls, and consider a color – mood associations.
Wall Art. Use pictures, hanging wall panels or wall screens to add color and interest to neutral walls. But if you have very expressive or abstract art that people either love or hate, move it elsewhere. You would do better opting for more reserved paintings and photographs. Always avoid religious wall art since it can cause territorial anxiety.
Wall Mirrors. Mirrors can be a big help to a small or dark entry. It will enhance the perception of light and size in this all-important area of the home. Of course, the mirror should be spotless and the objects it reflects should be attractive.
Mirror’s shape can play a big role in the overall ambiance. While choosing mirrors consider the shape of a mirror when deciding where it should be placed in the room. Depending upon the layout of your entryway, you can choose a single framed mirror, a large horizontal mirror above a console table, or a full-length Pier mirror. Don’t place large mirrors directly across from the door, however, because you want prospects to focus on your home, not how they look. Mirrors scale and mirrors placement are very important.
Wall Molding. Whether your house or condominium is traditional or contemporary in design, molding can transform a nondescript surface into a focal point. Molding is one of the least expensive ways to set your house apart, increase perceived value, and compensate for design flaws. The look of the molding reinforces the charm of the home and invariably elicits comments like “They just don’t build homes like this anymore.” Seldom do buyers consider that the marvelous detail work so common in authentic colonial and Georgian homes can be bought by the carload on our website. Molding can make an impressive statement in the entry and other formal areas of the home. The ideas we will discuss apply not only to formal entryways but to any other room in the home. Using moldings you can create a luxury wall decor.
On InvitingHome.com website you can see handsome wood molding and polyurethane molding. These are usually much more elaborate than any you could produce on your own and can create a dramatic focal point to any room, especially one as small as the entry. You should carefully consider choosing the right molding material while selecting molding for your home entrance. Polyurethane or wood molding products cost between $3 and $19 per foot, depending on how elaborate they are, and can be installed by any handy person. You need a few tools, including a miter box and saw, a tape measure, level, hammer and nails, a drill, and some spackle. If you don’t feel you are enough of a handyman to do the job yourself, hire a carpenter.
Three types of molding are especially effective in enhancing the look of your walls. They are chair-rail, panel molding for walls and ceiling, and crown molding. If your walls are any color but bright white, consider painting the molding a lighter color to accentuate it. This will also help to make the room appear larger.
Home Entrance Ceiling
The ceiling is not generally thought of as a major selling point, but it can have a real impact on the buyer’s perception of your entry. If the ceiling has cosmetic defects or design flaws, you can use several inexpensive packaging improvements to correct it.
Paint. Remember, if the ceiling is disproportionately high for the size of the room, a darker color will make it seem lower. The darker color will reflect less light and will also effectively minimize surface defects.
Ceiling Embellishment. There is a range of interesting products available that can transform a conventional ceiling into a focal point of the room. Beautiful ceiling medallions (also known as rosettes), ceiling rims and ceiling domes are one such product. You also can use en elegantly designed panel moldings with decorative corners to create your ceiling design. They are architectural embellishments that were common in old, elegant homes but are rarely seen in today’s reproduction colonial homes.
When your prospect first steps into your home, the floor that greets him or her should project a feeling of quality and care. If the floor is wood, wax it or give it a new coat of urethane. This will not only make it look better but will also add a smell of newness. If the floor is carpeted, cleaning or vacuuming is a must. With either type of floor, an area rug will add a look of richness; it can also be a great cover-up. Use a thick pad beneath the rug to provide an added feeling of luxury.
If you need a new floor for this small area, consider using a high-quality material like marble or flagstone. You may be able to put down a new floor yourself by, for example, applying a self-stick solid oak parquet designed for the do-it-yourselfer. Installing a more luxurious floor in the entry may well be worthwhile because it will suggest overall quality. When it comes time to advertise the property and you state, “Features marble entry,” you can be sure people will take notice.
Home Entrance Lighting
An attractive light fixture, like Empire crystal chandelier, can be the centerpiece of your entryway. It can help set the tone of the home by suggesting quality. Proper lighting of the entryway is also essential in helping to establish the warmth and cheeriness of your house or condominium. There are a lot of styles and types of home entrance lighting. Most popular lighting fixtures are chandeliers, lanterns, and sconces.
If you have a ceiling fixture that is not up to the standards of the rest of your entryway, consider replacing it with one that can provide a true focal point. You may find that, depending on the size of your entryway, one general overhead light is sufficient, or it may be that a second accent light is needed. Because the ceiling is likely to cover a small area only, there is probably no room for a second ceiling fixture. On the other hand, the area might accommodate a table lamp or wall sconces.
If the area is large enough, consider providing an attractive furniture grouping. For example, you might place a small side table with a favorite lamp or a pair of candlesticks from the living room. Only you are likely to notice their absence from the larger room; on the other hand, most prospects are sure to notice them in the entryway.
While choosing furniture, like chairs, benches or occasional tables, you should focus on scale and proportion. It will determine how many things you will be able to fit in the entrance of your home. The larger the scale of furniture and objects the bolder the look. When decorating an entryway always remember to consider the relationship of your furniture to your home accessories. Massive rustic entry table doesn’t want little bitty things on or around it. Along with furniture, you might want to consider built-ins for your home entry.
Entrance Details Make the Difference
The smaller an area is, the more impact small details will have. Your entryway provides an ideal opportunity to “impress for less”.
One of the nice touches is to replace the standard plastic or metal switch-plates or outlet covers with more substantial ones. You can choose from brass, porcelain, or wood. This investment will immediately suggest a higher level of detail and value that will enhance the buyer’s perception of the room as a whole.
Another nice touch is the addition of a small shelf or counter near the front door.
Because the shelf will be small, you might consider making it from an expensive material like marble, or an attractive wood like walnut.
The shelf should look professional, but if you are not good with your hands, the cost of bringing someone in to do such a small job may not be economical. Remember, a job that looks amateur may cost you points.
The Coat Closet
When you offer to hang up your prospect’s coat, he or she will get a first glimpse of the organization of your home. If your closet is packed with clothing, boxes, or other space robbers, clean it out. Move items down to the basement or up to the attic, but avoid giving the impression of a messy, inadequate closet.
Once you’ve done this, buy a set of the most attractive hangers you can find. Rather than having a collection of old wire or padded hangers, use a set of quality wood hangers that add a feeling of quality to the closet.
The entry closet should also smell attractive. Replace the odor of shoes, mothballs, and mustiness with smells that sell. read more about home closets and making the most out of the closet