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Give Your Front Door a Face Lift

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By Mary Beth Breckenridge

front_door(1)(MCT)—A front door is your home’s chance to make a good first impression.

Help yours say “Welcome” with these ideas for giving your front entry a makeover for spring.

After a while, we all stop noticing the little flaws in our homes. So it’s a good idea to start by taking a good, hard look at your front door’s condition, says Sharon Kreighbaum, owner of Staged Makeovers, a home staging and interior design company in Hudson, Ohio.

Kreighbaum preaches the importance of curb appeal and puts a priority on keeping her own front door in good shape, so she was surprised recently when a feng shui consultant she was working with pointed out the sorry state of her doormat. Kreighbaum had just had the door and address numbers repainted and thought everything was looking spiffy, but she’d simply overlooked the mat.

Be thorough, Kreighbaum says. Try to look at your doorway as a visitor would.

Make sure the paint or stain is in good condition. Clear away the cobwebs and sweep away debris. Check the condition of the lighting fixtures, the door hardware and anything else in the vicinity of the door, and replace or improve them as needed.

House numbers can give a door personality, but they also have a function. If they’re not visible from the street, visitors will have trouble finding your house, Kreighbaum points out.

She has large, black numbers right on her red door, so they’re hard to miss. You can paint the numbers on if you like, perhaps using a template created on a computer or a vinyl stencil cut by a sign shop. You might even add the street name below the numbers, in a smaller font and different color, says Pamela Andrella, co-owner of the home decor shop Alter’d Relics in Barberton, Ohio.

If your door has a window, Andrella suggests cutting your house numbers out of a sheet of window film and applying it to the window, creating a simple, sophisticated look.

House colors are usually fairly subdued, but your front door doesn’t have to be. It’s a place where you can inject a little personality, Andrella says. In fact, she repaints her door about every other year, because “that’s the one thing I can change.”

Choose any color you love, as long as it complements your home’s exterior. Andrella herself is partial to California Paints’ Asparagus Fern, a soft yellow-green that works well with most flowers; Melted Butter, a sunny yellow; Geranium Red, a pinkish medium red; and Morning Calm, a pale aqua.

Can’t choose a color? Take your cue from flowers you love or a favorite outfit, says Andrella, or just browse a fabric store. Fabrics often combine colors in unexpected ways that work well together.

Skimpy moldings make even a beautiful door look insubstantial. Luckily, new materials make it fairly easy to swap your door surround for something with more presence.

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