Wouldn’t it be nice if all the work you’ve done to prepare your home for sale is only accented by the approach to your front door? Here’s 11 tips for walking in a clear, safe and stylish path to your front door that compliments all your hard work.
1. Clear the way for curb appeal. The path to your front door should be at least 3 feet wide so people can walk shoulder-to-shoulder, with an unobstructed view and no stumbling hazards. So get out those clippers and cut back any overhanging branches or encroaching shrubs.
2. Exterior lighting. Landscape lighting makes your home look amazing and makes it easy to get around at night. Nothing is better than a wired halogen accent lighting system for your home. But solar-powered LED lights you can just stick in the ground, requiring no wiring, are surprisingly inexpensive and a great second choice. $45 for a pack of 8, Lowes.com.
3. Go glossy. Borrow inspiration from London’s lovely row houses, whose owners assert their individuality by painting their doors in high-gloss colors. The reflective sheen of a royal blue, deep green, crimson, or whatever color you like will ensure your house stands out from the pack. Consult Bonnie Rosser Krims’ book, The Perfectly Painted House, for ideas and find out what your front entryway says about you. Note: Crazy or edgy colors could reduce the value of your home and some HOA’s have strict color rules.
4. Pretty up the view. A door with lots of glass is a plus for letting light into the front hall, but if you also want privacy and a bit of decor, check out decorative window film. It’s removable and re-positionable and comes in many styles and motifs. About $5.25 per running foot, decorativefilm.com.
A less expensive way to get the look of stained glass without doing custom work or buying a whole new door, mount a decorative panel on the inside of the door behind an existing glass insert, $92 for an Arts and Crafts-style panel 20” high by 11” wide.
5. Replace door hardware. While you’re at it, polish up the handle on the big front door or better yet, replace it with a shiny new brass lock set with a secure deadbolt, $57.
6. Please knock. Doorbells may be the norm, but a hefty door knocker is a classic that will never run out of battery life and another opportunity to express yourself (whatever your favorite animal or insect is, there’s a door-knocker in its image). $39, potterybarn.com.
7. Ever-greenery. Boxwoods are always tidy-looking with easy upkeep. A pair on either side of the door is traditional, but a single plant is good too, about $25 at garden centers. In cold climates, make sure pots are frost-proof (polyethylene urns and boxes mimic terracotta and wood to perfection). $80, frontera.com.
8. Numbers game. Is your house number clearly visible? That’s of prime importance if you want your guests to arrive and your pizza to be hot. Aluminum, brass and stainless numbers start at about $4 per digit and can be found at most hardware stores.
9. Foot traffic. A hardworking mat for wiping muddy feet is a must. A basic high quality thick mat can be had at the hardware store for less than $20. Or spring for something fancier that matches your entrances’ ambiance. Many promise weather and mildew resistance, $45. Frontgate.com.
10. Go for the glow. Fumbling for keys in the dark isn’t fun. Consider doubling up on porch lights with a pair of lanterns, one on each side of the door, for symmetry and twice the illumination. $69 each. Shadesoflight.com.
11. Snail mailbox. Yes, they are not going away. So you might as well express yourself with a novelty one masquerading as a dog, fish, or what-have-you. If you have sober black box mounted alongside the front door, be sure it’s clean, straight and painted. Whatever you have, make sure it’s standing or hanging straight, with a secure closure, and no dings or dents. The mail carrier will thank you too.
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We specialize as seller’s agents in South Tampa, SOHO, Davis Islands, Channelside, Hyde Park, Sunset Park, Beach Park, Harbor Island, Westshore, Culbreath Isles, Culbreath Bayou, Bayshore Boulevard and Plant High School district homes. Specialty zip codes 33606, 33602, 33611, 33609, 33629. We are seller’s agents for the rest of the Tampa bay areas including: Westchase, Country Way, Citrus Park, Fawn Ridge, Carrollwood, Carrollwood Village, Old Carrollwood, Keystone, Odessa, Lutz, New Tampa, Seminole Heights, Wesley Chapel, Land O Lakes, Avila, Lake Magdalene, North Dale, North Lakes, Lake Ellen and Forrest Hills. Zip codes: 33613, 33604, 33603, 33614, 33612, 33624, 33618, 33556, 33558, 33559, 33625, 33626, 33635, 33634, 33544, 33543, 33549, 33548, 34639.