How to Make Your Front Walk More Welcoming
When you approach your house from the driveway or curb, what do you see? What is the experience created in your walk to the front door? Some homes are warm and welcoming, with pathways that beckon toward a glowing front door and warm-seeming porch. Some have decorative shutters, some have covered porches, some have steep, rocky front yards, and some a gentle strip of grass. But the one thing all homes with welcoming curb appeal have in common is an inviting front walk crafted with landscaping and lights.
Lights play a vital role in whether your home feels warm and beckons in from the street, especially at night. They bring in the focus while also providing an elegant stylistic accent to the home's architecture and landscaping design. Whether your front yard has a porch or patio, steep or gentle, you are sure to find a few methods that will make your front walk more welcoming.
1. Create a Dedicated Footpath
The single most inviting feature of a front yard that welcomes approach is a footpath. A paved path, a line of stepping stones, or even a pebbled walk will show guests and family where it's safe to place their feet. Many people are hesitant to walk across a lawn or landscaped space, and most will feel obligated to step all the way around to the driveway just to stay on a paved and trusted path of travel.
Create a dedicated footpath in your front yard leading from the most likely place where guests approach to your front door. This might be the curb and mailbox or you might path in from your driveway's unload point. Or do both and meet in the middle. Give your guests a safe, graded, and highly visible path with good traction nestled between your lawn or landscaped areas.
2. Light the Path with Little Lanterns
Little foot path lanterns are a classic way to invite guests to walk along a path that feels almost magical on a dark night. Steep lawns benefit from both lanterns and railing to help guests safely pass over uneven terrain or steep steps. Little lanterns leading the way through the hilly garden are inherently lovely and inviting to the weary traveler.
Flat lawns, however, often create beauty in outlining the shape of their path in lights. Create a curving path and enjoy how your line of lanterns curve through yards and past flower beds, while also providing plenty of illumination for the safe placement of feet in the night.
3. Build an Arbor Entrance
An arbor is a garden archway, usually made of wood. These beautiful arches are the perfect way to welcome guests to a fenced and gated yard. If you keep a fence for privacy or the safety of small adventurous family members, an arbor over the gate is a wonderful way to say "welcome to my home" instead of "please keep out". Arbors are a wonderful opportunity to incorporate ivy into your designs as well. A trellis arbor can quickly become covered in flowering vines that will make your front walk even more inviting and lovely.
4. Place Comfortable Front Porch Seating
Make your porch more approachable to improve the warmth of your approach. Place comfortable seating on your front porch or patio and provide light so the seating area is illuminated in a warm glow as evening falls. Seating that is well cared for and often occupied becomes a welcoming sight for any who might linger in the quiet outdoors sharing conversation and good company.
On many a quiet porch swing or wicker loveseat have old friends, new acquaintances, and family across generations sat shared quiet conversations that transcend convention or limitation. Front porch seating is more than symbolic when you go out of your way to make the space comfortable, well-lit, and welcoming.
5. Light a Beacon at the Front Door
Speaking of lighting, every front door deserves a beacon. The "front porch light" is what we look for when seeking our way home in the dark. It is so iconic in our culture that there are songs about it. When shaping your curb appeal and the welcoming quality of your front walk, the front porch light will always be major design choice. Do you want a traditional Victorian hanging lantern or a modern sconce? You can choose frosted glass to soften and disperse the light from your front door or a shining exposed bulb to amplify the distance that your light travels and the clarity with which it shines. No matter what you choose, your front porch light will be the beacon toward which all guests will be drawn.
6) Little Plants Along the Pathway
The right landscaping can be both aesthetic and charming. Planting flowerbeds or a row of small distinct plans along your pathway can feel like being accompanied by the greenery and flowers on your way to the front porch. A row of small bushes, fluffy grass clusters, or large succulents adds a sense of whimsey as your family and guests approach the front door from the curb or driveway.
You can create a fun color scheme and even use raised planters to have some beds come up to meet the walker as they cross your yard. A creative landscape artist can help you create a truly enchanting approach with the help of plant-lined paths.
7) Repaint Your Front Door and Trim
Most people are not about to repaint their entire home exterior, but you can repaint the trim and your front door over a single weekend. Trim is the color of your window frames or shutters. It might be the color of your eaves and front porch railings. The trim color gives a house personality beyond the neutral tones of a typical home exterior. You can freshen and brighten the current colors or redefine your home's exterior color palette just by repainting the front door and trim.
8) Add a Statement Front Porch Light
If you have a covered front porch, just the right outdoor statement light fixture could be the inviting touch that your front walk needs. Make your porch not only a comfy place to wipe your feet, but also an elegant little outdoor venue of its own. A statement front porch light might be a glimmering pendant or even an outdoor chandelier that gives personality, energy, and more than a little glam to your front porch - it all the more inviting for guests approaching from the curb.
Summing it Up
Here at Urban Ambiance, we can help you define any space with lighting. Whether you are looking for the perfect dining room chandelier or the right little lanterns to line your front walk, we can help you build the lightscape that your home deserves. Let us help you make your front walk more inviting and safe, light up your porch, and illuminate every room of your home with beautiful, hand-picked light fixtures. Contact us today to build a lightscape for your welcoming front walk.