Category: Patios

8 Low-Cost Ways to Personalize a Front Entrance

It’s always tricky to prioritize decorating dollars, and I tend to funnel most of mine into interior enhancements: furniture, fabric, tchotchkes. But lately I have been thinking that the outside of the house — and especially my front entry — deserves its share of this love. The entry might be the very first impression of a home, and my entry is best called mousy.

Fortunately, jazzing up front entrance doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Try out these eight strategies to make a showstopper entryway without blowing your budget. Got another trick to add? We’d like to hear the facts in the Comments!

S / Wiley Interior Photography

1. Create a miniature room. Here a bench with cheery outdoor pillows, a hanging paper lantern along with a framed chalkboard combine to turn a simple entrance into a sitting space all its own — all without breaking the bank. Mix and match furniture to fit your home’s architecture and style.

Wind and Willow Home

2. Spell out a welcome. A stencil, a can of spray paint and presto! An plain concrete stoop becomes a hospitable howdy. If you can not or do not want to paint right on the surface, try stenciling a plain cotton or sisal doormat instead.

Sterling Publishing

3. Invest in showstopping hardware. Swap out dull doorknobs and knockers for immediate pizzazz on the cheap. It’s possible to search flea markets and architectural salvage stores for one-of-a-kind classic models, but even home centres take eye-catching styles these days. Decide on a knocker that offers a glimpse into your personality and interior design, while it’s an equestrian motif for horse fans or a nautical theme for a house on the coast.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

4. Pile up plantings. Plants are among the simplest and most affordable ways to give your entrance a polished appearance, and they are able to boost any effect you’re trying for. Mass tumbles of old-fashioned blooms in tin or tole bathtubs for a cabin; stick with variegated greens and glossy containers in a contemporary setting. For a traditional house, make a symmetrical category of palms, ficus or roses in ceramic or terra-cotta planters.

Megan Buchanan

5. Lighting the way. Why settle for a dull outdoor lighting fixture once it is possible to hang a bit of eye candy? Outdoor chandeliers are superbly unexpected. If you want to use it for lighting, start looking for a model that’s designed for outdoor use, but in the event that you simply want the cosmetic effect, you are able to mount an indoor fixture without wiring it.

Garden Studio

6. Paint the door a unforeseen shade. It sounds obvious, and yet so many of us choose the easy way out and go with brown, black or white. If the task of choosing a bolder color throws you for a loop, try this trick: Snap a photograph of your property, then take it into the paint store so that you can see how different colors work with your exterior.

Select a color that contrasts strongly with the principal paint color: bright crimson paired with pale grey siding, turquoise from rusty red brick, plum on khaki stucco. Lipstick red in a field of white is a classic, but branch out and try other colors — perhaps kelly Chinese or green yellow.

Get advice on what color to paint your front door

Latin Accents, Inc..

7. Decorate the door surround. Set off front door and give it more existence by adding a decorative framework. If the structure will accommodate such a remedy, line it with ornamental tiles or a mosaic. Otherwise, you can attain a similar effect with paint.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

8. Have fun with house numbers. Forget hardware-store amounts on the mailbox. Make yours soda: fun colors, beautiful fonts, creative placement. Just be certain you don’t sacrifice clear visibility and readability for the interest of interest.

See more on house numbers
Browse house numbers in the Products section

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Readers' Choice: The Best 20 Patios of 2011

From desert landscapes to foggy mountains to lakeside cottages, the very best terrace photographs this year reveal the varied locations that users call home. And while ers were about modern and contemporary patios this year, stunning traditional and diverse outdoor areas also rose up in the ranks.

Have a look the 20 hottest patio photographs uploaded to in 2011. Which one you prefer?

More Readers’ Choice winners of 2011:
Kitchens | Bedrooms | Baths | Offices | Living Bathrooms | Kids’ Bathrooms | Laundry Bathrooms

Arterra Landscape Architects

1. ers loved the casual contemporary look of the outdoor terrace. The fireplace is partially surrounded by a built-in seat with added light fittings, and cold slate tile contrasts with the terra cotta walls.

Sullivan Design Studio

2. The wall encircling this outdoor patio made this picture worth bookmarking for several users. ers were inspired by the built in planters and each one of the seating this functional wall supplied.

Ana Williamson Architect

3. Putting an outdoor dining area outside of a kitchen and indoor dining area is the best way to transition your home in the inside to the outdoors. ers loved the simple setup and the beautiful shade given by the wisteria on the arbor.

Prideaux Design

4. This desert terrace is anything but bare. The combination of succulents and rock make the room feel complete and refreshing. users spared this distance for the great modern furniture, the most vibrant ceramic planters along with the pops of orange and blue throughout the plan.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

5. The blend of materials in this picture caught the eye of modern-landscape-loving ers. The redwood and steel arbor and lively greenery warm the all-concrete terrace.


6. Ipe — a tropical timber — has been used in a lot of patios around this past year. Users loved the red tone of the timber in this terrace and the maze-like texture of these gardens surrounding the space.

Notting Hill Gardens | Design Build Construction

7. This lush rear patio area is the best location for outdoor entertaining. The numerous seating areas can hold several groups of individuals. users loved the vines on the walls, and the blend of the brick and the slate tiles.

Scot Meacham Wood Design

8. If you’re attempting to find out the perfect method to maintain an impromptu outdoor dinner party, use this designer’s alternative as inspiration. Chic white and black fabrics always look fresh and clean, and will dress up even the most casual outdoor space.

Clay Construction Inc..

9. The great thing about this outdoor patio is it’s fantastic for any time of year. While it’s clearly well-suited for summertime, the fireplace, covered terrace and covered outdoor kitchen make it a cozy refuge on cold winter nights.

Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture

10. ers were drawn to the blank linear shape of the concrete and timber outdoor dining area.

Cohn + Associates

11. This luxurious patio has just about everything you’d need in an outdoor space. Even a TV, covered living room and outdoor terrace are visible in this shot. users loved the drapes along the longer walls in this outdoor room — it is a great way to retain heat in the winter or block the sun through a daytime picture.

Metamorphysis Home Staging Services

12. The winding form of the built-in seat made it bookmark-worthy for most users. Users especially loved the tropical and warm feel the fearless terra-cotta colour on the cushions gave the cold concrete seat.

Andre laurent

13. The straightforward design of the outdoor patio follows the”less is more” mindset. The lines of this roof and the deck lead your eye on the other end of the home, and make the space seem longer. ers loved the sliding glass doors and the blending of the inside and the outdoors.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

14. The sculptural fence in this shot has an wonderful effect with this outdoor terrace. The lighting generates its own layout on the fence. It is daring enough that no additional decor is necessary.

Arterra Landscape Architects

15. ers loved the contrast between the granite countertop and the red Ipe wood with this kitchen. This photograph was bookmarked for layout inspiration — that the kitchen has plenty of space for cooking, serving drinks and eating a complete meal.

Sandy Koepke

16. Rich, lus, and exotic are a few of the very first words that come to mind when viewing this magical outdoor hideaway. Users loved the diverse mish-mash of lanterns, foliage and fabrics.

Cornerstone Architects

17. It is difficult to say what is more striking about this beautiful terrace — the view or the stunning structure of this terrace itself. ers loved the exposed wood ceiling and beams, along with the elegant interior-like expression of the fireplace and the kitchen chimney.

Baysix Design

18. Everything about this long and narrow outdoor terrace in Mexico is rather fabulous, but observant ers spared this picture for the exceptional bamboo flooring therapy. The beautiful colours on the outdoor pillows were another favourite feature, as were the wonderful outdoor lanterns near each column.

Studio William Hefner

19. These built in chairs are a excellent way to make use of any and all space in a walled-in terrace. Instead of staying far from the walls, this designer embraced them! The corner space turned into a comfy sitting room.

Kaufman Homes, Inc..

20. users loved the wise utilization of a sectional couch in this room. The L-shaped couch offers ample seating and retains the room comfy.

Tell usWhich outdoor space suits your personality best?

Watch photos of the most popular patio photographs on

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A Pretty Backyard Dinner Party

The holidays are quite busy already with all of the hustle and bustle that goes on, that planning a party in addition to this could be quite intimidating. The best way to get through a party during the holidays is go simple. Simplicity goes a long way during this time of year when everywhere you go is already decked out with Christmas decorations whenever summer ends.

To help with simplicity, I used things already around my home, though I did go buy several spools of glittery ribbon and yarn to hang, and I kept the menu simple. It was also important to keep the gathering place together, so that everybody could sit down near each other and just enjoy one another’s company. Company is the thing that makes a party a party after all! Plus, add a few twinkle lights and candlelight and everybody is in the mood to celebrate! Can not you agree?

Until: Our garden. Some metal lawn chairs for seating and a classic picnic table surrounded by metal folding chairs.

Following: Taking a large space and creating and styling areas to make it feel more romantic and fancy enough for a dinner party.

The distance was divided into three areas for the dinner party: the food station, dessert corner, and dining table. Each region had a bit of styling and decoration to add more charm and to distinguish each and every one. I used a classic metal garden table and brought out a comfy chair for coziness.

For seats, I brought out more classic cafe chairs from inside the home as well as a long seat that would help provide ample seating for your guests. It’s very good to have a seat around for purposes such as this.

I brought out our dining table and lined it up with the outdoor to table to make you really long table.

1 long table, mismatched chairs, pretty flowers, simple place settings would be the perfect makings for a wonderful dinner party!

Benches help supply more seating when it’s necessary. Mixing benches with chairs give it a nice eclectic mix.

For the tablecloth, I used an extra large flat bed sheet. It covered both long sides of the table nicely to the ground. For the table runner, I just used some burlap.

Burlap was utilized for the table runner and mismatch plates located at the thrift shop gave everything a one of a kind feel.

The party favors were miniature pops I made and place on every plate, wrapped up in a little fabric scrap, and also added a little tag cut from kraft paper.

Mismatched dishes and mason jars which may be found at thrift stores are so ideal for dinner parties!

I desired a wintry feel, so for flowers I just got a bunch of baby’s breath and place them together in large mason jars. I also just collected the candles I’d scattered around my home, set them on two plates and it added the excess pizzazz I needed on the dinner tables. Soft light adds such a wonderful ambiance.

With the holidays around the corner, I wanted a few sparkle, so I found a few gold and pink glittery type ribbons and yarn at the local craft store and cut bits. I had my husband take a 8′ dowel, drill holes at each end, then string it up into the wires we had moving round the top.

Soft candles include such a sweet mood to the party.

The party favors were miniature pies that I made and place on every plate, wrapped up in a little fabric scrap, and added a little tag cut from kraft paper. I utilized my recipe which I made for HGTV:

Twinkle lights, a little bit of sparkle, pretty flowers, and gentle candlelight make a dinner party somewhat more fancy!

Twinkle lights, a little bit of sparkle, pretty flowers, and gentle candlelight make a dinner party somewhat more fancy!

Just a little nook for desserts. Varied heights include more visual attention. Try stacking cake dishes on novels.

Use novels and cake stands to add some sort in height. This was how we exhibited our dessert table.

Adding old shutters to cover up a dull outdoor wall provides more visual attention and a aged long wooden table is the best thing to maintain all of the food.

It was an Italian dinner featuring two kinds of pastas, chicken, and three distinct sauces. All were put properly to keep the food clean and had simple labels which were cut from kraft paper and I just wrote the title and set it in the front of its corresponding dish.

The long table is where everybody dined. There was another little place that houses all of the food and another little corner just for desserts. It was our own mini little restaurant. To hang the ribbon for decoration, then I had my husband take a 8′ dowel, drill holes at each end, then string it up into the cables we had going round the top.

The large space felt much cozier using the different areas and it made the whole dinner feel a bit more fancy rather than just your normal garden party. And needless to say, it’s somewhat more cold of a year, so an outdoor heat lamp kept all of the guest warm and comfy despite the autumn glow!

Twinkle lights are just absolutely necessary for fairly backyard dinners!

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