First Impressions

We all know first impressions are important, and the same applies to your home! We asked local experts to offer suggestions for creating a welcoming first impression for guests. Read on to see what they had to say.
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Jimmy Adams, Nell’s Home, Gifts, & Interior Design

Style to Scale

To create an inviting entry, always consider style and scale. A beautiful demilune table with soft curving lines is a bit more welcoming and easier to maneuver than a solid rectangular chest. An upholstered ottoman tucked underneath the demilune invites your guest to take a seat and remove rain-soaked shoes.  If space permits, an antiqued glass mirror allows for that last look when coming or going. A tasteful basket or small tray for keys paired with a vase of cut flowers or a fresh orchid completes a stylish and uncluttered entry.


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Sharon Pratt, Interior Designers for Pratt Home Builders


Shelby Griffith, Interior Designers for Pratt Home Builders

Use Inviting Colors

A welcoming environment is achieved through balance. It is important to find a happy balance between form and function. Function serves as the starting point and establishes the “bones” of your home. Creating a welcoming foyer where guests can hang their coats and powder their noses offers them a comfortable first impression of your home. Then, use neutral colors and fun textures so your home can grow with you as trends change. When a house has good bones and an inviting and comfortable palette of colors and textures, you have achieved that perfect balance.


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Joyce Bean, Lighting Consultant, Ferguson

Light Up Your Entryway

One of the easiest and most effective ways to make your home inviting is to light up your entryway. Lighting is very important in creating a first impression. Wall lanterns, recessed, step, and landscape lighting are all great for illumination as well as safety. Treat your entry as part of your home. If you are planning to have a guest over after dark, make sure your entry light is on. This will let your guest know where to enter and make them feel welcome. Remember, the front is the first spot people see when they visit, so make it inviting. Dimmers add ambiance for your recessed lights and front lanterns. Add an outdoor bench and a planter with seasonal flowers to pull the space together.


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Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, Owner and Principal Designer, Haskell Interiors

Decorate Your Powder Room

The powder room is usually reserved for guests, so make the experience a memorable one. Scented soap and hand lotion, and a stack of disposable towels, perhaps with your monogram, makes the trip delightful. Remember to add a hook to the back of the door for visitors to hang a jacket or a purse.


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Vicki Runge, Fowler Brothers Co. Interior Design

Create a Destination

A home’s entry can become a destination rather than a passageway by the addition of artwork. A sculpture on a pedestal or a high quality framed painting creates the personality of a museum while tying in the homeowner’s character and tempting visitors to spend moments in reflection.


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Ashley Stinson, Lead Designer, Broadleaf Residential, Inc.

It’s in the Details

People say that first impressions are everything. I say that first home impressions are everything! Set the tone for your house the minute your guests walk through the door. A foyer “pop” can be something as simple as an interesting light fixture or as bold as a feature wall (think brick or wainscoting). We all focus on our master baths when planning a new design, but our attention should really be on the most used bath in the house: the powder room! As a designer, I tell my clients that a powder room is my “calling card.” That small space is one that I can really make stand out! Don’t be afraid of a rich color (like emerald green, navy, or black), gold plumbing fixtures, a unique vanity or pedestal, and lighting and mirror combos that take it to the next level. Accessorize with patterned textiles and don’t forget those finishing touches like a simple floral arrangement, art, candles, or lamp. It’s all in the details when making an impression.


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Marsha Yessick, ASID, NCIDQ, Yessick’s Design Center

Thoughtfully Accessorize

Often now, foyers are narrow, creating the need for thin furniture. Furniture manufacturing companies realize this need, and fortunately, are introducing consoles and chests that are thin, without compromising the design. Of course, using the perfect accessories will complete the look! A colorful rug and a thin, tall lamp will complement the furniture, creating interest and beauty! Even though some say wallpaper is out, the introduction of some wall coverings is strategic. With the trend of neutral color schemes, the inclusion of some textured wall covering or geometric paper is the perfect, and needed, application in a home. Grasscloth is also back, so with these fresh new products available, warmth and interest is assured! 


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