outdoor entrance, front entrance design

Troy Rhone shares tips for creating a welcoming front entrance design. Here, boxwoods flanking the brick steps help narrow the entrance, drawing guests in toward the front door.

As a landscape designer, I have always believed that one of the most important aspects of good design is to visually lead guests into a home. So if I want my guests to park in a certain place, I’m going to lead them into that parking space by creating such inviting surroundings that they will feel as though it were created just for them. In the same way, I will most likely want to lead them from that parking spot to my front door.

When guests arrive at your home, what is their first experience once they step foot out of their car? Do they head straight for the front door, side door, or back door? If they are not going to the door where you want to receive guests, there is a design flaw somewhere. It is so important to lead your guests and not leave it to them to figure out your wishes. A good design will not only reveal homeowners’ preferred entry, but will give guests plenty of enjoyment along the way. It will bring a new dimension to their visiting experience and enable hosts to greet their guests in a space that reflects and complements the interior of the home. In essence—an outdoor entrance hall.

A design element that I always include is a focal point. It could be an urn with a flower display, a water feature, or simply a statue. By doing this, guests will have one specific marker showing where to enter as they approach the house.

When planning a small space like this, I use fewer varieties of plants and flowers and try to use more plant groupings with matching flower and foliage color. It is also important to not use too many contrasting textures among the foliage. These simple steps will provide for a smooth transition from arrival to entrance and will impart a sense of peace and well-being that sets the tone for the visit.


By Troy Rhone

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