Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making An Entrance

I'll just come right out and admit it: being late is my modus operandi.  It is a terrible habit that I aim to break each new day.  I do not enjoy being late, nor is it ever intentional.  My lateness is a product of trying to cram too much in too little time, and is compounded by a nagging perfectionism that makes it difficult to leave the house without hairs, outfits, tasks, etc. in place...multiplied by four when trying to get the entire family out the door.  My military husband (who is 15 minutes early to everything) never shies from sharing his personal philosophy about lateness: "It is a weakness and highly inconsiderate."  Thank you, for that.  But he's absolutely right.  Now, there are moments when I absolutely HAVE to be on time and I'm happy to rise to the occasion (and surprise the socks off everyone who knows me and expects me to be late).  Why am I sharing this, you ask?  To apologize for my lapse in writing the past month.  I do not enjoy abandoning the blog, nor is it ever intentional...forgive me.

Some theorize that lateness is an extrovert's trait...a habit of those who aren't afraid to be noticed.  While I'm certainly an extrovert, a late entrance is not the way I'd most like to be recognized.  At the moment, I am striving to make a statement with one particular entrance, family's front door.  This is where a certain aspect of my personality - the extroverted theater lover with a flair for the dramatic - wants to desperately to push past pragmatism and wildly throw color at the front of my house, as if to say, "Here we are! Come in, come in! All are welcome!"  (Was that dramatic enough?)

In all seriousness though, there is something to be said for a front door that is both interesting and inviting.  We've spent the better part of six years renovating the interior of our home, but the time has come to re-imagine and update the exterior...starting with the front door.  Never was this more obvious to  me than when my family recently participated in a photo shoot for an upcoming magazine article.  Mind you, our house was built in 1936 and is part of a working farm.  The brick steps are worn, as are the door and fixtures.  Before the shoot, I was frantically trying to spruce up the front door with quick DIY tricks.  Like planters with greenery.  For years, I'd been eyeing gorgeous faux (weather-resistant!) topiaries from a company lauded by Domino magazine...but I hadn't been able to pull the trigger on the purchase.  In anticipation, I even purchased large black decorative urns to plant them in...five years ago.  I suppose I wanted to be certain that I did indeed have the complete inability to grow anything real in the urns before resorting to faux.  Sure enough, over the last five years I can bear witness to the death of three different species of boxwood, lavender bushes and a myriad of colorful plants.  Apparently it's a dead zone...too much sun and not enough attention.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to ship the faux topiaries before the photo shoot, so I attempted to make my own (as a very temporary solution only for the shoot) from varying sizes of styrofoam balls, moss table mats, styrofoam glue and twigs.  Disastrous.  Our lovely and gracious photographer, Kelly Armijo of Armijo Designs, was able to photoshop around my mess, but suffice it to say I ordered the faux topiaries the minute the shoot concluded.  And they are now proudly planted in the longstanding urns in an attempt to up the friendliness quotient of our front door.  Greenery and plants are undeniably wonderful ways to liven up a plain space.

(The poor little patch of soil next to the steps is also on the list for an update!)

Our entrance has two things that keep it from being a complete snooze, through.  I do love the barn-red color of the door, as well as the original 1930's hardware.  I just want to find a way to add more architectural interest to the area around the front door.  My husband and I have discussed pillars or some sort of additional covering.  An alluring address plaque would be nice, too.  In due time, these would all be wonderful.  For now, I'm searching the design world for inspiration.  Take a gander at a few of my favorites:

Oh, the possibilities!!  I'd love to know your thoughts and ideas on sprucing up a front door.  How do you like to make an entrance?


  1. I have always loved red and blue front doors but I am completely in love with the yellow one you posted!!! I wish my house would work with a yellow door...I love the Tiffany blue one, too!!

  2. Oh, how this resonates! I share your angst about "the front entrance." Especially working from home a lot, and having students and clients and colleagues come through that door. Our always-in-progress house is 106 years old, but we did a complete re-painting of the porch; replaced handrails; and painted the beautiful old door kind of a burgundy/deep wine. And finally resorted to SPRAY PAINTING the stone steps...after trying special "concrete paints" and expensive stains. And the cheap spray paint is doing a better job than anything else in this soggy Oregon weather. !!