Key to the Good Life: First Impressions

First impressions do matter. And with fall’s cooler weather, it’s a good bet you’ll be flinging your front door open more often. Fortunately, Traci Chandler, the owner of Oh, Sugar! Events + Paperie, shared some curb-boosting tips to put your best house forward.

Fall Finesse

A wreath is a timeless way to add style to your home’s exterior without spending much money. This eucalyptus and olive branch wreath can be displayed year-round in a traditional or modern setting. “It’s a snap to update seasonally with festive ribbon,” Chandler said.

Bright Idea

One of the quickest ways to update your porch is to give the front door a big splash of color! Don’t be afraid to get creative with the color selection — just be sure it complements your home’s existing palette. 

Seasonal Switcheroo

There is nothing more festive than planters with greenery flanking your door. Mums are a classic for fall but consider spicing up your selection by adding ornamental cabbage or kale to your pumpkins and gourds.

Two Is Better Than One

The “layered look” isn’t just popular in fall fashion but in front porch design as well. Putting a small rug with color and pattern beneath your doormat is a newer style, but one that seems here to stay. Options for doormats are endless — from cheeky greetings and seasonally inspired sayings to custom monograms and beautifully designed family names. “It’s a chance to show some pizzazz as guests enter your home,” Chandler said.

Add Pep to Your Porch

When space allows, extend your living space by adding comfortable outdoor furniture. Think outdoor sofas with cozy seating, rocking chairs or a swing for those especially beautiful nights. Pillows and textiles with patterns and color are other great ways to add personality.

Best of the Block

Consider hanging architectural elements like antique wood arches, corbels and old window frames on the porch for depth and life. Sweet Salvage, a vintage market in downtown Phoenix, specializes in unique furniture pieces, décor elements, textiles and artwork. Each month, owner Kim Rawlins and her team of designers feature themed vignettes full of fantastic finds. 

Spruce Up Hardware and House Numbers

Replacing old door hardware, doorbells and house numbers is like adding a new piece of jewelry to a classic outfit — you’ll be surprised at how modern your look feels once it’s been refreshed. Sarah Hildebrandt and Martha Merwin, owners of Clyde Hardware Co., have spent over 55 years servicing the Valley’s top contractors and interior designers. “Their curated collection of plumbing fixtures, door hardware and cabinet hardware is second to none,” Chandler said.

Spark Some Smiles

Get in the spirit by decorating your porch for the season. Whether you go big or opt for subtle touches, make it fun and festive. From giant spiders and yard inflatables to DIY light-up ghosts, hay bales, pumpkins and gourds — make it a family affair and create a look that brings you joy. “It’ll become a tradition your family looks forward to every year,” Chandler said.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.

From Frontdoors Magazine

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