Blue shutters frame a front entry
Van Chaplin

Open and Airy

"A Caribbean blue louvered door opens onto a loggia that serves as an outdoor foyer/stair hall. Giving an outside space an inside function is smart because the area doesn't need to be heated or cooled."
-- Todd Childs, Assistant Home Editor, Southern Living

Tip: Add container gardens to your entry for an instant makeover. Lightweight pieces allow you to move the plants to different areas when the mood strikes.

Basket of flowers on a front gate
Meg McKinney, Tina Cornett, Joseph De Sciose

Flower Basket

Welcome guests before they even reach the front door with a basket full of seasonal blooms. It’s an easy (and pretty) alternative to the standard wreath.

Tip: To save time and show off your green thumb, use cuttings from your own garden and a basket that you already own.

Window boxes hang on a cottage
Andy Geiger

Boxes of Blooms

For cottage charm year-round, install window boxes to the front of your home. Let your creativity run free when choosing what to plant. Try flowers in your favorite colors or plants that complement your home's exterior.

Tip: Petunias (shown here) are perfect plantings for summer color Make sure to remove spent blooms so that the flower show continues.

Country front porch

Country Curb Appeal

Colorful wooden chairs and a handmade quilt make this front porch casual and inviting. The painted floors and stairs accent the white railing just enough to call out the tulip-shaped cutouts.

Tip: Perfectly matching the decor in a space (even an outdoor room) is a thing of the past. Give the space depth by showcasing flea-market finds, souvenirs from trips, and antiques passed down through the generations.

Front walk with plantings
Joseph De Sciose

Walk This Way

"(Garden designer) Bill Nance came up with an idea that draws a visitor's eye toward the door and breaks up the hard lines of the front walk. He created a rhythm with plants that provide variations in color, texture, and height."
-- Edwin Marty, contributor, Southern Living

Tip: To achieve this look, junipers, lamb's ears, and daylilies were planted along the path. Check with your local nursery or garden center for similar selections.

Modern front entry to a beach house with a rock climbing wall
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Whimsy Architecture

Not all entries are created equal. If you have the space (and the imagination), personalize the entry for your family's needs or interests. At his beach home, architect Tinker Hatfield incorporated a large patio, boat storage -- even a rock-climbing wall -- to give the exterior a look that's all its own.

Tip: Put as much thought into your home's exterior as you did the interior. For example, try a bold paint color on your doors or shutters for a customized look.

Fragrant front entry
Roger Davies

Fragrant Entrance

Set a warm and relaxing tone at your front entry by planting selections that smell as good as they look. Homeowner Pam Robinson fills her open-air space with lavender, English roses, and hydrangeas.

Tip: Plant a multipurpose herb garden. Not only is the aroma intoxicating, but the fruits of your labor can be carried into the kitchen and enjoyed in your favorite dishes.

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