How’s Your Entryway Looking?

Ivy says:

My latest in bathroom reading has been a book of household hints from 1970. Some of the hints are useful, some of them are truly amusing in their datedness, some of them are perplexing. Something that really struck me was this quote: “There is no point in embroidering or buying a ‘Welcome’ mat if no welcome is obvious; and your home, and its responsibilities begin outside the house.”

It struck me as funny because my doormat says, “Leave”- but it also made me think about what the entrance to my home must look like to visitors. So many of us use a side door or the garage door to enter our homes, that the front entrance may be overlooked when you’re cleaning and decorating your home.

So, go take a good hard look at your front entrance. It might be Halloween soon, but it might be a good idea to knock down the real spider webs anyway. Would a pot of mums brighten up the area? Do you need to sweep? How are the outside walls looking? (It’s funny- mine were looking kind of dirty. A quick hosing down took care of that and went a long way toward making the whole area look better.)

This is an area that doesn’t take very long to maintain, but makes a very big difference in how guests view your house. Go take a look at your front entryway today and see what needs to be done!


  1. Bart on January 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I think we're reading too much into door mats. No one really believes that "go away" really means go away. Just like solicitors ignore my "no solicitors" sign above the doorbell.

  2. Mom of three on October 28, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Hey Ivy,
    Letting you know I swept front and put out a new mat. Cleaned up kitty door and put down new mat. Garage is well, still garage. 🙂 The new vitamins must be kicking in, since I am feeling more like me today. Either that or I did have the flu last week.

    Got dinner in the oven, house all cleaned and laundry for the day going. All is right with the world. (Okay, just my house, but somedays that’s all I am up to. LOL)

    Thanks for the motivation. Hopefully as my levels come back up, so will my energy.

  3. Mom of three on October 25, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Well, I am going to get on the side porch tomorrow. Had #2 clean up all the kitty mess today, so I can go out there and sweep and put up the new mat I bought. We finished the renovation (pics now online) so when you come into the house, it’s beautiful.

    Found out last week I am Vit. D deficient, so that’s where my motivation and energy have gone lately. Hopefully I will be back to normal soon. I am tired of being tired.

  4. Keter on October 24, 2008 at 12:31 am

    My house is currently only accessible through the garage (the walkway to the front door, which looks like the side door…) is unsafe, and it’s not getting fixed until next year at the earliest, so we keep the front walk gate locked. That means everyone comes in through the garage, or walks down the front of the house to the second-story deck stairs and comes in through the living room patio door. Whew! I got tired just typing that…

    Anyway, the entry of my house is an interesting thing – it is literally the hub of the house. four doors on four walls downstairs: garage, front, master bedroom, back yard. And there’s a spiral staircase and a landing/step down from the garage. Upstairs is a catwalk connecting the two halves of the upstairs, and the other two walls are solid glass. Yeah, my house is weird. It was awkward and impossible to clean because every freakin’ surface in the place was rough hewn cedar, which is gorgeous and smells nice but in addition to being full of splinters also traps dust, dog/cat/human hair, spiderwebs and dead bugs like crazy and is very difficult to clean – so just about every day looked like Halloween. :o(

    Well, the existing “custom” (It was gorgeous 30 years ago, I’m sure) garage door wore out and wouldn’t stay closed, so last month I went and bought a new one. It’s as generic as they come (except that it is a full light door – essentially a big window that swings like a door), but it closes well and actually insulates a bit. When I put it in, it would not install flush to the floor like the previous door (which had no threshold) – so there was this big hump you had to step over, or, as we quickly proved, trip over. And there went my last excuse to continue putting off redoing the “atrium.”

    Now there’s a slight step up to clear the threshold of the new door and onto the new slate tile in the garage entry, and across the landing at the base of the spiral stairs and on the steps down to the other landing that serves the front, back, and master bedroom doors. The steps, which had been open on the side and in between the slats of wooden decking (and collected massive amounts of dirt underneath the steps that could not be reached by even the longest broom) are now closed in on all sides – nothing else is ever going under those stairs and I’ll never have to crawl under there to clean again (although admittedly that was something I forced myself to do only once a year…). Every surface of the newly boxed-in steps that is NOT walked on is now paneled in bamboo flooring.

    The next thing to do is to rip out the old walls, which are uninsulated, and put in insulation and then recover them with quarter-inch plywood and more bamboo. And after that, the real fun begins: covering the spiral stairs with slate and bamboo. The spiral stairs are 4X12 cedar planks bolted to a telephone pole. Yes, a real USED telephone pole. It would be cool, but the stair treads sag alarmingly. They’re actually still sound, but look awful…so straightening them has to occur before covering them. That’s going to take a while.

    When all is said and done, the “atrium” will be fresh and pretty, and more importantly – cleanable.

    BTW, I call this “the house that ganja built” because whoever built it was definitely smoking something (and I found a little “wacky tobaccy” pipe in one of the walls to prove it!).

  5. Trixie on October 22, 2008 at 8:25 am


    For some reason it’s really easy to ignore the entry way, isn’t it? We just breeze through there everyday and usually fail to notice anything our guests would notice.

    Our front door has never been used. Ever. We live out in the country and the front door is a long way from the garage. When visitors come they pull up the driveway by the garage and come in the backdoor through the garage.

    Let’s just say our garage entry isn’t the most welcoming. It’s the laundry room/mud room/ and general storage area. It is painted a beautiful blue. I try to keep it as clean as possible and keep the open storage shelves neat but that’s about all I can do for this area.

    I can’t wait to read what others are doing to keep their entry pretty!

    Take Care,


  6. gayle on October 21, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    That book sounds interesting, what is the name of it? I would love to read it, too.

  7. Mom of three on October 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Beth Moore once asked in a conference why do doormats say “Welcome” when we rarely mean it. Mine says “Wipe your paws.” Since the only people to use it are visitors they are at least warned that animals reside within. 🙂

    I hate for people to come in the front. Our flower beds always look awful. We live in the house in the winter and in the back yard in the summer. Both look nice most of the time. The only thing we do in the front yard is work (cut grass, trim bushes, pull weeds) so we use it very little.

    But currently it’s getting cool enough we had to put up plastic for kitty to keep her porch nice and toasty and dry and so even the side porch isn’t all that nice a place to come into. We use the garage, and I ain’t even going to go there. 😉 Hubby is convinced he needs every single thing stored in that fool garage, and after 20+ years of marriage I have learned there as some battles not worth fighting.

    So yeah, I could spend a week in those areas. But it doesn’t seem to stop visitors so I’m not sure I am going to sweat it too much. It just lowers their standards. LOL

    Had a chance to go in one of those homes we all dream of, with the perfectly clean kitchen, bathrooms that looked like they’d never been used. I was afraid I would mess something up. So were the other people there. We all walked around in our sock feet wondering if we were going to spill something, or sneeze. It was a beautiful house and worth every penny of it’s asking price, but give me the lived in look any day.

    SO yeah, we all need to tidy it up, but there is a point in which you get it too clean. That is even less inviting than the overgrown bushes by my front door. At least here, the kids know the house is for living in. And since I fed half the neighborhood last night, I am not going to complain too much about never having company.

    So I guess I will spruce the front porch and entrance up a little after I rest a little. Although I admit I was planning on using the cobwebs as decorations in a few days. 😉

  8. Emily C on October 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I bought that same doormat for my brother as a wedding gift! I thought it was awesome 🙂

    Unfortunately, my entryway is 3ft x 3ft and looks straight into my teeny tiny overstuffed kitchen. Which I declutter every month and STILL looks cramped and cluttered.

  9. Armchair Housewife on October 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    My situation is weird. We live in the upstairs of an old house that has been converted into two apartments. Our front door is the original front door of the house which leads into a little foyer, and then up the stairs to the door to my house. I really need to get creative and do something with the front porch/door, but I am so *not* creative. The foyer itself is less than great, the paint really needs ot be redone but I haven’t yet been motivated to do it. Then, when you actualy come into my apartment, the first bit you walk into is still not painted. Eegads, I really needed to read this post! Actually, I posted about my entryway, with pictures to go with my confession, here:

    Thanks for the kick in the pants, I really need to get on this…

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