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Front Entry Fix-Up: Before

You don't need to hire a house stager or invest a ton of time and money to boost your home's curb appeal. Just upgrade the entry instead.

Front Entry Fix-Up: After

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

By adding a new prehung wood door from Simpson Door Co. with brass hardware from Baldwin, capping a crumbling concrete stoop with bluestone, and framing the steps with a pair of handsome containers filled with flowering shrubs, this 1925 Colonial Revival home got a fresh, more welcoming look.

Here are five elements you should keep in mind when revamping the approach to your own home...

Lighting: Brass and Opal Glass Shade

Photo by courtesy of Troy Lighting

Exterior lights illuminate house numbers and focus the eye on the entry. At night, the hanging fixture shown here makes the portico glow from within. When deciding on your light, pick a style that complements your home's architecture.

This brass base and opal glass shade impart a formal look. Around $157,

Troy Lighting

See more entry lights.

Lighting: Rustic Bronze

Photo by courtesy of Kichler Lighting

The bronze finish on this rustic lantern is fitting for a more casual entry. Around $215, Kichler Lighting

See more entry lights.

Lighting: Bronze Flush-Mount

Burnished bronze banding lends a contemporary air to this flush-mount. Around $169, Murray Feiss

See more entry lights.

Door: Traditional Scroll Grill

Photo by courtesy of Simpson

Consider the front door as an introduction to your home. Divided-light windows offer outside views and fill the foyer with sunlight. By using an install-ready prehung door, you can make this upgrade in a day. Choose from dozens of designs and three durable materials.

This fir door with a scrolling metal grill is a traditional pick but needs refinishing over time. Around $1,325, Simpson

Learn how to replace a prehung door.

Doors: Paneled Steel

Photo by courtesy of Masonite

Raised paneling on this thrifty steel door adds style, but the surface gets hot in direct sun. Around $204, Masonite

Learn how to .

Doors: Leaded Glass Window

Photo by courtesy of JELD-WEN

A leaded glass insert gives this fiberglass door a custom look. Long-lasting and maintenance-free, fiberglass can be pricey. Around $4,500,

JELD-WEN Windows and Doors

Learn how to .


Photo by Getty Images

Brush on a fresh coat of paint to make your entry pop. A pale yellow accented with bright white trim can replace a drab putty-and-cream palette. Other standout schemes: green hues, which help a home blend with the landscape and perfectly complement

a lively red door. Shades of blue pair well with earth tones, such as a sandy beige and terra-cotta. Just be sure to pick saturated colors if your house gets direct sun, as pastels will look washed out.

Learn how to paint your exterior.

Steps and Walkway

Illustration by Harry Bates

Turn a dull concrete stoop into a showpiece by capping the treads and risers with stone. For example, the same New York bluestone used for the treads can be echoed in the new mortared front walkway, creating a seamless transition between stoop and path. The risers can be clad in gray natural granite veneers. Other DIY capping options include clay Saltillo, split-brick, and limestone pavers.

See stone veneer selections.

Planters: Antique Box Replica

Photo by courtesy of Charleston Gardens

Large potted plants visually anchor an entry and provide a burst of color. Just make sure the containers you put them in are weatherproof, like the lattice-patterned concrete ones used at left.

This lightweight, molded-fiberglass box is a replica of a lead antique. Around $275, Charleston Gardens

Learn how to .

Planters: Steel and Copper

Photo by courtesy of Smith and Hawken

Steel arches cradle this copper vessel. Around $199, Smith and Hawken

Learn how to .

Planters: Richly Colored Ceramic

Photo by courtesy of Pier 1 imports

Richly colored ceramic can brighten up a home's monochromatic paint scheme. Around $38, Pier 1 imports

Learn how to plant in pots.