Detox Your Entryway

As we begin the physical detoxification of our homes today, we're going think about the first thing that people see when they walk into your house. Whether you have an actual hallway like we do, or your door opens directly into a room, that entry area leaves a lasting impression on everyone who comes through the door.

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Isaiah 32:18

So what is it that people are going to see in your entryway? The idea here is to create a welcoming space that draws people into the rest of the home. Keeping this area clean and de-cluttered invites your loved ones from that first visual.

Begin by clearing out the whole area, including furniture, rugs and wall hangings. Then start at the ceiling - sweep out cobwebs and wipe down the walls as necessary. If there are places that need a little touch-up paint or smudges that need removing, take care of that now. Work your way down to the floor, giving special attention to stains, scratches and the grime in the corners.

Clean all of the windows and mirrors until they shine. Dust all furniture and decorations that you plan to put back in the space. This is the opportunity to make some decisions about what truly fits in the entryway and what was simply there because it's always been there. Also take the time to notice the details - our house numbers are on the front door and they were getting scratched up. It's time to paint them - sometimes the little things make a huge difference.

Now, one of the first priorities in your entryway is space. If you just have a little hall or a few feet that open up into another room, you may not have much floor area for furniture. Clutter or piles of coats and boots make it seem even smaller. Find new homes for outerwear and bags, even if it's hanging them on the wall or tucking them in a nearby closet.

We have Danny's grandfather's hi-fi in our entry, and it's all that can fit there. The space is so small that you couldn't put much else in there, but it's the perfect size to allow room for someone to come inside, walk past and move on through. This is a conversation piece - pick something for your entryway that isn't some copy-able piece that anyone could have.

The color of your entryway can speak volumes about your home. Are you a plain white type of person or do you prefer bright bolds? Do you like paint or wallpaper? Thanks to the previous owners of our house, we have the most beautiful, subtle shade of green on our walls. I think it makes the first impression of our home calm and soothing - the perfect combination for a place I'd like to be a refuge. You may not have the time, energy or money to repaint or wallpaper, but you can clean what you have, spruce up the walls with a couple of pictures or just put up an interesting border. The choice and style are yours.

The next key is what you choose to display in that first focal point of your home. We don't have anything in our home that doesn't have a story attached to it. We have family furniture and collectibles that really mean something personally. The items on display in the entryway should have special ties to your family - the people entering the house want to know exactly who you are, and your choice of decorations tell them that.

Don't forget that you probably have a line of sight from your entry to other rooms of the house. We'll tackle those areas on another day, but anything you can see from the front door will have an effect, positive or negative, on that inviting feeling you're working on.

You can definitely use existing pieces, just re-purposing them or changing them a little. The mirror in our entryway is dinged up and a little broken around the edges, but you can't tell unless you look very closely. With a handful of nails and some dollar store garland, it's become an eye-catching piece that fits with the style of the room.

Finally, go outside and close the door. Walk up, come back inside and really feel the first room of your home. Now that it is clean, organized and breathing new life, you may notice some other changes and improvements you'd like to make. Continue on in this room and praise the Lord for all the blessings He's given, just in your entryway!

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