Hello, wel­come, come in! This is what the en­trance to your home says to vis­i­tors as you open the door.

Homes+ (Australia) - - INSPIRING CHOICES - Sarah Pick­ette Fea­tures Editor, Aus­tralian House & Gar­den

First im­pres­sions are al­ways the most im­por­tant, so it pays to think about how your home ap­pears to guests as they first step into it. On the out­side, a door­mat, plants in hand­some pots and good light­ing will do the trick. In­side, you have far more free­dom—and the op­por­tu­nity to make a state­ment about your home and the peo­ple who live there. The im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that this is a high­traf­fic area, so en­sure your floor­ing can han­dle all the feet that will be traips­ing in and out daily. If space al­lows, a con­sole or even a small side ta­ble is a valu­able ad­di­tion to your home’s en­trance. This is an ideal spot for a vase of flow­ers, a favourite art­work or a dec­o­ra­tive bowl into which you can drop your keys. Con­sider a coat stand or hooks (there are so many great-look­ing hooks on the mar­ket now) if you have lots of coats and school­bags that need to be stowed some­where ac­ces­si­ble. The floor­ing you choose for the en­trance of your home will in many cases be the same as what you run through to the liv­ing ar­eas of your home. If your front door opens into a hall­way, long, wide tim­ber floor­ing may be top of your wishlist, but if your bud­get is lim­ited con­sider bam­boo, lam­i­nates and lux­ury vinyl planks. They are a time­less choice. A gen­er­ous foyer can ben­e­fit greatly from be­ing tiled. A nat­u­ral stone or stone-look large for­mat tile won’t date but if you want to stamp a lit­tle per­son­al­ity onto your home con­sider lay­ing boldly pat­terned tiles in that space. Moroc­can-style dec­o­ra­tive tiles would look fab­u­lous, as would sim­ple rec­tan­gu­lar tiles laid in a her­ring­bone pat­tern. The choices are lim­it­less. Car­pet makes for the warm­est wel­come. It in­vites your vis­i­tors to kick off their shoes and feel right at home. Whether you opt for wool, syn­thetic or a blend, en­sure your car­pet can stand up to foot traf­fic, won’t stain when muddy boots plod in the door and, if you have glass pan­els by your front door, that it won’t fade in the sun. Rugs are a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to an en­trance; they in­ject in­stant com­fort, colour and tex­ture. A rug has the power to en­liven the space im­mensely. Have fun with colour and pat­tern but en­sure you choose a rug that fills out the bulk of the avail­able floor area; any­thing smaller will look out of scale. If your door opens into a hall­way what could be more wel­com­ing than a long run­ner that ex­tends to your liv­ing zone?

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