Quick and Easy Upgrades: Create an Entrancing Entryway

Turn the house you have into the home of your dreams by handling one small area at a time! We already talked about adding architectural interest to staircases inside your home. Since the weather's still nice (and in preparation for holiday guests to come later in the year), let's head outside. TOH continues the "Quick and Easy Upgrades" series with our best, low-cost entry ideas. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com

Upgrade Front-Door Hardware

Upgrade front-door hardwareUpgrade front-door hardware

If a complete entry overhaul (new door, porch upgrade, and so on) is out of your reach, shop for bargains at the home center to make your front door pop. Check out Personalize Your Front Door With Paint for some color inspiration to take you beyond the basic black. Then, swap a plain doorknob for a handsome, one-piece handle, tubular lock set, and handsome escutcheon. Consider a shapely new knocker and gleaming kick plate, too. See our full Step-by-Step project, How to Upgrade Front-Door Hardware for instructions to get it all done in about an hour.

MORE: 29 Stunning Door Knockers

Add Handsome House Numbers
Add house numbersAdd house numbers

There are simple house numbers that quietly go about their job displaying your address, and then there are digits so striking they achieve a level of functional art. See 21 of our favorites in Handsome House Numbers. Still not sold on this easy, small, and affordable upgrade? Adding house numbers (or making a swap to more prominent marking) will make it easier for guests, delivery people, (and emergency workers!) to locate your home when needed.

MORE: 100 DIY Upgrades Under $100

Add Decorative Planters

Add decorative plantersAdd decorative plantersDress up your entry with containersDress up your entry with containers

Whether you're just adding two planters to the stoop ($50 or less, as shown above, left) or creating a cottage entry with a container garden and ornaments (above right), nothing welcomes you home quite like well-placed plants! For more on how to achieve the first look above, see How to Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your House. And for more on the second look, check out 10 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space.

Install Exterior Lighting

Install exterior lightsInstall exterior lights

You probably don't give much thought to your outdoor lighting and most of what's readily available is very basic in design. But aside from helping you out while you fumble for keys after dark, sconces can boost curb appeal by illuminating all the beautiful work you've done. See the sconces our editors handpicked (some shown above) in Stunning Entry Sconces. Then check out How to Rewire a Vintage Entry Lantern to see how to add a gorgeous pendant.

If you're on a budget, it helps to chop your improvement into manageable, small upgrades like the ones detailed here. For a more comprehensive look at creating the ultimate entry, take a look at Front Entry Fix-Up and Secrets to Great Curb Appeal. Handpick the projects that are most needed and/or the ones that suit your current budget; you're already ahead of the cash-conscious curve by taking a DIY approach!

More from thisoldhouse.com
Plans for a Stunning Entry Garden
Pick a Distinctive and Welcoming Doormat
Add Character With a New Doorbell

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