You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Regardless of your home’s style, when people come to – and go through — your front door, you want to wow them. Fortunately, that’s not as hard as you might think. Following these entryway tips can help you create that “wow” effect every time someone visits your home.

It starts with the door

A unique door pique’s a visitor’s curiosity. Image: Bill Oxford/Getty Images

Creating a grand entrance starts with the door, according to Mark Clement, a carpenter, contractor and DIY podcaster at My FixItUp Life. He recommends getting a new door and says it’s an instant payoff project. “While it’s more carpentry than decoration, it’s both beautiful and practical.” Besides just getting a new look, Clement says the new door may also be quieter, which means you won’t hear all of that outside noise from passing cars. “Also, it may be more thermally efficient, turning a hot or cold spot in the house into a much more comfortable space.”

Select a door that fits the architectural style of your home. Image: Busà Photography/Getty Images

If you don’t want to purchase a new door, you should at least paint it, recommends Dan DiClerico, Home Expert and Smart Home Strategist at HomeAdvisor. He says it’s one of the best ways to refresh your entryway. This project is particularly effective on easy-to-miss entrances; you want your home’s front door to be clearly visible to guests.

Black is a classic color for the door. However, DiClerico says that your region of the country may determine the best color for you. For instance, you may choose hunter green for mountainous regions, or terra-cotta for desert landscapes. And if you’re handy with a paintbrush, you can do this project yourself for less than $50 in materials.

Color considerations

A staircase adds a “wow” effect. Image: Hero Image/Getty Image

The front door is the first stop, but not the last, so you also need to consider what’s behind it. Again, paint is an important consideration. “Since the entry to a home can be a busy area, an eggshell finish is a great choice,” says Andrea Magno, a Benjamin Moore Color and Design Expert.

Regarding actual colors, she says that you need to consider how your entryway color will blend with the adjacent rooms. “The color choice should coordinate with each room, making neutrals very popular for this type of space.”

Your entryway can be functional yet beautiful. Image: Sisoje/Getty Images

However, neutral doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. “Some great choices that fall into the neutral category (but are far from boring!) are Revere Pewter, Edgecomb Gray, Balboa Mist or Manchester Tan,” she explains.  “Also, don’t rule out using White Opulence or Simply White in the entry, as it will create a bright and fresh look that can be enhanced with accents through furniture, area rugs, accessories or fabrics.”

Light it up

A well-lit entrance is safe and inviting. Image: phototropic/Getty Images

Another tip is to layer in more lighting. “Exterior light fixtures are a chance to burnish your home’s architecture while also making the front entryway safer and more inviting,” says DiClerico. “Take advantage of existing wiring so you’re not paying an electrician to run new lines.” That should allow you to have wall- or ceiling-mounted fixtures installed for as little as $100, according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide.

Floor your guests

This w combines wood, brick, and neutral colors. Image: cr8tivguy/Getty Images

Your choice of flooring material can either add to or subtract from your goal of creating a grand entrance. “You can create beautiful and classic spaces with porcelain tiles that emulate marble and other stones,” explains Nemo Tile + Stone’s Design Director Katie Michael-Battaglia. “Instead of adding rugs or other accessories that can take up space or get dirty, you can add porcelain-type products that create mosaic ‘rugs’ or look like a stone mosaic.”And, of course, hardwood floors are always a good choice.

How will you use these tips to spruce up your entryway? We’d love to hear about it below.