How you handle the landscape and garden at your front door speaks much about you and your point of view.  Of course a front door is a transition from the outdoors into your home.  You welcome inside your friends and family here.  But you also retrieve your newspaper, wave to a neighbor, help a lost stranger, or pass out Halloween candy here. You make a statement to passersby. This front door is exceptionally friendly and welcoming; an entire garden frames a view of it front the street.    

This very formal front door is widely complimented by pillars and a pediment; the stone porch is equally as wide. There is room for a pair of formal pots colorfully planted with lots of flowers.  This makes for a different kind of garden at the front door.  The arrangement made by the door, the walk and porch, and the plantings makes a statment about your taste, your sense of hospitality, and your sense of community.  

This tudor is more than 90 years old; this original front door is copper.  A simple pair of pots planted with a low key color scheme keeps the visual focus on the door.   The subdued purple of the persian shield is a quiet foil to the orange of the brick and door. 

This contemporary house has a generous front porch and vaulted roof; the overscaled front door says a big and informal hello.  Multiple pots staged on the steps and create an entire landscape around that door.  A front walk proportional to the porch and door is a very important element in making a beautiful presentation. Evergreens in pots can bring the landscape right to the door.  Groups of pots make it possible to explore color and texture relationships from pot to pot. 

The door to this condominium is small, but a small space can be handled just as strongly as a large one.  The wood detail on the wall which culminates in a light globe positioned above the wall, and below the roof soffit is a very interested architectural detail.  The white wire pot, and topiary makes a strong reference to that detail.  Composed entirely of artificial materials based on natural forms, the arrangement draws the eye away from the garage, and towards the door.  My client travels a lot for work; this arrangement suits her.  She is always ready for company, even if she has just been away for a week.  

Front doors buried in a covered porch can be dark.  This front door is glass and iron; once you are on the porch, you can see in.  From a landscape perspective, the large drivecourt left only a very small space to plant.  A pair of dogwoods planted in a groundcover of boxwood will grow up and frame the tall entrance. The groundcover” could concievably grow to 30″-36″; this makes a green statement from the street in a way that a recumbent plant could not.  A pair of boxes planted with hydrangeas on standard is an added landscape element which did not have to be in the ground. 

This home and its front doors are simply designed; the white is beautiful and appropriate.  The limestone slabs in the lawn add emphasis to the approach to the door.  The planting is low and modest, but very wide.  This contrast to the narrowness and height of the doors is striking.  My clients, both of whom are interior designers, created this front door landscape out on their own.  They did a gorgeous job of it.   

The approach to a front door is important. A front door may be seen from the street, but the experience of arriving there can be a visual gift to guests. It is one of those spots in a landscape that can be changed with the season, or event.  If you are like me, you come home to a side door, or come in the house via the garage.  But whether you host a dinner party, a new neighbor, a fund raising event, or your daughter’s fiance, they will be coming to the front door. What will you do there?      


  1. Realtors will agree that the entry makes a huge statement about the home and the homeowners. It should welcome in a thoughtful and beautiful manner. All the homes that you presented have well designed entries working harmoniously with the architecture.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Donna, I live on a corner lot, but I drive by the front every night on my way home from work so I can see my front door from the street. Those days that I really like what I see make me really happy. Should you be a young person who will probably move-start today to create that entry, so when you are ready to move on, you are already ready to make a beautiful presentation regarding your tenure. Deborah

  2. I’ve been quietly following you for some time now. I just love your work. Thank for sharing you gift.

  3. I read your post everyday and learn something with every blog. You are very talented and I really look forward to seeing what you have to say daily. Thanks so much for your efforts and talents!

  4. Hi Deborah.

    Please do keep being inspired to write. Your writing is entertaining and you have wonderful skills as a designer. I’m fairly new here but have truly enjoyed everything I’ve read so far. Can’t say I get by here everyday but I get by when I can.

    Thanks again.

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