Most of us enter our homes via a side entrance.

You know, from the garage. Past a mudroom, laundry room or kitchen.How to Create a Showstopper Entry for Your New Home

Thankfully these days we’re putting more thought into ergonomics and making every space in our homes as functionally pleasing as possible. Well-designed-and-lit family entries with stash zones for belongings, and whimsical laundry rooms as carefully curated as the rest of your new custom Florida home, are more the norm than the exception.

No more tromping through a boring corridor, past unattractive washers, dryers and ironing boards!

But what about our front door? The entry used by visitors, repair people and neighbors popping by? Shouldn’t that experience encompass more than a doormat and cutesy “Welcome” sign?

It should! Here’s how to create a showstopper entry for your new home.

Focus on the exterior first

Work with your ICI Homes floor plan designer — and your design consultant at the ICI Homes Design Center opens in a new window — to make sure your new home’s main entrance is aesthetically pleasing from the street. A striking color on your front door, for example, or an entry courtyard.

A porch, portico or small overhang to shield visitors from rain and weather is another necessity. And consider the landscaping around your new front door. Leave room for planters to frame each side, then fill them with lovely flowers and greenery once you’re in residence.

Include a coat closet

Preferably just inside the front door.

Or, a pegboard with hooks on the wall, with a narrow bench below to catch purses or hide rain boots. Speaking of the latter…given that Florida is the land of summer showers, an umbrella stand near the front door is always a splendid idea.

But if you can manage it, a coat closet that’s roomy enough for yours and visitors’ jackets is never wasted space. Your kids’ friends can stuff their sleeping bags there. Those ski suits you wear once a year on winter vacation? Perfect place.

Repeat after us: too many closets are never enough!

Ban useless furnishings

Make your home’s front entry work as hard as the more understated family entrance.

That antique baker’s rack you inherited from Aunt Norma might be attractive, but if it doesn’t serve as a handy, tidy gathering spot for keys, hats or flip flops, find another place for it.

One category of furnishings that’s not useless is art. Large paintings, prints or wall sculptures work well in an entry space because they’re usually not competing with other things as they would be in a separate room or living area.

Go big! Bright! Try a mass grouping of photographs, all framed and matted identically. Bring a smile to visitors’ faces as they step inside your home — or a “Wow, where’d you get that?”

A sizable mirror also serves as art and practicality if it’s suitably framed. Just be sure it’s large enough for someone to check their appearance, coming or going.

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Start the conversation here. opens in a new window