Making an Entrance

Easy ways for your home to make a lasting first impression.

By Moe Godat


St. Louis is more than just a city; it is a sprawling county as well, filled with suburban neighborhoods and the ever-popular cul de sac. No matter where you live in St. Louis, your house can make a lasting first impression. 

To increase your curb appeal, Jim Graeler of Chesterfield Valley Nursery recommends adding lush beds along the walkway or a piece of seasonal color to make the home stand out along the block. If you don’t think you have time for plant upkeep, you can always ask Chesterfield Valley Nursery for a budget-friendly maintenance package. 

Some plants that are simple to maintain year-round, Graeler says, are evergreens that keep their foliage through the seasons such as boxwoods or the Mugo pine. If you’d rather add color to the yard, a Japanese maple adds a variety of colors, especially in fall. 

Landscaping is more than just plants. Adding boulders, waterfalls and dry creek beds adds depth and dimension to an otherwise flat space. Chesterfield Valley Nursery has started working with outdoor living spaces now more than ever, from fire pits to full outdoor kitchens. 

No time or money for a landscaping overhaul? Graeler suggests spicing up the landscaping around the mailbox. “It’s an up-front and center way to add curb appeal. Even minor touches will make your house stand out immediately.” 

The next place a visitor will look is at the home’s entrance. “The front door is a major portion of defining a home’s entrance or curb appeal,” says Mike Rachoki of St. Louis’s The Scobis Company. “It all comes down to quality and uniqueness.” 

The Scobis Company has made beautiful custom doors for clients all over St. Louis. Rachoki emphasizes that no matter the customer’s idea or style, The Scobis Company will work with incorporating their ideas into the design to make the perfect entrance to their home. “Don’t settle for stock offering,” advises Rachoki. “You can do a lot of unique things with a door that will set off your house from the next.”

If a homeowner wants to improve their existing front door, he suggests they focus on keeping it well maintained: “The sun will damage a front door more than rain or snow. That’s why it’s important for people to keep up with the door’s finish and use a product with enough UV inhibitors; it’s like sunscreen for a front door.” 

After the front door invites guests in, the foyer is the last way for a home to make a lasting first impression. Jennifer Rapp of JCR Design Group says to consider the foyer an important space: “People often overlook the foyer, and it turns into a catchall for the home’s leftovers, which lets people walk right past it.”

Foyers should have adequate lighting to welcome in guests. Make sure it’s well lit by adding lamps to decorative tables or an interesting overhead light. 

If a foyer is boring currently, the first and most affordable step to take in spicing it up is to add color in unconventional ways. Rapp says that bringing in functional furniture, such as cubbies and chairs with added storage space, or artwork for color doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be interesting. JCR Design Group has even painted rugs on hardwood floors in the recent past.  

“Ceilings are another great place to add color!” says Rapp. “Not many people think to add color there, and as long as they have enough height, a ceiling can be decorated with paint or a fun wallpaper.”

These are simple ways to make the start to any home tour more interesting. Contact your local nursery, The Scobis Company or an interior designer for personalized help with your home.

The Scobis Company, 636-530-7545
JCR Design Group, 314-706-2727
Chesterfield Valley Nursery, 636-532-9307