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A warm reception

Style your front entry to welcome guests all winter long

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Nothing is as welcoming on a brisk winter’s day as a bright, stylish entryway. It can be simple and cheery or rich and grand, but have the basic elements to make your entryway work for you, says Stephanie Gouthro, owner of 3R Design Studio in Sydney, N.S.

Start with a solid base using containers, planters, or urns. “Using symmetry with potted urns will give you that balance as you walk up to the door,” says Gouthro. “Balance is key, so one on each side of the doorway. If there’s no room for a garden urn, then use over the railing window boxes filled with evergreens.”

During winter, add extra lighting, whether it’s hanging from the porch ceiling, spot lights on the snow towards the front doorway, or walkway lights. “Lanterns with candle lighting or battery-operated candles, will always add charm to your front step,” says Gouthro. In addition to adding sparkle, it enhances safety on dark nights and when your step may be slippery.

If you don’t have time for elaborate decorating, Katherine Langford, owner of Picture Perfect Event Design in Moncton, N.B., says focus on the three W’s: warm, whimsical, and welcoming.

Langford recommends starting simple. “A lovely wreath and some urns filled with greenery, birch and red branches, and some neutral elements like berries and pine cones to frame your front door.”

Langford advises people to get started early with winter decorating. “Get lights on the tree before snowfall. Wait to hang wreaths and garlands until it’s cold so they don’t go brown, but before the first big snow, if possible.”

Inside, select furniture that works double duty: a dresser that holds accessories in one drawer and mail or recycling bags in another.
A mat, cubed ottoman, hanging mirror, or shelf will give visitors a visual pause before guests enter the rest of the house.

Melissa Totton, owner of Decoria Interiors in Woodstock, N.B., prefers decorating for winter with colours that match to her home décor.

“By keeping the colours and decor pieces rather neutral, but seasonally appropriate, it allows me to add and take away aspects throughout the winter season,” she says. “Like adding more Christmas appropriate touches in December and returning to just winter decor from January into spring.”

Adding seating to your entryway is an easy way to decorate by changing out the textiles of cushions or throw blankets, and helps visitors take off boots and shoes without leaning on the door frame.“Changing to faux furs, knits, and more winter appropriate textures will help to up the cozy factor in an entry,” says Totton.

Another way to transform the overall look of an entry space is by swapping out floor mats, Totton says.“Something that serves functionally as a water and weatherproof option, but also ties in the colours of your winter palette.”

Totton is drawn to minimalism when it comes to decorating, no matter the season.

“It’s about making an impact with thoughtfully selected pieces without making the space feel too cluttered,” she says. “Nothing feels worse than coming home and feeling like you have to step and work around your seasonal decor; it makes you far too anxious to pack everything up at the end of the season.”

Correction: Melissa Totton’s name was misspelled in the original version of this story and the Winter 2019 print edition due to an editing error. East Coast Living regrets the error. 

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