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Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips

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The focal point of you home or cottage’s curb appeal is the entryway.

It gives the first impression for what lies beyond the front door. There are many ways to reflect your personal style both in the interior and exterior entryway, making it both functional and attractive.

Exterior Entry: A Memorable Arrival

Muskoka Log Home

When considering a remodel or new build of your exterior entry, it is important to think first about functionality. Before putting pen to blueprint, think about how much parking you want to accommodate, where to place access points to the door and to the road, and the best type of overhang to facilitate a comfortable entry for family and guests. Particularly if you are remodeling or building in an area that is remote, or experience harsh weather conditions, these decisions are critical to make early on. These are great questions to start with because a warm welcome is just as much about day-to-day use as it is about flair.

Once you’ve made those decisions, you can start to incorporate your own personal style into the design elements. If you want a covered entryway, there are ways to create a stunning custom overhang roof. You can be creative with your materials, and shape. For example, you may prefer peaked roofs, or perhaps arched. You may want to source materials that reflect the interior style of your home - such as matching grains or stains of wood. Another trend in covered entryways is glass, creating coverage from the elements, yet still providing tons of natural light.

Cohen's Cove

Next, you can start thinking about ways to make your entry “pop”. Look for opportunities to add splashes of colour from your front door, to your garden. Landscaping is an important element that should work in harmony with your home design. Pathways lined with hedges, fruit trees, or rock gardens will add colour and texture throughout the year. Match your front door with the style of the home’s interior - it’s the very first impression, make it a good one! There are so many options available from style (traditional, modern, avant garde) to colour. Bright red doors are always a popular choice, but think about your home’s palette; if you’ve decorated with cool, breezy colours, pick up those tones in your front door to create flow both indoors and out.

Interior Entry: A Warm Welcome

Whether you are coming home after a long day, or are welcoming guests into your home for the first time - you want to feel “at home” as soon you step through the front door. The aesthetic of the interior entryway establishes the rhythm and style of your home, and makes the all important first impression when you host guests.

Rosseau Retreat

There are three primary considerations that come into play when you are remodeling or building your interior entry: Ceilings, windows/light, and sightlines.

Ceiling height is more important than most think it to be. Often times when remodeling, simply raising the ceiling height makes the biggest impact to the space. Cathedral ceilings are a popular choice for entryways, because it gives the feeling airy, open expanse - even in a space that is relatively small in square footage. If you can’t build out, build up! You can also incorporate your preference for shape, and style by designing with arches over peaks, or sourcing unique materials and paint colour.

Lighting is an essential consideration in any space, but perhaps even more so in spaces that don’t get as much natural lighting, or lack square footage. Light installations should compliment natural lighting. Where possible, try to mix the two - maximizing on best-light day or night. Skylights, sun tunnels, or windows on either side of your doorway are great ways to bring in natural light from various directions. If your doorway faces south, you’ll get fantastic light from dawn to dusk. However, if your doorway faces east or west it may be best to consider bringing light from above.

Finally, designing with sightlines in mind is too often overlooked. What will you or your guests see as soon as they walk through the door? Is it a staircase? Perhaps the first sight is directly into your kitchen, or living space. Consider where the eye lands, and design around the best features of your home. In an open concept layout, you can lead the eye around the entire floor space, or even directly back to a window with a view.

Your entryway shouldn’t be an afterthought, it’s both the first and final impression for guests and the first and last thing you see when you leave and return home. Design with your lifestyle and design sense at the fore.

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