Making An Entrance: Styling Front Garden Paths & Steps

The main entrance to our homes is not necessarily the ‘front door’ – many families always use the side door, or the back door, or perhaps even on sunny days everyone nips around to the conservatory doors! However it works in your home, here are some suggestions for tiles and accessories to make the most that all important first-glimpse.

For Outside and Inside

These striking black concrete-look Ardosia tiles have excellent anti-slip properties, and are highly suitable for outdoor areas, as well as indoor spaces – such as halls, porches and rooms that need a tough surface, such as boot rooms, utility rooms and of course, kitchens and bathrooms. These would be a great choice for a conservatory too, and if used in a hallway, perhaps teamed up with a bright Kelim-style runner.

Practical Seating

We adore a hall that has enough room to kick of boots and shoes, throw a coat or bag onto a bench, coat stand or shelf unit, and generally, that has room to move and dump stuff before heading into the kitchen or living room! This hall bench is the Modern Settle from Garden Trading, and it looks just perfect with dark grey floor tiles – similar ones from us at Tile Mountain can be found in the form of Nature Black Slate, available in large format – 750mm x 750mm.

In & Out

Whatever you’re planning with your entrance hall, porch or front door, make sure the plan involves at least one door mat. (But an inside one and an outside one is even better). We all want to keep our floors looking lovely, and a doormat is one of the best ways of doing the job. Keep the grit and dust out of the rest of the house, as well as wet and muddy paws! It’s the grit brought into the house trapped in the soles of outdoor shoes which create fine scratches and cause polished and shiny floors to look dull. Door mats (and slippers!) it is then. We rather like these from Hurn & Hurn. For similar indoor hallway tiles, take a look at our very own Arkety Sand porcelain large format tiles.

A Touch of Colour

Quarry tiles, such as our Red Quarry tiles, are a very straightforward tile choice for porches and entrance halls. They are a timeless choice, suit virtually all types of home – from contemporary homes built in the 1960s onwards, to contemporary ultra-modern ‘designer’ homes and Victorian terraces. They’re also highly suitable for conservatories and garden rooms – for the latter they bring a greenhouse vibe to a room full of plants and seedlings. Available in three sizes and as an anti-slip version too.

Lighting Up Time

Make yours a grand-looking entrance with a couple of lanterns either in the porch, on the steps or either side of the front door. These are the gorgeous La Rochelle Globe Lanterns from Annabel James; shown here with regular candles, but if I treat myself to a couple of these I may have a little look around for battery operated candles with a timing system.

Portico Wall Lights by Davey Lighting | The Original BTC

Portico Wall Lights by Davey Lighting | The Original BTC

All Styled Up

It really is quite straightforward to make a bit of a feature of the entrance to your home. We’ve discussed paving, tiles, mats and so on, but one of the obvious things to do is to add some pots of plants and shrubs. Hydrangeas and roses may be a little ambitious, but purchase already potted up from a reputable nursery or garden centre and stick to the instructions regarding pruning and watering. JGI (Just Google It). And these stylish outdoor lights are Portico Wall Lights by Davey Lighting from The Original BTC.

Shopping Ideas

OK, so personally, I have to think about buying around ten birthday presents between May and August. I have pals who dearly love leopard print, but I feel I have exhausted the scarf/wallet/gloves leopard print options. Would it be acceptable to buy a doormat? Well, if anyone agrees with me, you can get hold of one here, from Red Candy! Continuing with our hallway theme, I’ve also discovered this rather natty Cooper Hall Stand from Atkin & Thyme. It’s a simple design, that would be forever useful – perhaps on the landing, in a cloakroom or even as extra hanging space in the spare room. But of course, perfect for the hall too. And this piece of garden wall art – Garden Vase from The Farthing is rather lovely as well. I’m thinking in an open porch or next to a front step – perhaps with rustic plant pots nearby. Round versions are also available.

One Step Beyond…

So here is my new front door, with open porch/step configuration and some rather dreadful 1960s sandstone crazy panelling that has to be dealt with. At the moment the plan is to have a raised step running the full width of the open ‘porch’, and then to see what that looks like before tackling the sandstone panel. As the front of the house has vertical, stained wood panel on the upper half, the plan is to over that crazy-paving-sandstone with similar panelling and stain it dark grey. Or even black! But first of all we have to get the step done to judge the mix of colours. So, from left, we have the non-existent step; a fabulous selection of outdoor samples from Tile Mountain, of course, and on the right, the one we’re going to use, which is Ardosia Black Anti-Slip. More pics will follow when the job is done! (and please ignore the dust and grit everywhere in these pics – building work nearby is causing a real mess!).

Do send us pics and stories of your latest projects – hit us up @TileMountainUK or tag us on Instagram and you could receive a £20 instagram voucher should we use your pics on our website!

You might also enjoy these posts on the Tile Mountain blog…

Best Alfresco Tile Looks for Patios and Outside Areas

Inside Out: How to Link Exterior and Interior Looks

Springing Forward: Refreshing Your Interiors and Exteriors This Springtime

Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.