Thursday, July 2, 2009

Making a Grand Entrance

We all know the importance of first impressions, in this instance though, I am referring to the entrance to your property. In South Africa, certainly, this is often a wall and pavement garden, and beyond that some garden space leading to the front door, but in no way is the entrance garden limited to these aspects. Essentially though, it really doesn’t matter what that “entrance” or “first impression” area is, the point is, that this area is attractive and serves as a positive introduction to you and your home.

More often than not, the outside wall or garden gives a glimpse of what the interior of the property is like, in simple terms, if the pavement or entrance garden is unkempt and untidy, normally the interior of the property will be the same. If the outside wall or entrance area, gives an indication of a theme such as Ethnic, Rustic, Georgian, Tuscan or other (most often by virtue of the style and colour of the wall or garden area), then this leads you to believe that the interior will follow suit. And in most cases, where proper planning and thought has occurred, it does.

Whilst I am not advocating that you spend a fortune on your pavement, exterior walls or entrance, I am suggesting that you look at those areas with a critical eye and assess what can be done to improve the “first impression” value, and also how through the use of appropriate materials, trees, shrubs, annuals, pots, trellises, rock, gravel, paint, etc. etc. etc. you can create a glimpse of what’s to come, i.e. what the inside of your home is likely to look and/ or feel like.

If your wall or fence is looking worse for wear, have it repainted or plastered (where appropriate), or have a paint effect applied, plant a creeper or climber. Introduce pots, or a reasonable planting area, that is manageable, low maintenance and water wise – by this I mean, ensure you select the type of plants carefully, so as to avoid wasting money in the first instance, and in the second, spending copious amounts of time, watering or maintaining this space. And always, before doing anything else, assess the amount of light in the area, as this impacts the types of plants you decide to introduce. The keywords are simple, effective, low maintenance and waterwise.

The pictures illustrate a few examples of entrance gardens/ areas, taken around the streets of Johannesburg. Note how simple, how effective these entrances are, but also how you can almost tell by looking at these pictures what the interior of the property will look and feel like.

So take a look at your entrance area and assess what you can do to improve it. First assess, then plan, and check what you already have that can be reused. If you’re stuck for ideas, as always, contact me.

Pictures: Gena D Photography - various sites around Johannesburg, South Africa

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin