How does the entrance to your home make you feel? As you walk from your car into your house, do you feel a sense of occasion? Does the approach to your front door signal prosperity and success? Do you get a sense of satisfaction, as you enter the residence you’ve worked so hard for all your working life?
Perhaps these questions sound silly and pompous to you, and for good reason. Most likely you rarely use the “front door” of your home, because the designer placed it inconveniently. For many homeowners the front door is just a symbol; a formal entrance used only by strangers, put there by an architect to look nice from the curb.
The garage is the most prominent feature of many homes today. Placed close to the street to save paving cost, garage doors are the public face and the actual main entrance for practical reasons. Traditional front porches are rarely used; they are for decoration only and too small to serve as outdoor living rooms. Front walks force you to go out of your way, so they are rarely used. Even in the fanciest homes, the humble access door from the garage into the laundry room or kitchen is the default entrance for everyone except “company” and door-to-door salesmen.
The oriental discipline of Feng Shui, rarely studied by American architects, holds that the front door of your home is the key to your prosperity and state of mind. Feng Shui (pronounced feng shway) suggests that the front door be the focal point of your home, visible from the street, clearly visible from wherever you or your guests park. In our landscape designs we strive to draw attention to the front door, creating a visual “funnel” that collects energy and focuses it.
Feng Shui holds that if your front door is showcased, made attractive and inviting, and is the main entrance point day in and day out, prosperity will find its way into your home as a result. We believe this, and we’ve seen it work numerous times. It’s a form of magic.
Here are some design basics, based on Feng Shui principles, that have the potential to change your life for the better. First, the walk from your car to the front door should be wide, welcoming and NOT have any corners or unnecessary curves or obstacles. The walk and the entrance shouldn’t be hidden behind overgrown shrubs, or hemmed in on both sides by hedges or landscape beds.
Ideally the landscaping should accent the front walk and front door, like the mat around a framed painting, to set them off attractively. If the walk is long, there should be some sort of destination focal point, like a bench, fountain or garden sculpture, to gently lead you toward the front door. Steps, if absolutely necessary, should be comfortably gentle, not steep. We strive to eliminate steps wherever possible, particularly between parking areas and the front door.
You work hard for your home and family. You should be the proud king or queen of your castle, and that’s how your front entrance should make you feel. If your landscape doesn’t make you feel that way, perhaps it’s time for a change…
Steve Boehme is a landscape designer/installer specializing in landscape “makeovers.” “Let’s Grow” is published weekly; column archives are on the “Garden Advice” page at www.goodseedfarm.com. For more information is available at www.goodseedfarm.com or call GoodSeed Farm Landscapes at (937) 587-7021.