Create inviting entrances to welcome holiday guests

(BPT) – Holiday season guests will soon come knocking at your front door. What’s the first impression your home’s entryway creates? Is it a warm, friendly welcome, or is the cold hard truth that your home’s entryway could use some improvement?

If the latter is true, try these handy holiday entryway-decorating tips from Pella Windows and Doors to create an inviting entryway and make everyone feel right at home.

Tips for creating a positive first impression with an inviting entry into your home:

* Clean fingerprints or pet nose prints from doors, sidelights and visible window glass surfaces.

* Appeal to the senses by placing fragrant arrangements nearby or light a candle just before guests arrive. For safety purposes, never leave burning candles unattended.

* Make sure your entryway is well lit. Place groupings of festive battery-operated lanterns on tables or in corners to illuminate darker areas.

* Designate space for guests to put coats, boots, bags and gifts when they first walk in.

* Before guests arrive, do a walk-through to eliminate potential tripping or fall hazards, especially if you’re hosting elderly guests or those with limited vision or mobility.

* Immediately wipe up any spills or melting ice or snow from shoes to help prevent slips or falls.

Tips for festive outdoor decor to accent your front door:

* Hang small wreaths, bells or seasonal signs from doorknobs or door hardware.

* When hanging larger wreaths on the door exterior, use removable, temporary outdoor hooks to help prevent door damage. Magnetic hooks work well on steel doors.

* Add ribbon for a more dramatic look and add an extra pop of color. Try burlap ribbon for a rustic touch, or smooth satin and modern metallic textures for additional holiday sparkle.

* Frame your doorway with a natural or artificial pine garland, accented with pine cones and shatterproof ornaments. Use temporary outdoor hooks to hang garland around the doorway. Avoid placing nails into windows or doors, which could hamper the product’s performance, or even void the manufacturer’s warranty.

* Fill planters with festive arrangements of evergreens, silk poinsettias, branches, ornaments and outdoor lights.

* Hang wreaths, ribbons and baubles from outdoor arbors, fences or sconces.

* Consider colored spotlights or solar-powered lights to illuminate your home’s exterior doorways and walkways.

Any season can be the right time for replacing an old, cold entry door. For tips on selecting an energy-efficient new storm door or an Energy Star-qualified entry door and transforming your entryway into a warm, inviting space, visit