First Impressions: How Your Home Makes Visitors Feel

How to Make a Welcoming Home for When Guests Visit

First impressions are made in an instant. From someone walking up to your home, looking at your front door, entering your home, and being greeted by your foyer, they are going to create an opinion and perception of your home, the way you live and how your home makes them feel.

To make sure you give a good first impression, here’s a look at choices and changes you can make when building or renovating, and how some simple modern touches can change the appeal of your home for guests and potential buyers.


Painted Front Door

The front of your home, especially your front door, will make the initial first impression of your home. So make sure it gives off the right impression by making it clean and painting your door a colour that is cheerful and welcoming to visitors.

Paint your front door a colour that sets the mood for your home. It can be a colour with a finish that represents your personality and gives visitors an idea of what to expect when they enter your home.

Lighting Is Key

Keep your curtains open during the day to make the most of the natural lighting in your home. And once the natural light starts to fade, turn on lamps and lighting in your living room, kitchen, front hallway, and any other areas of your home where visitors will be spending time.

If there are any dark corners of your home, consider adding lamps. And keep hallways well-lit throughout your home with windows and lights.

An Organized and Welcoming Entryway

The entryway of your home will make the first impression of your home’s interior. A well-lit entryway that is free of clutter will make guests feel comfortable when they first walk in.

Clear out the entryway of excess shoes and remove clutter or anything obstructing the hallways, so guests don’t feel cramped when they walk in.

Consider adding a statement piece of furniture, artwork, a mirror, or a decoration that will set the tone for your home and help guests get to know you. Also, add fresh flowers near the entrance to bring life to your home, make it look even better, and provide a pleasant, fresh scent.

Create an Uplifting Scent

The smell of a home can leave a lasting impression on guests. And sometimes it’s not a good impression. So take steps to ensure your home smells nice before guests arrive.

Take out the kitchen garbage and compost in case it smells bad. And clean anything that causes a bad odour—e.g., cat litter boxes. If you have a litter box, consider placing it in an area that is out of sight and away from the common living area, so guests don’t have to see or smell the litter box.

To create a pleasant, subtle scent, start burning a scented candle about 30 minutes before your guests arrive. And choose a scent that everyone will like—one that is a rounded, balanced fragrance instead of one that is either too sweet or a strong floral scent. Consider vanilla or citrus scents.

A pleasant smell from an essential oil diffuser can also make your home more welcoming. But don’t make it too overpowering in case your visitors are sensitive to strong scents. To be safe, keep your home well-ventilated. If the weather is nice, open your windows to let in the fresh air. Otherwise, run a fan to keep air circulating through your home.


A clean, tidy home is key for making guests feel comfortable and welcome. Out of respect for your guests (and yourself), clean your home before guests arrive, especially the kitchen, bathrooms, living room, dining room, and floors. And don’t forget to dust and vacuum.

Don’t leave clutter on your table and countertops or dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. And remove unnecessary items to make for open, clutter-free areas. Clutter causes people to feel agitated and uncomfortable. Unnecessary furniture and décor can also make a place look and feel smaller. So tidy up clutter and put away items that don’t need to be left out.

Overall Décor

The simplest way to improve the overall décor of your home is by sticking to a soft colour scheme and adding your personality with furniture, homeware, window treatments, and artwork. Art is a great way to add character to a home. And if framed in coordinating frames, it can add fluidity throughout your home.

Set the Ambiance

Play some of your favourite music in the background to set the mood for your guests. Just make sure it isn’t too loud and it’s music that everyone will enjoy.

Also, make sure the temperature of your home is comfortable. If it’s too hot or too cold, your guests won’t enjoy their visit as much.


Clean Landscape

A clean, well-trimmed, and freshly mulched landscape will make a great first impression as guests arrive at your home. To make it look even better, keep garbage cans and recycling bins out of sight.

Clear Walkway

Clean your front walkway and stoop of any dirt, debris, leaves, or snow so your guests have a clear, convenient path to walk on. Also, have adequate outdoor lighting so they can see clearly at night.

Welcome Mat

Whether you want a charming welcome mat with a friendly phrase or a decorative welcome mat to suit the season, a doormat can put a smile on your guests’ faces and give them a spot to wipe their shoes before entering your home.

Door Knocker

Consider using a statement door knocker that is decorative and will stand out to guests. The right door knocker can spruce up the appearance of your front door and make a lasting impression.

Seasonal Wreath

No matter the season, wreaths can add life to the front of your home. Seasonal wreaths will have plants and decorations to match the season—they aren’t just for Christmas.

Clean Front

Make sure there are no cobwebs hanging around the front of your home or visible rot on wooden surfaces. Give your front area and give your porch a fresh coat of paint if needed. And repair or update the hardware on your front door and storm door.

Clean Windows

If you can’t reach the exterior windows and storm windows of your home, hire a professional window cleaner once in a while to clean your windows. And if your windows are outdated or damaged, opt for replacement windows to improve the look of your home and its energy efficiency.

Shiny, clean new windows will give the front of your home a beautiful polished look.

Organized Backyard

If you plan to host guests in your backyard, keep it tidy, clean, and comfortable. And consider using stylish patio doors and outdoor living décor.



[su_list icon=”icon: chevron-right” icon_color=”#EC3826″]

  • Freshly-cut flowers
  • Lit candles
  • Framed photos and artwork
  • A large book collection
  • An available phone charger



[su_list icon=”icon: chevron-right” icon_color=”#EC3826″]

  • Stained furniture
  • Stained carpets
  • Dying plants
  • Cobwebs
  • Dirty litter boxes, especially in the kitchen or living area
  • Dirty dishes in the sink
  • Dirty oven or stovetop
  • Full trash cans
  • Dirty toilets
  • Mouldy bathroom tiles
  • Dirty bathroom sinks
  • Missing bathroom hand towels, garbage cans, and door locks
  • Leaving the toilet seat up
  • Leaving no extra accessible rolls of toilet paper


Whether your home needs a simple cleaning up or you plan on renovating and buying windows to replace broken ones, take these steps to make your home a beautiful home on the inside and out.

A beautiful home is welcoming for guests and for you to come home to each day.

Scroll to Top