First home pressions

Want to impress guests at your house from the word go? Here’s how…

Door doctor If you can’t afford to replace your whole door, give it a lick of paint and replace old knockers and knobs with modern fixtures.

Shui way Feng shui dictates that you should have a strong “landing space” for positive energy. A vibrant coloured rug in your entrance hall is a good start.

Toy ploy Nobody wants to trip over a truck or see messy paints out when they first arrive at someone’s house. Section off a kids’ zone in the back garden, away from the more formal ‘front of house’.

Neat freak Make sure that your grass is regularly mown and that flower beds are not overrun with weeds. Easy maintenance outdoor plants include bamboo, Camellia and Bird of Paradise.

Hazard-free haven Repair any loose pavings, tiles, gutters. Nobody will want to visit your home if it’s going to cause them an injury!

Pet exile If you’re expecting guests, keep your pets in the back garden or a back room. You might not mind being slobbered and clambered on, but others might not enjoy it!

Safe 'n' secure People dig security, whether they’re buying or just staying at your house. Check that doors and windows are secure and make sure there’s ample lighting and appropriate fencing out the front.

Clean dream Freshly washed hand towels in your guest toilet give a great impression. Clean hand towels, clean house!

Perfect pots A pot plant by your front door tells your guests that you are friendly and approachable.

Aromatic chic Appeal to all your guests’ senses with scented smellies all over your house – fresh flowers by the front door, dried lavender and rosemary on a sideboard, candles in the bathroom.

H2Know Water features are known to have a calming effect. A pool, fountain or water feature can put visitors at ease before they even walk in the door.

Lots of light Make sure curtains and blinds are open to provide natural light. If your hallway is dark and dingy, invest in some lamps to give the illusion that it's light and airy.

Less is more Avoid causing clutter in your entrance hall with too much furniture – just a simple sideboard will suffice.