The first impression should always be a good impression. This goes for the outside of the home too and it is a place, where there is ample opportunity to try out your ideas of home decor.
The gate is the first feature that demands one's attention. It should really have an aesthetic quality, whether it is small and compact or a large and fancy one. It is important to keep it in good condition by regularly cleaning and painting it. A lovely touch can be obtained by having a creeper growing round an arch with metal wiring above the gate, overhung with flowers such as Jasmine or Bougainville. This should be regularly trimmed so that it will not come in the way visitors and the leaves and flowers below must be swept away.
Although the mailbox is usually thought of as a utilitarian article, one could be different and buy a good looking one or convert an aesthetic piece into a mailbox and set it outside. For those, who live in enclaves that are gated or if there is a watchman, this will be a safer option as nobody could think of walking off with it.
When people call at one's home, they usually wait outside the front door and gaze about the place. To make this area pretty, one could place potted plants in special ceramic or terracotta containers over there. A wrought iron stand holding small containers with bonsai plants or in the popular coffee-stump holders is good. A cloth, terracotta or metal wall hanging is not very expensive and is at the same time striking.
There is an infinite variety of front doors to choose from nowadays. Antique ones picked up from old homes. Temples and churches are popular. These can be done up and fixed in place. Carvings of floral patterns or popular Gods and Goddesses are often present. One can buy them in dark wood or in black and suede.
Many people like to have attractive door handles and these are available in metals like brass and in many designs. It should match the appearance of the door. Antique ones too are available at retail stores. A pretty festoon in a bright red and gold with Gods and Goddesses or sprinkled with floral patterns would be popular over the threshold. In ethnic handicraft stores, one may find outstanding pieces or make one of their own if they are artistically inclined.
When there is an open space or semi-open verandah, one can even have a mural made of metal or terracotta on the wall next to the front door. Designer tiles with individual or combined patterns are also a popular choice. So, one can make their home complete by having good outdoor decor to make it more welcoming.