What does your front door say about you? Whether it’s covered in scuff marks, showing the wear-and-tear of rough Chicago winters, or kept to a pristine shine, the front door to your home is one of the first things people see when they stop by your house. If you’d like to make a quick and fun change to the front door of your home, consider the following tips.

1.  Get a new coat. A bright, fresh coat of paint can instantly freshen up your front door. Opt for a color that is a sharp contrast to your home’s exterior for a dramatic new look. The staff of Thybony in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood recommended cleaning the door prior to painting, then using semi-gloss paint with a satin finish.

2.  Use vintage materials. Check out stores that specialize in salvaged materials for antique doorknobs and other features for a truly unique look. You can find an art deco doorknob, or perhaps a fixture from an historic Chicago landmark to use in your own front door.

3.  Try a door knocker. A door knocker can be an interesting element to add, injecting some personality and a bit of fun to your door. The door knocker can be ferocious and have a lion’s head or a dragon, or be more light-hearted and include your favorite team’s logo.

4.  Use decorations year-round. If you only deck the halls — and your front door — for the holidays, consider using foam circles and in-season colors and dried flowers to create wreaths that can brighten and liven up your front door. Get creative and incorporate your favorite team’s colors in the wreath, then hang it on the door during the season. You can also use ribbons to hang colorful, oversized letters that represent your initials.

5.  Show your number. Is your home address on a part of your home that is not well lit? If so, consider painting your home’s numbers on your door in a contrasting color.

6.  Go local with door design. If you want an entirely new front door, consider getting one that incorporates design elements from the work of local legend Frank Lloyd Wright. The bonus? The design features glass so ample that sunlight can shine through the windows.

7.  Throw out the welcome mat. Changes to the front of your home are not limited to the door. Paint the door trim with a color that’s complementary to the door, and keep the area in front of your door free from clutter. A new welcome mat can help guests feel at home, and also provide a much-appreciated place to scrape off their shoes.

The following local businesses may be able to help you get started.

The Knobbery
930 W Northwest Highway
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
(847) 342-0803

The Knobbery offers a variety of door hardware in many finishes including brass, satin nickel and vintage copper. Doorknob designs available for sale can range from contemporary looks to vintage-inspired hardware.

Thybony Paint & Wallpaper
5440 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 561-2275

Established in 1886, Thybony Paint & Wallpaper offers a variety of paint from Benjamin Moore, California Paints and Coronado Paints. Painting supplies and equipment are also available including rollers, drop cloths and tape.

Urban Remains
1850 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 492-6254

Located just west of downtown Chicago, Urban Remains offers salvaged materials from buildings ranging from the mid-1800s to the 1960s. Architectural metalwork and antique letters and numbers are also available for sale. Urban Remains does not sell new or reproduction building materials.

Related: 5 Tips For Cleaning Glass Surfaces
Related: Go Green As You Spring Clean – 10 Steps To A Clean, Ecofriendly Home

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSChicago.com/Your Home.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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