7 Seconds To Make A First Impression

By Amelia Bell on

First impressions count.

It’s frequently argued how long we have to make that all important first impression with roughly seven seconds being a fair average.

However, Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, psychologists at USA's prestigious Princeton University, gave us a mere tenth of a second before we judge and are judged… a blink of an eye in fact.

Scary stuff knowing that I’ve just been down to my local post office in a mismatched grey tracksuit, odd socks and sliders. Not a good look my friends, not a good look.

However, pulling back up onto my driveway the first impression of my home was a whole lot more heart-warming, made all the more sunny seeing my garden's flowers positively bursting with a riot of colour; a horticultural win that I will most certainly take on a grey August morning.

I've always been big into front door décor for the simple fact that first impressions really do count, even if it’s purely selfish, there only to make me smile.

I chop and change arrangements to suit seasons or celebration, intermingle faux and real plants for a greater visual impact. I test out little quirky moments on the postie (yes, I see you checking out my blue gnome, Martin), all to simply brighten my daily homecoming, and that of my families too - a bad mood can be quickly knocked into shape with a warm welcome, and where better to start than right at the front door.

Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love putting these external designs together, maintaining them is an entirely different story.

Countless times I’ve planted up a cute new pot or planter only to find that I’ve not watered it well enough and within a week it’s looking lacklustre and sorry for itself, so I’ve procured a beautiful mini watering can as a visual reminder that my plants need hydration too.

As well as being a delightful little ornament sitting in my kitchen, every time I see it I’m prompted to get the hose out and splash everything down outside too, resulting in far fewer foliage casualties which not only promotes the longevity of my outdoor arrangements but saves money on replacing my plants too.

My house itself has a strong 50s vibe with classic red brick and bay windows. If I’m honest, the build itself isn’t my dream home and we bought it firmly as a project but have found over the past few years that it’s amazing how you can transform a bland exterior into something rather beautiful with just a few added details.

Apart from my abundance of pots, I'm also a huge fan of a wreath. Be it typically seasonal or something a little different for a birthday or anniversary, they instantly add character and individuality to your entrance, making a statement about who you are and what you enjoy.

I love to personalise my wreaths, my summer selection includes a faux flower / foliage wreath that I've added miniature bows to for my mum’s birthday along with cute little battery-operated LED fairy lights for some extra evening sparkle.

My traditional winter wreaths are probably the simplest in my (vast) collection but no less magical when matched with a snowy garland and outdoor fairy lights. You can really have fun with wreaths and they are a great way of getting the kids involved with some crafting too (though you may have to touch them up after hours if perfection is what you crave!).

Okay, so I did say that I change my outdoor décor fairly frequently but there are two features that won’t be going anywhere soon – my traditionally styled wall mounted post box in a bright red and my beloved chapel lamp post.

Both of these guys are fixed features of my home and each bring bags of character as well as crucial practicality. I like the added security of not having a letter box in the front door and enjoy the romanticism of ‘going for the post’ each day, whilst the glorious lamp post illuminates my driveway as I get home each evening (also being a very handy landmark when directing people to the home for the first time!).

I thought that next year I may try to grow something up my lamp post for added whimsy but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what - please drop me a message if you have an idea of what flowering climber would happily clamber its way up it next summer!

Spending a couple of hours messing around with pots and décor to brighten up your front door or porchway entrance is something I highly recommend.

Those crucial seven seconds for that first impression could be the loveliest of your day every time you see your handiwork or spot someone else enjoying it.

So, who says you only get one chance to make a first impression? I enjoy mine every time I come home.

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