10 of the Prettiest Front Doors
Pick any one of these ideas (or use a combination of them) to boost your curb appeal in no time.
By Candace Braun Davison
Photo: Tahvory Bunting, Denver Image Photography
The Throwback That's Making a Comeback
Midcentury modern doors are back in a big way, but this time around, they tend to feature colorful flat panels or small, rectangular glass windows, according to Houzz, a home décor and remodeling site. To ensure the house doesn't look dated, choose a lively color combination—lime green doors with gray siding have been especially popular on the site
Photo: Catherine Williamson
The Stylish Way to Maintain Your Privacy
Glass panels let plenty of sunlight stream into your entryway…and they also make for some awkward scrambling when the UPS guy rings your doorbell and you're standing in the living room in your underwear. Thankfully, there's an easy fix that doesn't sacrifice your home's natural light: Frame your window with painter's tape, add your decal of choice (or get creative with masking tape
) and spray it with a coat of Glass Frosting Spray, like Beginning in the Middle blogger Catherine Williamson did
. (The project cost her just $23—less than a set of custom blinds.)
The Secret to a Grand(er) Entrance
Though this project is a little more labor-intensive, adding trim around your door can give your entryway true curb appeal, making it stand out more from the rest of the house. Michelle Servary tried this project firsthand, offering a full tutorial on her blog, Ocean Front Shack
, and recommends buying pre-primed molding to spare you from multiple rounds of prime-dry-repeating. Just make sure it's primed on both sides, she writes, which will help keep the boards from rotting.
The Finishing Touch That Sets the Tone
Outdoor lights with dark finishes, like bronze, are particularly popular right now, as well as frosted or textured glass, says Michael Murphy, design and trends producer for Lamps Plus
. He recommends finding a fixture that's one-third the size of the door, or 32 inches tall (the average door tends to be 96 inches). Many companies' websites feature printable PDF templates of their lights, which you can tape to the door to get a sense of its size. When in doubt, go one size up, he says, since most people go too small.
The Nouveau Idea That Capitalizes on an Old-Money Hallmark
Sign us up for monogram gloves
and now this:
Companies like Southern Proper Monograms
let you select the font, size and arrangement of your initials, which they laser-cut out of wood and ship to you. Designer Holly Mathis recommends using an 18-inch monogram and spray-painting it in a contrasting color that will pop against the door, like the bright white shown here
. A smaller monogram can be layered over a plain wreath, Mathis says, if you'd prefer a more traditional look.
Photo: Sherry and John Petersik/Young House Love
The Paint That Brightens Even the Dreariest Mid-February Day
If there's one place where you can play with color on the outside of your home without feeling like you're forcing Key West in the Midwest, it's the front door. Young House Love bloggers Sherry and John Petersik prefer light, cheery colors that focus attention right up the steps, like buttercup yellow or a "peacock-meets-teal" blue
Their trick for finding just the right shade? Start with the trim. They painted their sidelights the same creamy tone as the porch and window ledges, then taped up swatches to ensure that the blue shades they loved wouldn't make the off-white accents look yellowed and dingy.
Photo: Courtesy of Down to the Woods
The Mat That Says More Than "Welcome"
High-personality doormats are making a comeback, albeit not in the cartoon-characters-and-keep-off-signs way. Designer Jason Grant says he's seeing increased interest in striped styles and animal motifs, like this espadrille number
or this gray-and-tan silhouette of a stag's head
. Friendly greetings, like that on the "Hello" mat
, are also popular, and hit two trends at once: The handwritten, Etsy-esque look and the punchy pop of color.
Photo: Modern Masters, Inc.
The Next-Big-Thing Finish
If you fell in love with the rustic look of a weathered, charcoal door but now want to update it, try a metallic copper finish (leaving, as shown, some of the original gray). The new color really pops when you trim the door in an inky black, like Stiletto
, says Mary Lawlor, manager of color marketing at Kelly-Moore Paints.
The Seasonal Switcheroo
We all recognize the appeal of a pair of planters on either side of the door (thank you, symmetry), but Divine Design
star and Everyday Elegance
author Candice Olson has a few 10-minute updates to suggest: Simple plants that have a long, sculptural shape, like elephant ears or palms, are great for the spring and summer. She places lights near the base of the planter and directs their beams upward, so that at night, the shapes cast dramatic shadows on the walls. In the fall, she tucks a few long feathers into the planter, adding a little warmth and texture to the mix and in the winter, she replaces the plants with birch branches and twig balls.
Photo: Matthew Williams, from Remodelista
The Handsome Accessory That Gets Better with Age
We loved Julie Carlson's idea to use all matte black hardware in her book, Remodelista
. Yes, the knobs and door knockers will wear over time—a sign of the many guests you've welcomed—which is why Carlson recommends choosing a metal that matches the tones of the door's paint. Nickel works best for blue, green and other cool colors (a peek of silver will shine through as the years pass), while brass pieces complement warmer shades—perfect for the classic red door.
Next: What's your home design style?