Discover how the look of your front door and what you see around it has the power to make homecoming a sweet treat
Houzz UK editorial staff. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for… More
Change or alter your front door and the whole exterior of your house can be revitalised. Equally, the things you surround your entryway with can transform your door! Be inspired by these smart and stylish ways to enhance your home’s entrance.
Frame the view
This rich, red-painted door stands out in its own right, but giving it a floral frame, in the form of an arched arbour for climbing plants, takes this frontage to the next level of country-cottage cuteness. You do really need at least a wee front garden and a gate leading into it for this idea, but if you don’t have either you could create a comparable arch-like effect by growing plants up and over your door. You can’t go wrong with something floral, and for a classic country style try a climbing or rambling rose.
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A bare wood front door is atypical for the classic Victorian or Edwardian homes that proliferate our cities (usually these tend to be painted), but on homes, rural or urban, built from the midcentury onwards, you’ll see plenty, often in a similar style – horizontal planks, teak in tone – to this one. Wood’s tendency to soften schemes will mean it works especially well opening into a white, minimal interior, as seen here. With a bare wood door you’ll ideally lightly sand and retreat the surface with varnish, wax or oil every year or so to keep it in peak condition.
Accentuate a feature
Choosing monochrome for the exterior of this house, especially that gleaming jet-black classic front door, is of course no random choice. And with a traditional chequered pathway like this one, why wouldn’t you want to highlight it with a complementary colour scheme?
If you’re considering repainting your door, look around the front of your house for features whose colours you already like and which could be used to influence the shade for the new paint job. It’s a time-consuming task painting an exterior door, so try some tester pots to give you a clearer idea of the impact before you commit.
Pick up on surrounding colours
This dinky door looks all the cuter because it matches the scale of the little windows (it’s always good to think carefully of the visual implications before altering or modernising external proportions). But to ensure it complements the house even more, the owners have chosen a soft grey-green shade that picks up some of the tones in the stone walls.
10 ideas for improving the façade of your house
Let a classic shine inside…
When you’re lucky enough to have a period beauty with stunning stained glass, you’ll want to show it off to best advantage. And although bright white may not be the most obvious choice to everyone in an antique setting, it has a special talent for really letting old details shine (just think of how lovely a battered wooden chair can look against a crisp, bleached-out backdrop).
This hallway hasn’t just been painted in white, it has white artwork, which is in a white frame, and white built-in storage, since coats and shoes with their colourful input are as much a part of a colour scheme as any paintwork.
…and complement it outside
A crisp white inside can generally be done far more wholeheartedly than on the outside, where architectural details come in a mixture of surfaces and shades, and often won’t be things you’d want to paint – here, for example, the bare brickwork looks beautiful. So celebrate the exterior of your door with eye-catching paint – like a downstairs loo, it’s a space where you can afford to decorate boldly. This modern gunmetal grey is a cool foil to the stained-glass panels. It also ties in with the grey in the hall floor tiles.
If you’re painting your door a different colour inside from the colour outside, the general rule is that the edge with the lock in it (and the top, if you’re painting it) should be the colour of the door on the inside. The side of the door with hinges should be the same colour as the front of the door, as you’ll see this area when the door is open.
Balance symmetry and asymmetry
With two giant windows either side of this modern entrance, door furniture positioning is crucial. Having a number, knocker or letterbox dead centre could just create a little too much symmetry – instead, placing the large numbers to one side perfectly offsets and accentuates the symmetry, creating something that feels comfortably balanced. This is a good design trick to turn into instinct: symmetry likes a little disruption.
Whatever kind of door or frontage you have, there aren’t many that won’t be enhanced by some greenery. If hedging like this isn’t an option, could you grow something on a trellis around the door, or even place large pots either side, or tasteful hanging baskets higher up? Don’t forget window boxes, which don’t just impact on the openings they flank, but will also pretty up the framing of your front door.
…or go really wild
All-over creepers and climbers will give most exteriors the look of a romantic abandoned ruin (in a good way). It’s to do with the sense that nature has taken over. Of course, to prevent your home from being ruined by your green walls you’ll need to commit to proper maintenance of your plants, so that they only look as if they’ve taken over. Also be careful about what you plant to ensure it won’t damage your brickwork or pointing as it climbs.
Protect with a porch…
This pleasingly chunky wooden construction is something of a mega porch. And doesn’t it look inviting and cosy to shelter beneath as you wait for someone to let you in or search for keys?
Note the smart recessed light in the centre of the porch ceiling – sensor control is what you’ll want here – and also the elegant, and mega-sized, glass door that floods the entrance with light and also opens cleverly on a pivot. If you’re contemplating an oversize door, this is a detail that’ll allow something huge and heavy to have adequate support when opening and closing.
…whether your house is old or new
Porches come in as many shapes and sizes as do front doors, and this rustic design may look a million miles away from the sleek, contemporary take on the idea just seen, but it serves the same basic purpose: shelter! If it’s raining, you have protection at the door, but also what feels like a designated zone for casting off wellies muddy from a countryside walk. The owners of this house have also made good use of the low wall and column forming the porch for storing logs, a function that also ramps up rustic appeal.
If you live in a very old building, you’ll want to take care of your exterior, including the porch. In the chocolate-box pretty Cotswolds, the local council even encourage homeowners to learn about the architectural history of this type of construction. Learn more about period porches on their website!
Glass side panels can make for a luxuriously light-filled hallway when installed around your front door, as in this modern home. These are typically a feature you’ll see more on contemporary buildings, so if you live in one it may well be a feature you could add if there’s space.
If you live on a busy city road, however, you may value privacy over light. You’ll also want to keep your hallway tidy at all times if you’re house proud (and considering you’re on Houzz, that’s more than likely), as the inside will be almost naked from the exterior.
Match with your garage
When an example like this comes your way (and so obviously just really works), it can be hard to remember why you ever thought you shouldn’t match your front door to your garage door. So if this façade floats your boat – do it!
Tying in window frames is another option. However, white frames are a bit of a classic and if you don’t want to paint them to match do as these homeowners have done and keep some of the detailing around your front door and garage painted white. Perfect harmony, non?
What’s influenced the style or colour of your front door? Tell (and show!) us in the Comments section.