By K. R. Cole
Although it may seem like an afterthought, picking a color for your front door is an important decision. Your front door is, after all, one of the first things your visitors will see upon arrival. It can really add or detract from the appearance of your house. Picking the right color for your front door involves more than just brushing on your favorite color or using a color you saw on someone else’s door. There are a few things to consider when flipping through those color swatches.
Curb Appeal: Making the Best First Impression
Before seriously considering any color, always keep in mind that your front door color can affect the curb appeal of your home. It can be a great way to tie up the look of the house, but the wrong color can be distracting or even worse: an absolute eyesore. Few upgrades are as inexpensive and impactful as the color of your front door. Whether you’re considering a classic red, a sunny yellow, or an ocean blue, take your cues from your house color, style, and landscaping. If you really want to visualize the color, you can take a color photograph of your house with a digital camera, print it, cut out the door with a craft knife or scissors, and place your color cards behind the picture. This may involve a little work, but it’s a fun way to see what different door colors would look like. You may find that a color you loved on a card isn’t the best choice, or you may find that a color you were just okay with turns out to be the perfect one for your house.
Give a Nice Complement: Color that Goes Well with Your House Style
Take the style of your house into consideration. Do you own a neat and tidy Cape Cod with a proud front door? Or a Craftsman with the front door tucked beneath a wide covered porch? The style of your house should be taken into consideration when picking a door color. Lemon-yellow, though cheery on its own, will look weird with Tudor-style homes, which are defined by deep brown exposed wood framework and neutral stuccos. Dark brown may not be a fit for a sunny cottage. Different architectural styles will incorporate different building materials, each with their own color and texture. The door color should be in harmony with the color inherent in these materials.
Coordination Without the Clash: Picking the Color that Works with Your Exterior
House exteriors are made with many different kinds of materials, and these should be taken into account when you’re looking at colors. Your home’s exterior may be predominantly brick or siding or a combination of these. Stone, stained wood, and stucco are also common. Each material used either offers its own color or is painted. A balanced, attractive look can be achieved by taking color cues from these exterior components. For example, if you have a gray brick house with lighter and darker bricks, a color matching the darker bricks will look great on your front door.
If your house is mostly one color, like a house with clapboard or other siding, a color that provides a pleasant contrast works well to grab attention and eliminate monotony.
Be wary of potential clashes when mixing two shades of the same base color, like a red door on a red brick house. These two shades will probably not work well together, as they may have different undertones.
Color Theory: Using the Color Wheel
When you see colors that go well together and contrasting colors that make each other pop, this isn’t random! There’s a science behind good color combinations. The color wheel, a simple tool, can help you understand why some colors get along famously and some just do not play well together.
A color wheel will help you understand the difference between warm and cool colors, what primary and secondary colors are and how they can be mixed to form tertiary colors. The color wheel clarifies what tints and shades are and how they are variations of hues that have been mixed with white or black, respectively. One of the most helpful aspects of a color wheel when choosing a front door color is how it shows how to integrate contrasting colors for impact without discord. Certain colors will complement one another in combinations that may surprise you. A pale yellow house looks great with a blue door for a reason. Color theory helps you understand why blue-green doors are a win for a red-orange brick exterior. Whether you want to complement or contrast, trust the color wheel for solid color combinations.
Front Door Feel: Setting the Mood With the Right Color
A front door has the power to influence the entire feel of the front of your house. Whether it’s a bright, uplifting color or a darker, more serious tone, color has an immediate influence on the overall vibe. Picking colors that pop, such as yellow, pink, and spring green, gives a fresh, energetic look.
Deeper, more intense colors set a mysterious, often romantic tone. Reds create an atmosphere of passion and boldness; since it is a very strong color that is best used in moderation, it’s a wonderful front door choice for many homes. Deeper browns are perfect for the earthy, rustic feel, while black can convey sophistication and edginess. Whites, grays, and beiges can lend a clean, relaxed quality to your home. Muted shades of green and blue are also top choices for a natural, serene effect.
Count on the Classics: Common Colors that Get the Job Done
If you’re not up for a bold or unusual color and would like to stick to the classics, there are a few colors that will generally work for many homes. A home that is mostly red brick can be easily enhanced by a black, deep blue, or white door.
Homes that have a lot of gray, dark blue, tan or white go well with a deep or vibrant red.
Gray is a neutral choice that is compatible with many brick and siding colors. It comes in many shades and tints.
Many stucco homes painted with the typical tan color are a good match with teal, turquoise, or blue doors.
As a general rule, whether the color is classic or not, try to steer away from colors too closely resemble the main color of the house. This can give your home a washed-out or flat look.
Painting your front door is one of the easiest ways to really change the look of your house. All that is needed is some color savvy and a can of paint! Best of all, it’s inexpensive and easily accomplished — no professional required!
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.dreamstime.com