Speaking of Red, What’s the Best Front Door Color?
February 26, 2023 § Leave a comment
Quick answer? Not red. Necessarily.
Red is a traditional door color that is steeped in history and folklore as it symbolizes a welcoming home, a safe haven for travelers, a harbinger of good luck, and protection from ghosts and evil spirits. And it certainly is striking, particularly on a white house.
But before you run out to the paint store, a study done by Zillow in 2022 found that buyers would pay $6500 more for a house with a door color they found desirable and conversely would pay $6500 less for a house with a front door they didn’t like. The door color that brought the highest offer? Black.
Now black isn’t for everybody, but red obviously isn’t either. The same study found that Slate Blue and an earthy Olive Green came in second and third. (Note the stone and brick on these two houses — we’ll come back to that.)
Colors to be avoided? Pale Pink and Cement Gray as they were described by respondents as “shabby and dated.”
Not to be contrary, but only a year later another trend study found Soft Rose (aka pink) and Dark Charcoal (aka gray) to be two of the recommended front door options for 2023.
Okay, let’s unpack this because you cannot pick your front door color based on folklore or some conflicting color trends. It just doesn’t work.
A front door color should be chosen based on your
- House color. Do you have a neutral house color or is it already making a color statement? Obviously you don’t have to have a red door for luck or a black door to sell your house, but there are some color combinations that are better than others.
- House style. Is your house from a particular style era? Colonial? Mid-century? Modern houses can support bright crayola colors. Traditional homes sometimes match shutters to the door color and might even keep them light for a blended, softer look.
- Landscape colors. Do you have flowering shrubs next to the entry? A big rhododendron or lilac bush? There may be a color opportunity just steps away.
- Materials. Is your house brick or stone? Natural materials on the front of a house often present challenges to picking a door color because there may be multiple colors already in that brick or stone, and the house may appear busy. Choosing a door color to complement that stonework is tricky.
- Roof color. Sometimes it plays a pretty big role in the overall house palette. (I’ll talk about roof color another day.)
If you have a white house…
You have a rainbow of choices before you. But tie that front door color in somehow so it doesn’t look like a random walk through the crayon box.
What if my house already makes a statement — it’s red?
If the front door is under a porch overhang, I suggest keeping the door light. With all that house color, a creamy white works, and you can still find the door without the porch light on.
What if my house is black?
All door color options are open to you — even black. And keeping the whole house black lets the greenery take top billing. But the door color I like best for a black house is a natural wood door — it totally warms up the house and is very inviting.
What if my house is not black but it’s still dark — like navy blue?
There is nothing fresher than a splashy sunny yellow door on a navy blue house.
What if my house is charcoal gray?
You really cannot beat the warmth of wood. Or the color of wood — a rich gold paint color.
What if my house is light — like this gray-blue?
This house picks up some of the warm peach tones from the front porch and gives this more traditional house color a fresh look.
What if my house is green?
Omgosh… try a regal shade of purple. And plant some irises. It’s a stunning combination.
Here’s where a nod to regional trends and a tip-of-the-hat to history play a part in color choices. I’ll just pick two examples. The soft blend of tones on this neo-European style traditional home speaks to the part of the world where shutters actually function. The pink house waves from Palm Springs. Note the choice of door color — to calm the perky exterior. House styles have some parameters. After that, it’s all about your taste.
Now back to reality…
Notice how the landscaping dictates the door color? It is such a great trick, and it really pulls the curb appeal to a higher level. Will it bring in the highest offer on your home? Maybe not, but if you’re not moving, then it’s not an issue.
What if my house is brick?
Solid dark colors like navy are classic door colors with brick. As is black, of course. One color to avoid? Red because bricks are not actually red and trying to match them for a door color is a challenge.
What if my house has multiple colors or stone textures?
My absolute go-to color for coordinating front door and stonework without introducing another accent color is Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze! It is a miracle front door color!
If you need help with color, feel free to comment below, hit the button for a Color Consultation, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would be happy to help you.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
Add Color Here but Please Not There
February 23, 2023 § Leave a comment
Color is back in season as we watch the light neutrals fade off into the distance. Here are 5 areas of your home where you can add color with a paint roller or a brush. But scroll to the bottom for a gasp of OMGosh please do not do this!
ADD COLOR TO STAIRS
I am a huge fan of painting the stairs — pretty much anything but white. The ombre effect on the stair risers creates a fresh relaxed look and is a great way to bring in an accent color. Or you can paint the whole stairway. The stained wood treads look spectacular popping off the dark gray woodwork.
ADD COLOR TO SHELVING
This color application has been around awhile, but I am still a fan! Painting the back of your display shelving is such an eye-catcher. And it can highlight your collections. What an opportunity to add color — and so easy! Or you can paint the whole inside of each display cube a different color for a playful focal wall.
ADD COLOR BEHIND THE TV
It doesn’t have to be black, but camouflaging the TV is a great idea. Any dark color will help. Or if you rather like a large touch of black, make the TV wall a colorful focal point.
ADD COLOR TO THE CEILING
Whether you want to paint just the ceiling and molding around it as an accent or go up over the ceiling with the wall color to enlarge the room, painting the ceiling will add drama. But white in the room offers a fresh contrast and keeps the room from feeling like a cave.
ADD COLOR TO A WALL OF BOOKSHELVES
Your painter will love you (oh, that’s you?) if you decide to paint the entire wall of bookshelves the same accent color. For one thing, the sheen on the paint will stay the same. And there is no cutting-in or taping-off required. In a light-filled room or a library, this color application will set the mood for sure.
WARNING! DON’T DO IT!
OMGosh… please do not try this last one at home UNLESS you are a designer, your ceilings are high already, and you have enormous windows. Yes, it’s dramatic, cool, and trending to paint walls, trim, and ceiling all one dark, dramatic color. And yes it’s quicker and easier when it’s all the same. But here’s what happens:
- You lose all architectural detail (moldings, fireplace, wainscoting — if you don’t have any, you might not care).
- You lose all contrast that helps you see color (because say it with me, “white makes colors pop”).
- You add reliance on light — either from windows or lamps — to see anything in the room.
- You risk the wall/ceiling color influencing the colors of everything else in the room.
- You risk making your furniture look drab.
- You risk triggering your seasonal depression on a daily basis.
- And the elephant in the room: If you want to sell your home anytime soon, dark-and-moody just doesn’t sell. It will cost a fortune in primer to paint over all that surface area.
But as they say in the biz… it’s just paint!
If you need help with color, feel free to comment below, hit the button for a Color Consultation, or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
I would be happy to help you.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
What Color Trends Don’t Tell You
February 10, 2023 § Leave a comment
It’s that time of year when people toss out the old and refresh their place with something that will breathe some Spring into the Winter blahs. Some people pore over seed catalogues for inspiration. Others turn to paint companies for the hot new color trends. So off we go to scour the internet for how the color experts see us living in this year’s creative new palettes.
All the major trend-makers and influencers weigh in. Everywhere, it seems, you see the new colors pop up in linens and bath towels, art and accessories, and furniture. Experts offer an array of options for incorporating new color ideas into your home.
And THAT’s where we hit the design wall.
Sherwin Williams chose the paint color Redend Point for their 2023 Color of the Year.
They show beautiful rooms with the color applied in all kinds of spaces. And they even give you trim colors and other hues that will complement Redend Point.
But what each of these trend-setters tells you is how to use the new color in a complete room makeover. Unless you have a room that is essentially a blank slate, like this one,
you end up trying to incorporate this color into your existing space. I am here to tell you when incorporating this dusty paint color will work and actually more importantly, when it will not.
First a note about colors and mixing. Quite simply, there are two kinds of colors: Clean and Dirty. Clean colors can be described as clear and identifiable as a particular hue. Right out of the crayon box, you might say. Dirty colors can be described as muted, mixed with other hues to make the color appear grayed down and kind of dirty next to its clean sibling.
Benjamin Moore’s Shades of Green 537
Benjamin Moore’s Mesquite 501
And Redend Point, with all due respect, is a dirty color.
It goes great with neutrals like off-whites and grays, and other muted “dirty” colors like worn terra cotta, dusty grape, and cool rustic wood brown.
But wait a minute!
Butted up against clean colors, though, Redend Point looks worse than dirty — it doesn’t belong, whether it’s the wall color or a pillow on the sofa. So let’s look at what does NOT work with this color.
Your existing room decor matters.
If you bought a new cognac leather sofa when it was all the rage, then that orangey brown leather will make your newly painted Redend Point walls look dirty. So nope.
Your hardwood floor matters.
If your existing hardwood floors have yellowed over the years, then do not consider Redend Point for your room. (Tip though: if everything else in the room works, then a large rug will definitely help.)
Clean color matters.
Yellows, vibrant blues, and other clean colors are coming back too (I’ll talk about them later), but they do not go with Redend Point, please! Again, that paint color (or pillow or side chair or rug) is going to look old, faded, and ready to toss next to any clean, clear colors and especially yellow. No to these!
Questions? Just ask.
If you have questions about color, do not hesitate to leave a comment, click on the link for a quick color consult, or shoot me an email. And thanks for the chat.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
-Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
Curb Appeal Refresh: The Front Door
May 22, 2019 § Leave a comment
Some of you may remember when the fashion industry changed the skirt hem length every year — from maxi to mini to midi and then back to comfortably above the knee.
Front door color has followed a fashion trend of its own. A decade ago, red was all the rage — and for some it continues to be the most welcoming front door color. Black with a metal kick plate has always offered a sophisticated read on the front entry. But what has followed in more recent years has been a busting-out of traditional exterior curb appeal. Here’s what front door colors we were talking about just 3 years ago.
So it is time to update those door trends again. No more copycat door-painting just to be fashionable. We’re stepping out of the shade of the porch to a bold new entryway that will set each house apart from its neighbors.
But first, let’s talk about house colors. What has changed:
–More white houses. It used to be that white fell to farmhouses and antique colonials. Not anymore. There is plenty of white new construction, which opens up a fan deck of front door options.
–More gray houses. Always a neutral that fits into almost any environment, the gray interior trend moved to the outside and remains. Gray also opens up a fan deck of front door options, maybe just a few fewer than white.
–More Crayola color and less safe beige. Dark and rich are replacing light and airy. Briarwood is moving to Hale Navy. Rich Cream is moving to Merlot Red. Even some developments are providing a rainbow of siding options instead of the light neutrals from years past. <<applause>> If you have a bold red house, you probably don’t need me to tell you what color to paint your front door (lol!), but I’ll offer suggestions anyway.
–More midcentury renos, both contemporary and ranch style. With a surge in client interest for open-concept living (uh-oh to that trend, but that’s another story), people have realized that it is easier to update an already open midcentury home with the high vaulted ceilings and the great-room flow than it is to modify a boxy colonial. Big surprise there. So we are seeing a plethora of exterior colors (even black) as a result of these one-story re-dos.
Back to the front door. Here are some ideas for redoing your front door color to refresh your home.
Teal and Turquoise — I cannot believe that I used to recommend turquoise only for tropical house locations or homes that at least had a pool. What used to be a quest to coordinate house colors with the local environment is now a challenge to ignore it. Where teal and turquoise work: on gray, white, black, yellow, red, okay almost every house color except blue. Where they do not work: on dirty or faded house siding (the bright color makes the house look worse) and on other blues like colonial blue.
Yellow and Orange — not everybody’s favorite colors but they are so happy. I love them on a front door. Where they work: on dark house colors like navy, green-browns, dark and light grays, neutral gray brick, and white. Where they do not work: Again, on any color that looks faded, aged, or dirty.
Lime Green — fresh and springy and a wonderful coordinating color for your landscape. Where it works: dark gray, navy blue, even red brick, chocolate brown, black. Where it does not work: any other green or dirty beige.
Pink and Purple – always beautiful on a white house with coordinating landscape trees but also on a dark house for a real pop of warmth in the neighborhood. Where they work: white, gray, navy. Where they do not work: on yellow beiges and orange beiges because of the undertones and on anything that has a faded or dirty appearance.
If the bright colors will not work with your house color, try natural or even white.
Natural Wood or wood-look – always a classic. Where it works: navy and red, for sure. And just about every other house color.
White — yes white! What white does is make the whole entry area look larger since it blends with the white trim color. It also creates a blank canvas for holiday decor — wreathes, flower pots, etc. There is nothing quite like white as a backdrop to a variety of color palettes around the entryway. Where it works: especially good on a house with a lot of color already and crisp white trim. Also works on neutrals when you want to maintain a soft neutral palette throughout — be sure to add textures though with lots of greenery and baskets or wicker furniture. White also works on aged or faded houses where the bright colors do not. Crisp white perks everything up.
I hope these ideas dazzle your thinking and inspire you to head to the paint store. Happy painting, everybody!
Front Door Color –Refresh for Brick Homes
May 20, 2019 § 6 Comments
I wrote my first blog post about front door color back in 2012 when it seemed like red and black were the most common options for traditional homes. And shutters? Well black and then black again.
But today I stumbled upon a couple of photos from Beacon Hill in Boston that blew my traditional color palette out of the fan deck, so to speak. It was love at first sight of that rich gorgeous blue — yet to be identified by name and brand.
Just guessing here (I didn’t find anything in the Sherwin Williams paint line), but Benjamin Moore has Dark Royal Blue 2065-20 that comes pretty close for now until I can track this color down.
What I love about this color for the front door (and shutters for that matter) is that it’s dark enough be traditionally tasteful and even replace black on many houses like the 1912 Colonial above, but it has hue enough to excite the senses and certainly stand out from the crowd of traditional black and Charleston Green doors and shutters (not that there’s anything wrong with traditional!).
And I’m just talking about brick homes — because door colors on painted houses and more contemporary homes have gone right through the color palette. More updates on that later.
In the meantime I’m going to appreciate that stunning blue on the brick Rhoades House and open my fan deck to more brick home door color ideas.
What Color Brings You Joy?
January 23, 2019 § Leave a comment
As I type the title into this blog post, I am struck by how nearly impossible that question is to answer for somebody like me who loves almost all hues. How would I ever pick a favorite? But some people have no problem.
In the latest House Beautiful (Jan/Feb 2019 issue) amidst the usual articles about paint color trends and new wallpaper patterns, a spread jumped out of the magazine when I turned the page. Designer Kristen McCory and editor Emma Bazilian lay out a color palette that I would not expect to see in a Connecticut home.
There in a high-gloss fuchsia fiesta was a fireplace surround and mantel popping out of the living room wall. And there was more! A hot pink antique secretary and a raspberry velvet settee left no doubt as to the intentions of the designer. The homeowner wanted Pink. (That’s Benjamin Moore’s Gypsy Pink on the mantel.)
But the story gets so sweet when we discover that the pink is a tribute to the homeowner’s 99-year-old grandmother whose favorite lipstick was Revlon’s Parisian Pink. And that is what brings me to ask “What color brings YOU joy?”
For me? I guess I’m kind of in a Pink frame of mind these days — it’s bitter cold outside and that warm pink hue brings joy to my heart when I stare at it long enough. Witness my Facebook page yesterday —>
But by Spring I know I will have put all the warm colors into the closets and brought out blues to cool the house down and bring me newfound joy. I’m not sure what it is about turquoise, teal, and aqua that I love so much but maybe it’s what those colors represent to me: in this case, last year’s vacation with my precious sister! When I see ocean blues now, I think of her and it brings me joy.
Whatever color brings you joy (always or maybe just right now) … embrace it. Wear it, decorate with it, and share it with others. Don’t worry about keeping up with trends that make others happy. When clients tell me they want a color for their kitchen that is the same color as their best friend’s kitchen, I always push back a little. It never fails. What looks good in somebody else’s house is inevitably a big fail somewhere else. Don’t pick a yellow front door because your neighbor has one. As we say so often these days… You Do You.
What Color Brings YOU Joy?
Going Big-Art Big
January 10, 2019 § Leave a comment
“Little stuff reads Clutter — big stuff reads Drama.”
That is the mantra of a home stager, but the staging principle (what shows up best on camera) translates nicely into home decorating. That is not to say that you can’t have collections of treasures and portraits of the family scattered around your home, but going big successfully draws the eye and establishes the personality for the room.
Of course color does help! I’m enjoying the oranges and reds this cold winter morning, but contrast is all you need for major dramatic impact.
Go ahead. Make a statement!
Or create a serene backdrop for pared-down furnishings.
Or go for a wall mural — yes, big is back!
One caveat. Keep the furnishings in front of the art relatively simple for maximum effect. I’m about to install a piece of art that’s 60″ tall — can’t wait to show you the end result in my client’s family room.
Happy 2019 Everybody! I’ll be back with more color talk soon!
The World’s Favorite Color? Where Have I Been?
February 22, 2018 § Leave a comment
Late to the party here, but better late than never. At least that’s what I said to myself yesterday when I scrolled onto THIS beautiful hue and found out that it was crowned The World’s Favourite Colour. No great surprise since it represents some of the world’s most exquisitely beautiful treasures like Bali — an island so gorgeous its name alone sounds relaxing.
Last summer there was a questionnaire sent out — ’round the globe, as it were — to find out which color appealed to the most people. (I totally missed it! Arrrgh!)
“The competition organised by Hull 2017 UK City of Culture and paper merchant GF Smith invited people to select their favourite shade online by hovering over an infinite palette of shades with their mouse until they landed on the colour they found most appealing.”
The winner was this rich teal that nature inspires and artists incorporate to capture the beauty that surrounds us.
The closest paint color approximation I could find was a Duron Paints shade, Sea Sphinx.
But there were others:
There are plenty of other ways to introduce the color into your decor — window treatments, accessories, and more art, of course.
On an accent wall of Marrs Green, this art pops!
And so does this one!
Though I have blogged about “teal” before, I guess there’s a reason. It appeals to vast numbers of people worldwide. It is a little bit blue, yet a little bit green. It’s the warmest ocean color and a color that appears in natural gems and plant life. It is rejuvenating in all its forms.
It looks great with the full green/blue spectrum and all its values, and it forms a calm backdrop to pops of heat. Marrs Green — The World’s Favorite Color.
Is Your House an EXtrovert? Paint It
February 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
In the next town over, there’s a purple house. And when I say purple, I mean PURple, but not just the front door as we see in the row house above, but also the siding, the trim, the doors, the shutters, and even the concrete foundation. The whole house is purple. (I would show you a photo of the house, but I don’t want to embarrass it.) The result is a house that draws everyone’s attention and not in a good way.
On the other hand, if your house is already an extrovert — one that has character and interesting features you want to show off in all their glory, then go ahead and use paint. This article from This Old House presents ideas for how to bring out the personality in your older home and shows not only colors that grab attention but also where to put them and which ones go beautifully together.
There are lots of ways to use color. This beachy turquoise, perfect for a cottage style home in a coastal community, uses one hue — a medium tone for the siding and a darker value for the shutters and door. White trim completes the cottagey look. The result is a house that displays its positive features without overdoing the palette. This strategy is especially good for a small house.
Dark colors are trending now, and this gray-brown ranch is a good example. But instead of keeping the whole house a quiet, conventional wallflower, the homeowner displays its cheerful personality with tangerine shutters, front door and striped awning. The white trim makes the colors “pop,” as we say, and you have a real looker!
Speaking of citrus, look how this bungalow shows off its architectural features with Juicy Fruit colors and — wait a minute — a lovely deep grape purple foundation. Now that works!
My favorite color combination, though, and perfect for this restored Italianate house, is terra cotta siding; a darker value for the window muntins, eave corbels, and column accents; a rich natural wood front door (and rocking chairs — nice touch); and cream gingerbread trim.
These are only a few ideas for how to embellish your older home with color. Spring outdoor projects are coming for many of us, and one of us at least has house color on her mind. Ha!
Think color, my Color Friends! And stay cozy.
Pink Doors and Why They Work
February 5, 2018 § Leave a comment
Pink — a trend we’ve been watching for the past couple of years — is no longer labeled, as my mother used to say, SS&G (sweet, simple, and “girlish”). On the contrary. The color keeps popping up with some staying power, and where it has grabbed my attention the most is at the front door.
This Pleasant Pink by Benjamin Moore is a comfortably sophisticated hue that blends rose with peach and a touch of gray undertone that keeps it from looking too bubble-gummy or baby’s room. Antique brass metal hardware (as on the London door above) will give the color an aged quality that keeps it from looking too trendy.
Why does pink work so well as a door color? Because it compliments many exterior house colors and coordinates with pinks and whites and purples in the landscape plantings. Here are a few ideas:
Behr’s Road Less Traveled from the 2018 palette is a soft mushroomy gray brown that coordinates nicely with stone walls and wooded environs and looks fabulous with white trim and a pink door. And although cherry blossoms do not last very long, for a few weeks out of the year your house will have traffic slowing down to take photos.
Another house color that looks great with a pink door is gray– it’s a classic combination. This gray, Benjamin Moore’s Stormy Monday, paired with pink creates a quiet traditional combo whose matched undertones make the marriage work. Pink perennials in the yard draw your eye to the coordinating front door.
Three other colors paired with pink create quite the wow factor and a stunning bush of pink lilacs ties the whole look together.
Charcoal Blue, a Sherwin Williams color, offers the most drama. Not for everyone, but a dark navy house can be very striking, and the softness of the pink door creates a balanced look paired with silver-toned metal door accessories.
Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin is a gorgeous color to paint both siding and trim. Paired with a pink door and a dark brown porch deck and oil-rubbed bronze accessories, you’ve got your drama.
Finally, we have a dark charcoal, Glidden’s Flagstone Grey, that also coordinates well with stonework and contrasts beautifully with pink.
As you contemplate freshening up your home’s exterior this Spring, see if a glossy pink door with fresh hardware might be the answer to enhanced curb appeal. If you change out the door hardware, don’t forget to match the porch light– an inexpensive upgrade that can make a huge difference. Add a fresh door mat and pot of pink annuals on the porch step and brace yourself for compliments.
Happy Thinking-About-Spring Day, Everybody.