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.

Benjamin Moore Aura Color Stories (plus dove white and wood tone)

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.

Teal Door

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.

Photo: Koch Architects

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.

Notting Hill
Designer: Roger Hazard

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.

Natural Wood is a Classic

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.

White Calms the Palette

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 § 4 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.

downingst010406_450×300.jpeg

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.

Mary Rhoades House, 1912 Colonial Revival
Photo: @buildingsofnewengland

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.

Dark Royal Blue
Benjamin Moore 2065-20

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.

Orange Twist to the Red Revival

September 18, 2017 § 2 Comments

Apples, pumpkins, falling leaves — there’s something about Autumn in New England that, despite our recent warm temperatures, makes us cozy up to the changing seasons. Maybe that’s why some of us live here.

My newest door color obsession is a revival of the orangey red of another decade, and that may signal the end of the light, neutral, blue and even light lemon yellow door color trend I’ve focused on for the past several years. This red, Million Dollar Red (Benjamin Moore 2003-10) is as perfect on a traditional white colonial as it is on a black modern home. There is no mistaking where the door is — it screams Welcome!

What I love most about it is its “orangeyness.” Orange is a happy color no matter what. So a red on the orange side (versus pink) says this is a happy home. The color also has an updated, contemporary feel as opposed to the more traditional burgundy red (also great, of course, but more serious and refined).

Adding an orangey red as an accent color on the interior is also a great way to torque up the energy. Try it on the back of a white bookshelf, or on a pouf ottoman in the family room, or even on a focal wall in the front entry. A little bit of red warms up a room a lot. So before painting an entire room red, make sure you want to amp up the temperature in there. Using red on items that can be removed in the hot summer makes sense to me: pillows, bedding, throws, and art. Then I look forward to my seasonal exchange when I swap out the cool blue accessories for red.

Enjoy Autumn… whatever it means to you and wherever you are. And love how the color orangey red makes you feel. Warm and Happy.

Fab Front Door Color Ideas

November 14, 2014 § 3 Comments

Your front door does not have to be red. Or black. Or green. Or any other traditional color (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Have some fun with your front door color by looking around your yard for inspiration. Or step outside the box by choosing a contrasting color in an unexpected lighter tone. Once you decide on the color, spread it around a bit more by painting a bench or a pot the same color and planting annuals and other flowering shrubbery around the yard to pull the whole look together.

For a BLUE or GRAY house: Consider warm sunny yellow (Ben Moore Concord Ivory HC-12).

blueyellowhouseHC-12

For a golden BROWN house, surprise your neighbors with a light shade of contrasting blue (Ben Moore Yarmouth Blue HC-150).

FrontDoorAfterHC-150

For a white house, consider using a color from your plantings around the yard. Here, the purple lilacs provide the inspiration (Ben Moore Cabernet 2116-30).

WhiteHouseLil2116-30

For a red house, I still love creamy white trim and a navy door (Ben Moore Hale Navy HC-154).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHC-154

For a green house, use a natural wood toned door or paint it an earthy rusty brown (Ben Moore Ten Gallon Hat 1210).

greenhouse1210

And of course a yellow house still looks absolutely smashing with a traditional red door (Ben Moore Moroccan Red 1309).

yellow1309

Your front door should reflect a little bit of you and the home you’ve created on the other side of it.

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