Are you feeling uninspired when you arrive back at home after a long day? The answer could be found in what's right in front of you - your front door. Whether you want to refresh a tired looking threshold or create a wow-factor to amaze guests, these front door ideas will help you to make the best first impression.
It doesn't matter how grand your home is, these ideas can be incorporated into any exterior, on a variety of budgets. You don't need an extravagant hallway or vast front garden in order to create a show-stopping home, often the key is actually in the detail. From choosing a colour scheme that feels so 'you' to adorning the doorway with a knocker that feels like the perfect finishing touch, there are many ways to get the look.
There are practical elements to consider too, of course. Privacy will be your number one concern when choosing a front door, as not only does it need to be secure but it also needs to protect from anyone looking into your home. With this taken into account, you can get started on picking a front door idea that exudes the personality of you and your property.
Front door ideas
If you are replacing your front door entirely, consider whether the door works with the period and structural design of your home. For instance, a chunky and sleek steel door would suit a contemporary new build or grand design but look out of place and cumbersome as the external door of a quaint cottage.
Colour, too, is hugely important. It's an affordable way to have fun and breathe new life into your home's facade, but if you're planning to repaint your front door, think it through.
'If you have a period property, a colour that complements its age, such as grey or black, will stand the test of time,' says Jessica Plateo, marketing manager at Craig & Rose. 'That's not to say that bold, unorthodox choices don't work here, but it depends on how much of a statement you're intending to make.'
1. Stick to sage green
A front door colour can be difficult to decide on, especially if you're faced with needing to compromise. A all-round pleaser is sage green, providing a balance between playful and practical, so that you don't need to worry about how it will age.
It's also right on-trend, so you can easily tie it into your hallway paint ideas, whether you have opted for a minimal scheme or bold navy hues.
'This colour has exploded in popularity over the past year with it being used in kitchens, gardens and living rooms and now it seems to be growing in popularity for the front door too,' says Michael Rolland, paint expert at The Paint Shed.
'If you’re lucky enough to have a front garden then a green-coloured door, in particular sage green, for a nature-inspired aesthetic.'
2. Look to linear
If a modern living space is your thing, then a sleek linear design will elevate the exterior of your property, too. Opting for a front door with long lines not only incorporates a contemporary look but it will also elongate a pathway area, helping to make an entryway look grander.
Whether you opt for vertical panels or choose to include a glass feature, a new front door will be a fast way to update the overall look of your home if it needs an up-to-date facelift.
3. Combine with a statement number
One of the easiest ways to make your front door pop? Pair with a statement house number. Not only will this make it simple for the postman to deliver your packages, but it also makes a design feature out of something functional.
'More commonly houses display a metal number attached to the centre of the door, however, there are many ways to avoid this basic design. A simple change can be playing with the placement of your door number,' says Anna Elkington, from Melody Maison.
So whether you want to position it off to the side, or keep it centered on the door itself, there are a number of ways you can make it shine.
'Homes with a fanlight are perfect for stylishly displaying your house number, simply use frosted glass with your house number cut out to create a classy design above your door,' adds Anna.
4. Go full glass
While front doors will add instant style to the exterior of your home, they're also an opportunity to change the look and feel of your hallway. If you're suffering from a dark, narrow hallway, then a full glass door will be a fast way to bring in more light.
And if you're lucky enough to have an ultra wide doorway, then a multi-glass door design will make your doorway feel like a super chic portal.
'If your doorway is big enough incorporate a double door design to create an interesting and classy exterior. Often double doors can make your home look more expensive as they're usually associated with 'grand' properties,' advises Anna.
5. Find solace in sunny shades
'A presentable front door is the key to a good first impression, this is one of the first aspects of a home that guests are met with so it's important to set a good tone for the rest of your home,' says Anna.
Let's face it, the weather can be bleak for the majority of the year in the UK, so what better way to add an ounce of sunshine to your day than with a bright front door?
Your front door greets you every single day, so incorporating a playful colour is bound to bring joy to a daily routine. Yellow is a bold choice but one that will complement the exterior of many different homes. It's also easy to match to plants in your front garden, creating a sunny escape right on your doorstep.
6. Add window film
If you're wanting to add privacy to a front door but don't want to commit to investing in a new design, then window film could be a handy choice. Windows with glass are great for letting light in, but they can pose a privacy risk by offering a viewpoint into your hallway or living space.
By adding window film, you can avoid potentially dating your doorway with blinds or curtains, and without making a permanent decision. It's an affordable option too, which will suit those wanting to update their home on a budget.
7. Focus on flooring
A fun way to update the entry way to your home without replacing the front door is by focusing on the floor. As it's a place you enter and leave from every day, the heavy footfall can inevitably cause tiles or paving to be looking a little worse for wear.
Replacing the tiles on your front porch is easy to achieve yourself, so you can dedicate a weekend to DIYing your dream layout. It will refresh the entire appearance of your doorway and you can tie it into the paint ideas in your home, for example by matching a monochromatic scheme or adding a fun pop of colour.
8. Stick with traditional wood
When it comes to choosing the material for your external front door, there are usually four types to choose from: timber, uPVC, metal or a man-made composite. Wood is the traditional choice and remains popular today thanks to its natural durability, warmth and attractiveness.
Wooden front doors can be updated and re-painted over and over if treated well and prepped properly. And if you're wondering how to paint a front door, Dominic Myland, CEO of Mylands has some tips. 'Always sand down the surface as much as possible first,' he says. 'If there are any dents or chips in the woodwork, use some filler and we'd always suggest using a primer and then two coats of your chosen colour for best effect.'
9. Fake it authentically with composite
Composite is a relatively new material that has become a more expensive but attractive alternative to uPVC. It is made up of a few materials and layers including timber, reinforced plastic and sometimes even steel so makes a practical choice for the more security conscious.
It can have superb thermal qualities as polyurethane foam is injected into its core so makes it ultra-energy efficient. But the best bit is its ability to be moulded to have a realistic, wood grain effect and so doesn't look too 'plastic' at all.
10. Coordinate with your brickwork
'If you have brick house, shades that work best sit opposite each other on the colour wheel,' Jessica Plateo explains. For homes with red bricks surrounding the entrance, a blue or green tone will work well. If your bricks are more of a sandstone, with a yellow tint, then it's worth considering a darker front door idea for contrast or even a red tone.'
11. Double up for added grandeur
If you're blessed with a wide entrance, there are various double door options available to you. The most traditional is the double solid door – but painting it in a bright colour will present an element of surprise. This example of sunshine yellow by Little Greene is a great way to cheer up exteriors!
12. Consider cool, contemporary metal
New build or contemporary-style homes are well suited to metal doors – from lightweight but sturdy aluminium to luxurious steel. They don't have to be shiny either. Some can be powder coated, while this bronze version has a tactile textured finish to keep up with new trends.
'Metallic finishes are versatile because you can create impact and be unique with earthy and natural elements,' Elizabeth Asef, co-founder of Urban Front explains. 'These work well with so many different facades.'
13. Embrace the romance of soft pastels
The colour you choose for your front door is a simple but effective way to express character and give your home a personal look. According to Dulux, white is still the most popular choice due to its crisp and clean finish. However, restful shades such as this gentle lavender promote calmness and femininity and will make a period property look pretty.
14. Be bold in red for traditional impact
Exterior door paint colours are available in every shade of the rainbow, so why not experiment with a bold look that will add drama to your entrance? This pillow box red front door jumps out against crisp whitewashed walls. Smart black garden railings and gates and Victorian-style tiled step make a traditional and charming addition.
'Going bright or bold with your front door? Then it's good etiquette to mention this to your neighbour first,' says colour expert Annie Sloan.
15. Display a door wreath all year round
Hanging a wreath to your front door needn't be confined to the Christmas decorating ideas list. With so much seasonal foliage to experiment with popping a wreath or swag on your door will make a decorative addition whatever the occasion.
Don't just stick to just flowers. An arrangement of felt bunnies and painted eggs will look adorable at Easter. Dried wheat and pumpkins can make a rustic harvest wreath and this minimalist hoop with yellow blooms makes a bright and refreshing welcome to spring, when mounted on a vibrant teal front door.
16. Pretty up a porch with potted flowers
Spruce up your entrance with potted blooms for a colourful and fragrant first impression. Resident gardener at Dobbies, Louise Golden, explains, 'Nothing beats a pretty hanging basket for an injection of colour. They’re just the things to brighten up a drab wall or fence, and perfect for hanging by your front door to welcome visitors.'
Hanging baskets also give your garden a ‘vertical’ element, making the most of the small space, too. Coordinate the look by choosing coherent flowers with petals that match your paintwork.
Discover how to plant a hanging basket for the perfect look
17. Dress with distinctive door furniture
The right hardware on your front door can make or break your entrance look. Think of the finishing touches as you would accessorising a room scheme; the attention to detail will make your front door stand out and have a major impact on the final look.
If you have a modern house look for contemporary style handles and letters boxes. It is surprisingly easy to change door furniture yourself – our guide to how to fit a door handle has all the advice you need.
A video doorbell will suit this look and add tech-savvy security. Or, brass and iron knockers and numbers in decorative designs and shapes will make traditional and country homes endearing and quaint.
18. Light your door after dark
Strong outdoor wall lighting ideas placed around a front door not only create a welcoming atmosphere but are also an important security feature. Here, a symmetrical pair of nautical-style wall lights cast an ambient glow on the entryway. It also highlights the chic and sophisticated charcoal toned wood cladding of this Scandi-style home.
19. Let light stream through with glazing
Glazed doors will make an attractive feature to your hallway, allowing light to stream through and ensuring your hall doesn't feel dark and dingy. If privacy is a concern, stained glass in various colours and patterns can look striking matched to the period of your property. Or consider window film. It's a less permanent option and budget-friendly.
20. Channel cottagecore with matching doors and windows
Give your rural home the ultimate chocolate-box cottage look by colour matching the timber front door and window frames. This combination of fresh aqua blue and white way is picturesque and pretty. Finish the country charm by popping a bench by the entrance; it looks idyllic and signals to visitors that they are welcome.
21. A new doormat is always an easy update
Impress your guests with a new doormat. It's a small and affordable update that can make a big difference; not only to your hallway cleanliness but the personality of your front door, too.
Tough materials such as coir, jute, nylon, rubber, cloth, or metal will all make for a lasting investment. Doormat layering is popular, too – this entails placing a small hardwearing doormat on top of a larger but flatter rug with results that are colourful, fun and more protective for your porchway.
22. Add attractive protection with a canopy
If a porch is out of budget or not practical for the property a door canopy is an interesting alternative. Whether you erect a contemporary horizontal, flat roof version or a more traditional apex style with brick and timber surround, the addition will not only shelter you and your visitors from the elements – it will protect your front door and entryway, too.
23. Layer up the foliage
Draw attention to your front door by layering it with topiary. Use climbers like honeysuckle or jasmine to frame the entrance and cast a pleasing scent for visitors. Topiary creates formality and order at a lower level.
Does a front door colour choice have meaning?
According to colour psychology, the shade of your front door can reflect your personality and send a message to visitors. Red is associated with energy, warmth and adventure. Pink refers to love and femininity. Purple is creative. Orange is stable and reassuring. Green is associated with nature, serenity and restfulness. Blue is loyal and protective. Yellow is cheerful and energetic. Brown is secure and practical and black is eccentric and dramatic.
What type of locks should you install on the front door?
Top-notch security for a front door is paramount. To keep your home safe and secure there are various types of locks to choose from which you can use alone or together for extra protection.
• Multipoint locks bolt the door into the frame and locks at multiple points at the turn of a key.
• Euro cylinder locks are key-operated and modern versions feature anti-drill, anti-bump, anti-pick and anti-snap security measures.
• Mortice deadlocks are commonly fitted to wooden doors and can be locked from both sides with a key. These are usually fitted with an additional night latch that is mounted to a door that opens inwards.
• Night latches are opened with a key from the outside and simply lock shut when closed.
• Door chains attach to the inside door frame, which attaches to a track on the door.
Related: Best home security systems – protect your property with these security kits
How long should a front door last?
A front door should stand the test of time, however, different materials have different strengths and weakness so will affect the duration. On average a good quality door should last at least thirty years, although maintenance and security measures will also affect the lifespan.
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Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at Idealhome.co.uk to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.
- Holly CockburnContent Editor
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