Threshold looking less than fresh? Our front door ideas will help you make the best first impression, whatever the size of your home. You don’t need a grand hallway or abundant front garden to wow from the offset. The right door in the right colour can go a long way to setting the tone.
Your choice of door needs to be practical for security reasons, and work with the architecture of your house. But it’s also the first big way to exude your home’s personality, and put on a welcoming and attractive display for you and your guests.
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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.’
Front door ideas
1. 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.’
2. 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.
3. 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.’
4. 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.
5. 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.’
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Pick a colour you wouldn’t use elsewhere
As well as curb appeal, consider how your front door will sit within your hallway colour scheme. If you are not brave enough for a bold tone on the front, why not choose a bright and sunny colour inside that is just for you? ‘Yellow is a good example of a colour that you might not consider for the interior,’ says Jessica Plateo. ‘It can work well on a front door as a cheerful, optimistic statement.’
This idea needn’t be restricted to timber doors – you should be able to find brightly hued composite options.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.