How to choose the right door

Use our guide to find the right statement-making door for you

Opening up a whole new opportunity to express your individual style, we’ve found doors to suit every home. Choose from striking modern designs to easy updates.

entrance with printed flooring and stairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Exterior doors

From glorious wood and sexy metal to a door painted in a hot hue, here's your choices:

* Wide doors Regular doors are 830mm wide but if your current door has enough room on either side to accommodate a wider frame, 950mm door can make a real impact. Full-height glass side-lights can also help to flood a gloomy hallway with natural light.

* Solid woods Oak used to be a hot favourite, but rich golden Iroko and striking American black walnut are increasingly becoming the popular choice. Jeld-Wen is using engineered woods for added strength and security, and Urban Front’s solid wood doors have a steel reinforced core to prevent warping.

* Simplicity ‘A modern door can create a cool contrast, even on a Victorian or Edwardian home,’ says Nabil Assaf,  of Urban Front. ‘Concealed hinges and subtle stainless-steel inlays help keep the look modern but minimal.’

* Pivot doors ‘Bespoke pivot doors are popular as they can be made wider than they are tall,’ says Mark Dyson of Enclosure Architects. ‘There is no “bending moment” when the door opens, which takes the strain off hinges, so pivot doors can be made up to 4m wide.’

Painted doors 

For red-brick and Georgian houses, Farrow & Ball’s director Sarah Cole suggests using Black Blue (£44.99 per 2.5l) – it’s neither truly black nor blue and gives a smart look. Midnight Blue is elegant on a white-fronted period house.

For something classic, green or grey works well; go for gloss on a townhouse or matt in the countryside (Carriage Green, Studio Green and Off-Black are currently Farrow & Ball’s most popular shades.) ‘For more complex colours, deeper tones work better on front doors,’ suggests Louise Smith, colour and design manager at Dulux. ‘My favourites are Cocoa Blush 1 or Maraschino Mocha 1 for a decadent look and Tarragon Glory 5 or Red Stallion 4 (£16.99 for 2.5l) for a more intense look.’

photo frame and wooden table near wooden stairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Internal doors
Increasingly, doors inside your home no longer block one room from another, but instead allow for flow of light and movement throughout a space. Here's the choices:

* Glass A hot trend is for sliding and panel doors in glass with barely there fixtures and fittings. Good suppliers include The Disappearing Door Company, Innerdoor and Dorma.

* Sliding Gone are the days of wobbly sliding doors – the new pocket doors literally disappear into the wall. ‘They are a complete system to which you can add you own door, leaving no need to compromise on door style,’ says Padraic Healey of The David Barley Company, distributors of the sleek Eclisse range of doors in the UK. ‘They’re also ideal as room dividers between living and sleeping areas,’ says James Fletcher, MD of Draks.

* Invisible Curved or flat seamless doors lend continuity to a space. Try Dooria and Doorhaus.

* Textured wood Try doors in dark grainy woods. Barausse’s Panama range uses coconut shell tiles and the Tetrix range boasts teak, stainless steel and leather.


Fire prevention When replacing a door, inside or out, be aware of fire regulations (visit the professional section about Part B regulations at Generally, this applies to any door that leads on to what is deemed a fire escape route. Royde & Tucker has created a discreet fire door system called SmoClo as an alternative to self-closing fire doors. It can be easily fitted to existing doors as long as it is part of an existing mains-operated smoke detection system. Visit for more info.

Home security ‘Ensure any lock fitted meets the British Standard five-lever mortice deadlock system – a Yale-type rim latch cylinder lock on its own is not sufficient protection,’ says The London Door Company’s Kerry Walters. Security specialists Banham recommends a combination of a latch lock and a deadlock (try a Banham M2002 cylinder mortice deadlock and a L2000 rim deadbolt, which are both insurance approved and to British Standard 3621). If you live in a high-crime area, investigate the benefits of a reinforced steel front door. For added security, opt for laminated security glass. For more advice, visit



Front door detail The current trend is for plain, brushed stainless-steel knockers, letterplates and numbers. Try SDS London or Architectural Components. For an alternative to metal house numbers, try a contemporary Perspex or stainless-steel plaque by Abode Plaques.

Multi-textured handles For internal doors, HAF Designs and Turnstyle Designs have unusual handles combining sleek metals such as steel and bronze with wood and stitched leather details. Holloways of Ludlow is a good source for traditional knobs, knockers and locks. B&Q supplies a collection of good-value, contemporary and traditional door handles


Use decorative film for a quick, modern update on glass panels. It can be cut to provide interesting patterns, words or numbers. ‘The opaque finish of frosted film gives privacy while still allowing light through, and really makes your door stand out,’ says Karen Lansdown, co-founder of decorative film company Brume.


‘Doors are key to the energy conservation, security and aesthetics of your home,' says Mark Roberts, product manager for Jeld-Wen. Consider its condition – if moisture has entered the door, it may have caused it to expand, discolour and crack. A carpenter can assess whether it has weakened the door beyond repair, or whether a sand, varnish (or paint) and re-alignment can sort it. A good door also helps energy efficiency: if there is a draught, it may need to be re-aligned or a frame improved, or a weatherstrip at the top or bottom might help. Ensure glass is double-glazed and fitted well.

Ginevra Benedetti
Deputy Editor (Print)

Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.