Should your front door match your windows? Experts share their design tricks to create a striking look

Make your home the envy of your neighbours

Front door
(Image credit: Future PLC/Tom Meadows)

One of the topics we've been discussing lately at Ideal Home is should your front door match your windows? If you're anything like us, the first jobs you tackle at home tend to be updating the interior as it's often quicker and easier than some of the bigger, external jobs like replacing doors and windows.

But often, especially if you've moved into an older property, you can find that there are some quirky design features like front doors and windows being different styles, especially if parts of the property have been extended. This then throws up another question, does it matter if they match? Luckily there are a number of front door ideas and tips to make them work together more harmoniously that won't break the bank.

Front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Should your front door match your windows?

'While matching your front door to your windows can create a cohesive look, it's not always necessary,' explains Liv Conlon, CEO at ThePropertyStagers. 'What's more important is achieving a harmonious overall aesthetic.' 

There are ways to make the exterior of your home feel more connected though, as Liz explains. 'Coordinating colours, styles, or materials between your front door and windows can tie your home's exterior together beautifully, but contrasting elements can also add visual interest. Ultimately, consider the architectural style of your home and personal preferences when deciding whether to match your front door to your windows.' 

Front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

What styles of windows and doors work well together?

Before you decide on whether you want doors and windows to match it's a good idea to think about the style of your home. Consider whether a more traditional look would be more complementary than going for a modern design.

'For traditional properties, timber sash windows paired with a period-style wooden door can add character and charm while offering a timeless appeal. Cottage windows also work well in this case, helping to preserve the features of an older property or give a new home a more rustic look,' advises Rachael Munby, chief marketing officer at Anglian Home Improvements. 

'Meanwhile, modern composite or aluminium doors combined with aluminium casement windows are often trademark features of a more contemporary home.'

Front door

(Image credit: Craig & Rose)

How to make mismatched windows and doors look good

Sometimes, contrasting colours can help mismatched doors and windows look more coordinated, especially if you use a more neutral shade as a subtle window treatment that lets your front door be the star of the show. 

'If you're concerned about not matching your windows to your front door, I would go for a more classic colour choice for the windows and have a bold colour for the front door.' Flora Hogg, interior designer and colour consultant, Craig & Rose.

Danny Shine, chief purchasing officer at Leader Doors agrees:

'Embrace the contrast by ensuring there's a cohesive element tying them together, like matching hardware or complementary trim. Additionally, consider incorporating similar accent colours throughout your exterior that match your interior door furniture styles.'  

Front door

(Image credit: Purlfrost)

There are also a few budget-friendly hacks that can help to give your windows and doors a more cohesive look, like using a matching patterned window film on your front door and windows.

'Integrating window film into your design offers both aesthetic and practical benefits, fostering a cohesive look across the front of your home,' explains Joanna Baumard, Co-founder of Purlfrost

'By choosing film that complements your decor and architectural style, you can add texture, colour, or pattern to windows and doors, enhancing ambiance and visual balance.'

Front door

(Image credit: Little Greene)
Ruth Mottershead
Ruth Mottershead

Ruth Mottershead, creative and marketing director of Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library, has been working in her family’s business since 2011. She is responsible for creating concepts and ideas for upcoming paint and wallpaper collections, choosing colours for new cards and browsing archives at the National Trust for new wallpaper collections. 

What to consider when deciding on a colour for doors and windows

If you decide that you want your front door to match your windows, painting them in similar tones can help give them a more uniform style.

‘Create a cohesive look by using one colour across your front door and window or perhaps consider our Colour Scales collections for a tonal feel, opting for a paler version of the same colour family on window frames, and a deeper version on your front door,' advises Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.

But, if you prefer your front door to have more of a statement, you could give it a refresh with a more vibrant colour. 'Be bold with your front door choice and create a statement,' suggests Ruth. 

'Your front door is the first glimpse of your personality that visitors will receive so is the perfect place for bold colour. To inject a little personality into your outdoor scheme, use the bright, impactful ‘Mister David,’ it certainly makes a statement and will put a smile on the face of your guests and passers-by.’ 

Front door

(Image credit: Little Greene)

It's also a good idea to factor in whether the colours you choose for your front door and windows will work with the stonework your house is built from too.

'You don’t want the doors and windows to clash with the colour of brick or stonework and other architectural features of your home – although some things like weatherboarding, render and fascias can usually be painted to match,' advises Thomas Goodman property and construction expert at

'Another thing to consider is how a door and window colour will look against neighbouring homes. Will it look odd or clash? Will it blend in well or create a nice contrast?' 

As well as spending time looking at different colour combinations,  John Shaw, managing director at Vibrant Doors advises on checking there are no restrictions in place before you get out the paintbrushes.

'If you live in a location with strict homeowner guidelines or architectural restrictions (such as new build estates, preservation orders or listed buildings), you may need to follow certain rules regarding exterior colours and materials,' says John. 

'Always check these to ensure compliance before making any changes to your front door or windows, because it could become a very expensive job if you have to change them.'

What colours work best on front doors and windows?

Ultimately, colour choice is going to come down to your personal preference and the vibe you want to set for the exterior of your home. 

'The colour choice for your front door and windows is really about the atmosphere you wish to create, are you looking for a harmonious exterior scheme, or do you want to create a joyful exterior with a pop of colour?' explains Ruth.

'I love to see colour used in surprising or unusual ways to update an exterior, and the addition of a fabulous colour highlight on a front door never fails to make me smile, it feels like such a warm welcome, and is the easiest way to make your exterior façade feel renewed.'

Front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Photoword)

What is the best type of paint finish for doors and windows?

As much as it's important to carefully consider the colours you will use, paint finishes can have just as much impact. 

'Colours will behave a little differently depending on whether they’re matt or glossy. For example, a black matt window frame will look more subtle than a glossy one,' advises Thomas. 

'The sheen and type of colour can affect how much dirt shows up too. So, if you live close to a busy road or the front of your home bears the brunt of the weather, you might want to avoid white and really dark colours as both tend to show up the dirt. And even though glossy doors can show up dirt, they are easier to clean and glossy paint can be more hardwearing.' 


Should front doors be lighter or darker than the house?

'There's no hard and fast rule for whether a front door should be lighter or darker than the house. Both lighter and darker doors can create striking contrasts or a subtle accent,' advises Liv. 

'Consider the desired visual impact and balance when choosing the colour of your front door – lighter hues can make a bold statement against darker exteriors, while darker hues can add depth and sophistication to lighter-coloured homes.' 

What is the best colour for a front door?

'You should also always consider complementary colours vs tonal schemes. If your home’s exterior is brick or rendered, then choose a door colour that complements those tones,' advises Anna Hill, brand director and colour consultant, Fenwick & Tilbrook

'Red brick properties often look beautiful with a green door, while a Cotswold stone property pairs more beautifully with muddier tones, playing into a cohesive, country feel.'

Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.