Front door design ideas

Written by benna crawford
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Front door design ideas
Front doors are the first impression to a home. (front door image by from

The front door welcomes guests to a home and makes a statement about who lives inside, besides being a barrier that protects the home and its occupants. Replacing the door may be as simple as determining what will fit in the existing space. But, designing a new front entrance allows you to get much more creative. You can select something truly original that reflects your taste and the architecture of your home.


A painted door naturally draws the eye. A visually stunning colour can surprise and delight visitors, make a home stand out in the neighbourhood, and even attract Feng Shui good fortune. Red is an obvious choice. It goes with many home styles, from brick to shingle to stucco. It also brightens up the entrance, doesn't show dirt and is an auspicious colour for attracting prosperity. A shiny black door is another typical colour choice, but think about a midnight blue or a deep, almost black purple instead. Those colours blend well with a grey shingle house, a limestone town house or a stately brick home. Lighter colours such as sage green or pumpkin are distinctive choices for a Mediterranean or Spanish colonial-style home. Paint the door frame a contrasting dark cranberry or a slate grey to underscore the drama of the entryway.


A period wood door with its warm, natural colour can be an invitation to a stage set. Double wood doors with wrought-iron insets reinforcing etched glass panels hint at a 19th-century design sensibility. A heavy-wood arched door with iron fittings set in an entryway evokes Mexico or old Spanish missions. A polished and precise arts and crafts-style door with rectangular mouldings and glass windows suits a mid-20th-century bungalow, while a Dutch door with two halves that open separately can be a prelude to a farm-style interior. A light wood door with a fanlight set over it spills light on an entrance inside and out.

Church Doors

Specialised manufacturers offer reproductions of church doors for residential front entries. Church doors tend to be taller and heavier than most other doors due to the architecture of church buildings. These doors can be sized to fit a more typical home entrance or copied for a custom-designed home with a grand entry. Choose carved double doors in a burl-finish wood and go for scenes of real angels and demons for authenticity. Doors of this magnitude definitely require a large capacity entry as the proper stage for such a memorable introduction to a home. A more modest wooden door with an iron grille over a small window might have been the entrance to a monastery and speaks of a simpler design sensibility. A Gothic arched door of faux sculpted stone or composite wood can look as if it came from a castle or a cathedral. A double door with aged metal studs and a fan-shaped stained glass panel set above it will send beams of coloured light into the foyer, spilling across a custom floor of worn, paved stone.

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