Curb appeal is about more than pretty colors and weekend projects-it’s actually one of the most effective investments you can make in your home. In fact, both Better Homes and Gardens and real-estate listing site Zillow agree that you can recoup more than 70 percent of your investment when you upgrade your front door and the entry to your home!
This is why painting the front door has become such a popular DIY project. While everyone loves the idea of a fresh and fun front door, the key to success is picking the right color palette. Let’s get some basic color considerations out of the way, and then look at six great palettes that will add real appeal and value to your home.
Color Combo Basics
Curb appeal is all about making your house stand out, but if it stands out like a sore thumb, your home is more likely to lose value. Take a look at the houses around yours, and consider the color combinations that are complementary. Next, make your choices based on the elements of your home that you can’t change: the roof, hardscaping and driveways are good examples.
Finally, remember that the goal in working with bold colors is to limit the elements that you really want to stand out so they really ‘pop’ in comparison to the whole house.
Six Great Color Palettes
1. Gray and Lime: The front door is the ideal place to feature a funky pop of color like lime green, but with any color palette, you need to choose supporting colors that don’t compete for attention. Here, the cooler gray is perfectly punctuated by the lime green front door that complements the traditional elements of the architecture with a funky and friendly welcome into the home.
2. Charcoal and Orange: The definition of contrast: cool and shady charcoal and sunny orange. Remember, your exterior color palette, especially when you’re working with the front door, is all about the contrast. But don’t forget that you’re looking to refresh your visitor with color schemes that make visual sense, not repel them with contrast for the sake of contrast.
3. Anything and Red: Speaking of contrast, one of the reasons that we all love those red front doors we pass on the way to work is that red works with almost any color scheme. That’s because red is a color that naturally contrasts and pops against anything you set next to it. I always say that the key to a good red is to choose a tone that’s a shade or two darker than your original instinct.
4. Black and Tan: A black front door with polished hardware and a kickplate brings timeless elegance to any home, but a black door fades to invisibility unless the rest of the palette is lighter in tone. Blacks and beiges are a great combo because the cool black still has a quality of richness that complements the warm tones in lighter shades of browns, so there’s a contrast in color, but not in value or tone.
5. Black and White: When in doubt, keep it simple. You just can’t go wrong with the crisp and clean contrast of black and white. Though it tends to work best on homes with more traditional architecture, you can make it work in a more contemporary home by choosing softer tones and flipping the color scheme.
6. Tone-on-Tone: Another way to make a strong visual statement is to take the rule of contrast, and do a 180. By going tone on tone, you can create a striking and memorable first impression that is both safe and bold. A simple way to narrow your choices is to choose colors at the opposite end of a paint chip. You want there to be enough difference that the trim does its work by adding structure and highlighting architectural elements, but not so much that you lose the tone-on-tone effect.
What are some of your favorite front door color combos? How bold will you go?
About the author: Award-winning interior designer Kerrie Kelly provides tips on doors in the home for Home Depot. Kerrie is also the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. To view a collection of entryway doors available at Home Depot, you can visit here.