Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bold & Bright. How to Make Your Front Door Colorful & Inviting

Your front door makes a statement about your home –– and you. We go to the experts for advice on sprucing up your entryway.




Forsythia Blossom by PPG Paints brightens up this classic front door. | photos courtesy PPG Paints

 

Summer is the season for strolling through our neighborhoods. We’re out and about once again, embracing the weather and reconnecting with friends along tree-lined streets. There’s no better time to give a facelift to the spot where your home makes its first impression: the front door. We’ve asked Pittsburgh-area interior designers for their tips on creating a gorgeous, welcoming front-door area that’s full of style and color.
 

 
From left: PPG Paints colors Tabasco and Black Magic; Delicate White
 

BURST OF COLOR.  
A brightly painted front door brings a dose of style to any house, and it’s especially effective for houses clad in stone, pale brick or siding in neutral colors such as grey, says designer Diana Miller, founder of Design on Main in Hickory. 

Consider a bold color — perhaps a shade of turquoise, apple-green or coral, she says — and test it before committing to it. Paint a small section of your door, then once it dries observe how the color looks through different phases of daylight. 

“You want the front door to make a statement,” Miller says, stressing other doors never should be the same color as the front door. The front door also should offer guests an appealing peek at your personal style before they even come inside. 
 

 
From left: PPG Paints colors Grand Gusto and Plumosa
 

Interior designer Bethany Williard, founder of Studio 1049 in Bridgeville, agrees. “Bold front doors say so much about the person or family who lives there,” she says. “To me, it kind of says, ‘Hey, we like to have fun, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Welcome to our home!’ I personally love when there’s a bit of an unexpected element in or outside of a home. And a bold front door is just that.” 

If you’re nervous about going truly bold on your front door, start by using a new color on a side door or patio entrance. Or, consider going dramatically dark instead of bright by opting for a charcoal-grey or dark-green front door. 

Another tip from Miller: To avoid an overload of color on a house with shutters, paint the shutters a relatively neutral shade if you’re going with an especially decorative front door. 
 


Adding a bold color to your current door makes a statement about your personal style. PPG Paints colors Blaze and Black Magic.
 

HOTTER HARDWARE.  
Oversized house numbers in fun fonts are trendy and also practical: Easily visible from the street, they’re a help to visiting guests (as well as emergency personnel).
“This trend is also another way to show off your personality,” Williard says. “It’s a bit more subtle than a bold front door. But if you pair the door and font style just right, you are adding that tiny extra attention to detail that shows you take pride in your home.”
  
Feel free to mix materials, she says. “Say the exterior of the house is brick. Then you have a reclaimed wooden plaque that holds the more modern metal house numbers. It’s a more unique, less traditional sense of style.” 

Designer Catherine Davin, founder of Davin Interiors in Mt. Lebanon, says house numbers are great ways to get creative. Changing them can be a small project with a big impact, and it doesn’t have to be hugely expensive. Take a creative risk, and if you don’t love the look in a few years, “you’re not committing to this massive undertaking to change them,” she says.

​Davin also suggests updating doorknobs and other hardware, perhaps in a shiny, warm brass. 

Be sure to touch up all of the other details as summer begins, she says: Thoroughly clean your door and surrounding windows, repair any caulking and weather-stripping, and add a new, large doormat that works with your outdoor color scheme.
 


PPG Paints color Puddle Jumper.
 

BRIGHTEN AND BEAUTIFY.  
All of your flowers may not have bloomed just yet, but you can fill your home’s entrance with nature by adding a few large, colorful pots or large planters stocked with a mix of evergreens and flowering plants. Decorate your door with a wreath that includes dried or silk flowers that will stay vibrant all summer long.

Another option: Search Pinterest for colorful, do-it-yourself door-hanging ideas that go beyond the traditional wreath. Maybe hang a small, framed chalkboard on a ribbon and periodically change the cheerful message on it.

You may also want to reconsider your lighting. Many Pittsburgh homes don’t have quite enough lighting to easily guide departing guests to their cars at night, Davin says. Many homeowners also may settle for practical lighting that doesn’t add much beauty or style to their entrance. 

For homes with a porch ceiling above the front door, Williard says a dramatic pendant light can be gorgeous. Davin adds that outdoor lights don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful.

“There are so many nice options of quality outdoor fixtures that can stand the Pittsburgh climate year-round,” she says.  
 


Olympic exterior stain (door).
 

SIGNIFICANT STYLE.  
Some cultures assign meaning to specific colors at a home’s entrance. “In Irish culture, a red front door is supposed to ward off evil spirits or ghosts,” Williard says. In the southern United States, some families opt to use a soft shade of blue (often called “haint blue”) around the front door to create a zone of safety and positive energy.

FINISHING TOUCHES.  
Even if your entry space is fairly small, consider adding a chair and tiny side table near the front door. Add a potted plant to the table, and be sure to leave space for a water pitcher and glasses to enjoy drinks during the summer.

Melissa Rayworth is a freelance writer and longtime contributor to Pittsburgh Magazine. She is the former managing editor of Military Spouse, a national magazine based in Pittsburgh that serves America’s 1.1 million military spouses. Her current freelance work includes a monthly home-design column for The Associated Press and frequent contributions to the international lifestyle magazine Wanderlust, based in Bangkok.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

Netflix's Mötley Crüe biopic offers plenty of rock-star mayhem, but no insight or substance.

An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

Executive chef Chris Frangiadis introduces a tableside classic to the restaurant's menu.

Summer Camp Helps Children Deal with Loss

Now accepting applications, Experience Camp welcomes children who have lost immediate family members.

PM on KD: Spirit Is in Our After Dark Hall of Fame

PM nightlife and culture editor Sean Collier appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss the latest inductee into Pittsburgh Magazine's After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit.

Duke’s Williamson Transcends the Madness

Freshman Zion Williamson makes this year’s NCAA Tournament, always fascinating on its own merits, even more of a can’t-miss event.

A New Steel Curtain Is Rising

Will the new Steelers zone at Kennywood Park be ready in time for opening day?

Refucilo Winery Brings a Taste of Argentina to the North Side

Dr. Juan Antonio Lora's passion project is linked to youthful memories.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

The lauded Lawrenceville hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

The 400-Word Review: Us

Jordan Peele's new film is terrifying, essential viewing.

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Comfort, mobility and style were all considerations for these brides’ perfect wedding wardrobe.

Pittsburgh Tops the List For First-Time Homebuyers

The report from Bankrate.com touts Pittsburgh’s affordability, job market and culture.

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Just in time for Earth Day, local organizations are giving you the opportunity to recycle, learn about sustainability and get rid of unwanted stuff at home.

The 400-Word Review: Out of Blue

There's plenty of ambition in this police procedural, but the results are mixed.

Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

After a two-year hiatus, Michele and Cindy Savoia's beloved restaurant and bar returns to the South Side.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Summer Camp Helps Children Deal with Loss

Summer Camp Helps Children Deal with Loss

Now accepting applications, Experience Camp welcomes children who have lost immediate family members.

Comments

A New Steel Curtain Is Rising

A New Steel Curtain Is Rising

Will the new Steelers zone at Kennywood Park be ready in time for opening day?

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

Executive chef Chris Frangiadis introduces a tableside classic to the restaurant's menu.

Comments

Refucilo Winery Brings a Taste of Argentina to the North Side

Refucilo Winery Brings a Taste of Argentina to the North Side

Dr. Juan Antonio Lora's passion project is linked to youthful memories.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.

Comments

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

The lauded Lawrenceville hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments

It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

Pittsburgh is long overdue for a new movie palace where you can get an actual meal brought to your seat.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Duke’s Williamson Transcends the Madness

Duke’s Williamson Transcends the Madness

Freshman Zion Williamson makes this year’s NCAA Tournament, always fascinating on its own merits, even more of a can’t-miss event.

Comments

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Whether the Steelers are better or worse off, whether they’re culpable or deserve to be applauded for finally resolving two of their biggest problems remains to be seen.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

Netflix's Mötley Crüe biopic offers plenty of rock-star mayhem, but no insight or substance.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Us

The 400-Word Review: Us

Jordan Peele's new film is terrifying, essential viewing.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Comfort, mobility and style were all considerations for these brides’ perfect wedding wardrobe.

Comments

The Big Fake Wedding Offers Everything But the “I Dos”

The Big Fake Wedding Offers Everything But the “I Dos”

This nontraditional wedding showcase gives couples real-world insight into planning their big day.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Comments

Leanne & Steve Dish on Season 2 of "Restored by the Fords"

Leanne & Steve Dish on Season 2 of "Restored by the Fords"

Siblings Leanne and Steve Ford talk renovating Steve’s new warehouse, Leanne’s new baby — and their two new HGTV shows.

Comments