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 Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Why These 6 Days in 1969 Were So Important to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we're not the only ones. We take a look at six notable events from 1969.

Women in Power: The Pros Changing Allegheny County

Allegheny County breaks the old boys’ club by placing women in key positions.

Growing Together: Farmers and Chefs Elevate Pittsburgh Dining

These seven farmer/chef pairings are leading the charge toward more vital vegetable dishes.

Afraid to Go to the Dentist? Consider the Sedation Solution

For some patients, dental work wouldn’t be possible if they were fully alert.

Restaurant Review: Spirits & Tales at the Oaklander Hotel

Executive chef Jessica Lewis’ strong voice is undermined by inconsistencies throughout the restaurant.

Perspectives: A Big Life

A former newspaper reporter's assignment leads to a lifelong friendship with a man who battled a food addiction.

Our 50 Years: Why This Movie Landed on Our Cover

Hollywood could be found on the Mon, quite literally, in 1993 — leading to some fawning coverage of the mostly forgotten (but very, very Pittsburgh-centric) action flick “Striking Distance.”

George S. Kaufman’s Sensational Scandal

The Pittsburgh-born playwright made tabloid headlines in the 1930s. (it didn’t slow him down a bit.)

You Can Ride a Roller Coaster Classic

Roller coaster history is hidden nearby — and not where you might think.

Tea, Cake and Death: A Safe Place to Discuss a Scary Subject

“Death Cafes” seek to reduce taboos around the act of dying.

How He Makes the Mundane Sound Magical

Experimental sound artist R. Weis creates otherworldly sonic compositions from everyday materials.

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

Comments

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

Comments

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says a corned beef sandwich, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

Comments

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

Even novice runners can work their way up to these fun and (mildly) challenging races.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments

The Park After Dark

The Park After Dark

Kennywood’s “Night Rider” tickets may be the best bet for many visitors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

Comments

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Try as he might, General Manager Jim Rutherford has so far been unable to change the makeup of his team as intended. It may, thus, ultimately fall on head coach Mike Sullivan to adjust the attitudes of players with a recent track record of resisting change for the greater good.

Comments


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

The 400-Word Review: The Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Comments

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Comments

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Amanda Lee began painting glasses in her basement to help pay for her college education. Today, she ships her products across the globe from a new, shabby-chic warehouse and gift shop.

Comments