Go sunny with a cheery yellow, demure with a dove gray, or bold with a true red. After all, your front door is your home's first impression. Make it a good one.
"In the full-gloss finish, it catches the light, which brings out the vibrancy of the color." —Elizabeth Dinkel
Make it yours: Farrow & Ball Hague Blue 30
"I needed something that livened up the elegance of this 1930s Hollywood Regency house, so I painted the front door in this midnight blue," said Dinkel. "It looks rich and makes a statement. And it sets off the decorative hardware beautifully."
"It evokes the notion of shade, beckoning the visitor inside, hinting at the cool to be found within." —Kathryn M. Ireland
Make it yours: Farrow & Ball Folly Green 76
"This is a Spanish Colonial house in the California chaparral, at the foot of a mountain range. Everything is dry and dusty. Any green at all is a triumph over nature," says designer Kathryn M. Ireland of this home. "I found this color under layers of paint on some trim."
"I like dark trim on houses ... But instead of just being black, this is a black-green, which is softer and prettier. It's also neutral, so it will work with anything you put in the foyer. Most people forget to think about how the color will look in the room, when the door is open."" —Jan Showers
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green PM-12
Showers paired this deep green with a zebra rug just inside the entryway.
"I'm very fond of cinnabar — deep red with a bit of orange and umber — the color of old Chinese lacquer and good paprika and the pollen in a lily. Use three coats of high-gloss paint over a tinted primer to give it depth and make it so thick and shiny, it looks like you licked it. Then get a nice brass kickplate, which is like putting a bracelet on your door." —Mallory Marshall
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Moroccan Red 1309
"There's something about a red door that says, 'Come in. Good things are inside.' It's very joyful and welcoming, and gutsy at the same time," says designer Raun Thorp about this terracotta red entry.
"I think everyone is looking for a little change, but nothing too drastic. Aqua Chiffon is playful and happy, not too dark and not too light." —Tina McHenry
Make it yours: Olympic Paints Aqua Chiffon A58-3
Bordering on turquoise, the front door of a Venice, California, home by Toddy Nicke and Amy Kehoe contrasts the darker exterior.
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Turquoise Haze 2060-60
"To stand out or not to stand out, that was the question. We opted for the latter approach and went with a rich, harmonious neutral, a dark greenish gray that felt more appropriate for our rather traditional neighborhood. It’s also the perfect background for seasonal wreaths or colorful planters." —Birch Coffey
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Mohegan Sage 2138-30
In a Corona del Mar, California, house decorated by Barbara Barry, the soothing hue of the front door hints at the nature-inspired palette within.
"In Chinese culture, red is the color of good fortune and you see it everywhere — on pagodas, on tugboats in Hong Kong harbor, and on paper lanterns swaying in the breeze. This is my all-time favorite Chinese red, in high gloss — like the lacquered tips of Diana Vreeland's fingernails." —Miles Redd
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Red 2000-10
In a classic San Francisco home, Ken Fulk painted the front doors in a similar shade — Benjamin Moore's Heritage Red. The color is also considered an Early American symbol of welcome, which suits the historic feel of the house.
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Heritage Red PM-18
"I'm envisioning a Shingle Style house with white trim and a bright lemon yellow door. I think it would be very welcoming, and a little daring. In summer, it would look great with greenery and flowers, and in winter, it would brighten up that barren feeling." —Stephen Shubel
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Sunburst 2023-40
Designer Tamara Kaye-Honey added a jolt of energy to this otherwise modest craftsman. "Yellows can often be too juvenile, too in-your-face, too much, but the little bit of lime in this one makes it more sophisticated," she says. "It's playful and happy, but not too Disney. Do it in high gloss for depth."
Make it yours: Pratt & Lambert Cassava
"I don't want people to think they have to live by the water to use this, but it does remind me of the Caribbean. It's a deep, dark blue-green, almost like a jewel tone or something you'd see on a peacock feather." —Angie Hranowsky
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Venezuelan Sea 2054-30
In a Newport Beach, California, house designed by Peter Dunham, the Dutch door was added to take advantage of sea breezes. It's painted ocean blue, a color that carries through the house.
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Pacific Ocean Blue 2055-20
"I would use this pumpkin with olive trim. It's a bold color that pushes the envelope for a front door. It says, 'I dare you to walk through.' But then it's also very appealing. It's the new paradigm for anyone who is tired of red doors. It's more youthful." —Whitney Stewart
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Gold Rush 2166-10
Orange, white, and blue are the colors Moises Esquenazi used repeatedly inside and outside his Los Angeles house, beginning at the entry — which he designed to be "chic and dramatic." Red tip hedges give the bungalow more privacy.
"Grays can be so dull, but this has a little kick to it. It's such a sophisticated shade of gray, with that lavender cast. It reminds me of the gray one sees in Georgian interiors, particularly the Adam houses in the English countryside. In high gloss, pure elegance!" —Philip Gorrivan
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Hampshire Rocks 1450
"I wouldn't mind if people think this house is 200 years old," says architect Bill Ingram, who clad the exterior of his Birmingham, Alabama, cottage in cedar shake shingles and planted the X-patterned boxwood garden with a friend.
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Copley Gray HC-104
"I'll often paint interior doors and furniture a rich black. It adds a strong masculine component to a room that makes it feel timeless. I think men like black because they wear it all the time. It's familiar, so it feels safe. But it also reads as a bold choice." —Grant K. Gibson
Make it yours: Farrow & Ball Pitch Black 256
An inky door contrasts nicely against this historic Georgetown rowhouse's dove gray facade. "Black keeps blue and white from going over the edge into sweetness," said designer Sarah Bartholomew, on using black paint both in and outside the home.
“Think Frank Sinatra in the bar of the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. This teal green has that kind of 1950s retro chic.” —John Bossard
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Miami Teal 656
In a Miami house designed by Gene Meyer and Frank De Biasi, the bold tropical colors start at the Moroccan-style front door.
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Cayman Lagoon 2046-30
The front door is only the start.