House and Door Colors

In feng shui, the front door is the "mouth" of the home through which all energy enters. In real estate, the front door is the centerpiece of your home's "curb appeal," your house's visual appeal from the street.

A vivid color enlivens the entrance to your house.

In _feng shui_, the front door is the "mouth" of the home through which all energy enters.  In real estate, the front door is the centerpiece of your home's "curb appeal," your house's visual appeal from the street.

To everyone arriving, including you, the front door sends a powerful message about who lives inside and how meticulously every detail of the home has been considered.  When the door color coordinates successfully with the house color, it offers an irresistible _Welcome_ message instead of a carelessly posted _Do Not Disturb_ sign.

Grapes and Plums

Your older townhouse is a **patchwork of aged and replacement bricks**, charming but definitely trending toward dowdy.  Slather white paint over the trim to lighten things up and then paint the front door a rich, **plummy purple** to signify that exciting and untold stories are within.

Plums and purple can be neutrals when applied in the right context -- stick to a purple with red undertones to integrate well with the warm colors in the varied bricks.  Choose **fruity colors from the vineyard** for a door in a house with **cream, oyster or ivory siding**.

Marsala is a **rich, earthy wine red**, deepened by a touch of grape.  It's too red to work well with brick, but its shadowed warmth grounds an otherwise light exterior.

Sea, Sky and Shingles

Coastal homes, whether saltbox or beach shack, sport **gray shingles** that look either neat or shabby, depending on context.  Capitalize on the casual appeal of gray shingles with a door that conjures up the ocean on a sunny day, the iridescent feathers of a brace of mallards, or a clear, cloudless sky.

A glimpse of a **robin's-egg blue door in a facade of gray** is as exciting as stumbling across a nest revealed in a tangle of branches.  The deeper, **more vibrant teal of a duck's wing** turns the door into a shiny jewel in a plain setting.

An **almost-navy door is the color of the Gulf Stream** as it curves away from shore far out into the Atlantic. 

Palette for Period Architecture

Your period home comes loaded with character but drained of color when the walls are painted traditionally.  Kick it up a bit with the door color to signify that time marches on, and you know how to mine the best from history.

Your **English Tudor with its gables and unmistakable half-timbering** is typically whitewashed but might turn up in putty or cream.  The timbers are almost always dark, and the default door is wood.

If Shakespeare wouldn't have graced your nondescript door, slick on a couple of coats of **pumpkin, glossy black or brick red** to punctuate the bland facade and counter the standout wood detail.  **If your Tudor is brick, give it a gray door** for balance.

A **lime-washed cottage** with a thatched roof, or a graceful, **pale 19th-century Queen Anne** calls for an inviting color accent.  Try **yellow**, a bright unexpected touch that pulls visitors up the walk and into your period-style gem.

Green Door

Green is a welcoming, relaxing color that will usher guests into your peaceful parlor, a refuge from the cold, cruel world.  Paint your door a sober or a shocking green hue so it's a standout against the house color.

A **lime door** is easy to find in the middle of a **vast expanse of white walls**; when your neighborhood is awash in white paint, a juicy door is one way around restrictive homeowners' color guidelines.  On a more exuberant block, your **periwinkle cookie-cutter suburban abode with its lime front door** declares your bohemian bona fides.

A subdued and sophisticated contemporary development, with **stucco facades in various shades of sand, buff and tan**, can handle a house with an **olive-, avocado-, cactus- or asparagus-green door**. 

About the Author

Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .

Photo Credits

  • Dorling Kindersley/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images
  • Dorling Kindersley/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images