Design Ideas for the Entryway of a 1960 Colonial Bi-Level Home

The 1960’s bi-level house with its typical lower-level garage, small, scattered windows and a smack-in-the-center front door has a load of updating potential.

Projecting Roof

Complement your home's age with a compatible enrtyway design.Complement your home's age with a compatible enrtyway design.
Add curb appeal to your older colonial home with an entry design that welcomes guests and excites potential buyers.

From the 1950s on to the 1980s, many split-level homes donned shutters, bland windows, horizontal siding and a lost entryway that looked like an afterthought at best. Make your home's doorway pop with its own projecting rooftop that blends with your existing rooflines. Add a couple of stately pillars, some crisp railings and a fresh coat of paint to the stairway for a welcoming entrance. Go the colonial "distance" and hug your house with a covered, wrap-around deck. When the time comes, trade the shutters for trim, and replace the old windows with some UV protective versions boasting decorative inlays.


If you’re looking for dramatic flair, a tastefully framed and fully glassed-in enclosure around the existing doorway will give you just that. Similar to a mini sunroom or solarium, an all-glass entrance offers a bright way to impress the neighbors and stay on the colonial-design track. Save some money on this project by scouting out any local building demolitions and purchasing a bunch of nice, old windows for a fraction of the cost of new.

Double Doors

For the larger scale home in need of a doorway makeover, a pair of new doors might be the big ticket. If your colonial house sports the typical white siding and black trim, a couple of ruby-red or emerald-green, six- or eight-panel doors will infuse some life into the home’s exterior facade. Choose period-inspired glass inserts to let in some light and find statement-making hardware with a nod to your home’s characteristic era for harmony. When it’s time to replace your worn out steps, explore the idea of a colonial-rich, brick stairway.

Framed Focus

Work with what you have. Simply frame your doorway with extravagant moldings to bring it into focus. Flank the door with half-beams framing all the way out to the width of your doorstep. Top the door with a gracious, arch molding in classic colonial fashion. Paint all of these trimmings in fresh white, but don’t miss your chance to amplify the stairs; choose an unexpected paint color that “goes” with the home, yet draws the eye, such as maroon on a beige house or turquoise against a white home. A coat of bold black paint on the door might be the final addition to make a grand entrance.

About the Author

Lorna Hordos has owned a home-flipping business for more than two decades. She uses her construction and interior design experience to write friendly, conversational home and lifestyle articles for Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes and numerous other publications. She also enjoys writing for children, and has been featured on the cover of Humpty Dumpty magazine.