“Green is in the middle of the spectrum, so in a sense it incorporates both ends and embraces all the realms of light that people need for nourishment. It evokes both warmth and coolness. Since it’s ubiquitous in nature, it takes us back to nature.” —Donald Kaufman
The Look: Sage Green
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.
The Color: Aqua
“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
The Look: Aqua
Bordering on turquoise, the front door of a Venice, California, home by Toddy Nicke and Amy Kehoe contrasts the darker exterior.
The Color: Glossy Red
“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 Impervo Alkyd High Gloss Brilliant Red 20
The Look: Glossy Red
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.
The Color: True Black
“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
The Look: True Black
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.
The Color: Black-Blue
“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
The Look: Black-Blue
“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.”
The Color: Deep Red
“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
The Look: Deep Red
“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 terra cotta red entry.
The Color: Bright Yellow
“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
The Look: Bright Yellow
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.”
The Color: Deep Blue
“This is a deep, dark inky blue that can look almost black in the shade, but it turns into a rich, deep blue in the sun. It would look just as great on a stone house in the mountains as it would on a faded, silvery-shingled Cape Cod at the beach.” —Andrew Flesher
Buy the paint: Benjamin Moore Evening Sky 833
The Look: Deep Blue
In a Newport Beach, California, house designed by Peter Dunham, the Dutch door was added to take advantage of sea breezes. It’s painted Benjamin Moore Pacific Ocean Blue, a color that carries through the house.
The Color: Cool Green
“It evokes the notion of shade, beckoning the visitor inside, hinting at the cool to be found within.” —Kathryn M. Ireland
Buy the paint: Farrow & Ball Folly Green 76
The Look: Cool Green
“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.”
The Color: Pumpkin
“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
The Look: Orange
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.
The Color: Gray
“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
The Look: Gray
“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. The front door is painted Copley Gray by Benjamin Moore.
The Color: Dark Green
“Dark green is a traditional Southern color that looks wonderful on the front doors of brick houses with white trim. This green is so dark it’s almost black, but when the sun hits it you clearly see the green. It’s the color of a spruce tree. I’d do it in high gloss, super thick, like those beautiful Georgian front doors you see in England with a round brass doorknob right in the center.” —Phoebe Howard
Make it yours: Farrow & Ball Carriage Green 94
The Look: Dark Green
This house designed by Jan Showers has an inky-green front door. “I like dark trim on houses,” Showers says. “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.”
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Impervo Black Forest Green PM-12
The Color: Blue-Green
“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
The Look: Blue-Green
In a Miami house designed by Gene Meyer and Frank De Biasi, the bold tropical colors start at the Moroccan-style front door, painted Benjamin Moore’s Cayman Lagoon.
The Color: Cherry Red
“I wanted to draw people to the door like bees to a flower, and this luscious red did the trick. The color has such clarity. It’s like the most kissable lips. The quality of the high gloss in this particular brand of Dutch enamels is fantastic, and they also wear like iron. It’s like the best manicure you’ve ever had.” —Suzanne Tucker
Make it yours: Fine Paints of Europe Tulip Red 1001
The Look: Cherry Red
The red door of this neutral New England home by Banks Design Associates Ltd. (as featured on Dering Hall) draws the eye.
The Color: Deep Purple
“When you first see this deep, rich purple, it looks quite dark, but it never loses the color. There’s a good dose of red plum underneath. It would look kind of dapper on a door, very Savile Row. Dark and distinguished, yet unexpected. And it would work equally well on a traditional or a modern house.” —Ken Fulk
Make it yours: C2 Paint Wicked 6446
The Look: Purple
This vine-covered house would look undistinguishable with a neutral-colored door. This vibrant purple wakes up the exterior while accentuating the front garden.
The Color: Golden Yellow
“This would be a great color to come home to at the end of a hard day. It reminds me of Provence and those van Gogh fields full of harvested wheat. It’s got that baked-in-the-sun look. I like it because it’s warm, but not one of those shock-value yellows.” —Matthew Patrick Smyth
Make it yours: Pratt & Lambert Beeswax 11-6
The Look: Golden Yellow
A bold yellow hue energizes an otherwise drab front façade. The warm tones of the color keep it from being too kitschy.
The Color: Gray-Purple
“Go with something strong and bold that makes a statement. I like this gorgeous raisin with undertones of purple and gray and brown. It’s an unusual color for a front door. A little mysterious. ” —Carl D’Aquino
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Mountain Ridge 1456
The Look: Gray-Purple
A historic house front in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, gets a jolt of sophistication with its dark purple door, which balances well with the light yellow exterior.