Want to Make a Bold First Impression? Paint Your Front Door a Vibrant Hue

Go big—these bright front door colors are equal parts sophisticated, playful, and daring.
Text by

There’s no question about it: A fresh coat of paint on your front door is one of the easiest, quickest, and most budget-friendly ways to add character to the exterior of your home. The pop of color conveys both personality and design sensibility, plays up the home’s entry as an important focal point, and gives the exterior an extra touch of contrast, intrigue, or vibrancy. Read on for a look at some our favorite punchy front doors that make for a striking first impression.

A Portland Midcentury With a Front Door in Venetian Gold

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, with project manager and lead designer Emily Kudsen Leland at the helm, remade a Portland abode with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. The golden yellow provides a bright and cheery contrast to the home’s darker exterior, and brings out the yellow tones in the plantings near the front door. The home was originally designed by Saul Zaik in Southwest Portland, complete with a wood-clad exterior, in 1956. As part of the renovation, landscape design was completed by Lilyvilla Gardens.

"People go on vacation and take photos of all these vibrant houses, and then they go home and paint their house brown," says Brian Whitlock, a sound mixer and homeowner of a mountain-ready modern home. "Don’t be afraid of color." The windows are adorned with bright red, and an adjacent door is an enthusiastic shade of lime green.

Klopf Architecture's modest 72-square-foot addition at the front of the Palo Alto, California, home blends in with the original structure while giving the owners a greater sense of openness in the master and hall bathrooms. Yellow and gray contrasts beautifully with the ombré wood fencing. 

Beams extend outward over the front door of this 1960s home by architect A.D. Stenger, creating a recessed entryway. The door’s deep red is set off by the home’s largely neutral palette of wood, glass, and steel.

A pop of canary yellow distinguishes the double doors to the front entry of this home, which was designed and constructed for a high-end commercial builder.

Homeowner Simon Doonan stands next to the front door. "We have flamboyance, and we’re not inhibited about anything," says Simon. "Architect Gray Organschi gave the house that intellectual rigor needed to make it beautiful. We were well matched." A vibrant, orange front door with a bright yellow transom gives visitors a feeling of energy and liveliness as they approach the home.

The entryway of this Sacramento home features new concrete embellished with a cement tile pad. It brings "an extra layer of texture when you walk in," says owner and designer Christina Valencia. Spindles were added to the restored second-floor railing for safety, before it got a new coat of paint. All-new lighting makes the exterior more welcoming, as does the refreshed front door, thanks to its new light blue color.

At a renovation in San Francisco that turned a home into two apartment units, the orange front door picks up the patina in the Cor-Ten steel cladding. "We are always interested in doing unapologetic modern design in an architecturally conservative city," says architect Jim Zack. The front unit’s door to the courtyard is painted in Sherwin-Williams’s Carnival Orange.

By scouring shops, sales, and auctions, homeowner George Marrone amassed a giant trove of postwar furniture. He and his partner, Michael Nocera, applied that same work ethic to a 1959 home in Wilmington, Delaware, which they patched up over the course of two years. The couple’s bulldogs stand guard at the flagstone entrance. The door, still with its Space Age knobs, is painted Flaming Torch by Behr.

In the Bay Area, an H-shaped 1960s Eichler home has bright, lime-green double doors that open out onto the signature Eichler features: floor-to-ceiling glass, patios, gardens, concrete slab floors, tongue-and-groove ceilings, and post-and-beam interiors.

When hairstylist Steve Tetreault and illustrator John Pirman set out to build in Sarasota, they were well acquainted with famed architect Paul Rudolph’s work. They built a new house inspired by the Sarasota School, recreating the lightness of midcentury design. Their front door, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Tomato Red, provides punctuation. "That was the cheapest way to have that hot spark of color," explains John. Photo by Joshua McHugh

"We couldn't resist this beautiful shade of pink," notes homeowner Richard John Andrews of the door color at this London residence. "It was championed by my wife Kristina, but I didn’t take much convincing. It would also draw a lot of attention and help the house to be easily found by visiting clients and potential new business."

The whimsical façade is clad with irregular, unplaned white fir slats that thoroughly insulate the structure. These echo its energy-efficient timber construction, which includes triple-glazed super-windows and a ventilation system. The poppy-red front door introduces a burst of color against the natural wood. 

In a light-filled midcentury modern home in Pasadena, a cheery yellow door provides a warm welcome. Photo by Pierre Galant

"The clients wished for a simple and flexible space that could be reconfigured to suit the evolving needs of the family," principal Thomas Schaer says of this Washington State dwelling. "Our goal was pretty simple: Don’t overthink it and have fun." Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal covers the siding, while Segovia Red adds a pop of color to the exterior doors.

This midcentury home, originally owned by a local illustrator, needed updating, remodeling, and fortifying. Seattle-based SHED Architecture & Design tackled the project, keeping some classic features while updating others, like the front door in a semi-gloss orange. 

Overlooking a river in Weston, Connecticut, The Corwin House by noted midcentury architect Richard Neutra is one of the only Neutra homes in the state. "The house is so Neutra, yet in a more wooded setting and perched high above the river," says the listing agent Rick Distel. The front door is painted a royal blue and framed by glass windows. 




Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.