Front Door First Impressions

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

When you approach your home from the front, do you find yourself thinking of all the things you’d like to do with your entryway and door? Do you like what you see? What kind of impression do they give? Is your entryway warm and inviting? Does it reflect your personality? What changes can you make within your time and budget and skillset, and are there things that you might want to call a professional to tackle?

If you’re looking to improve your home’s front door curb appeal, consider the following tips from some of America’s most respected home design websites and publications. Focusing on a specific area like your doorway means you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot on upgrades. Even a small change can make a big difference in the attractiveness and appeal of your front door and entry. The key is to make your entryway a continuation of your home’s interior — to let others in on your personal style, even if from a distance.

Keep it clean

giving your home a power wash is a good habit to get intoThe most important first step to increasing curb appeal is to give your door and entryway a thorough cleaning. Dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other types of debris from the street tend to collect on doorsteps. A regular check and quick sweep with a broom is usually all that’s needed to keep your entryway clean. But the folks at Squeegee Squad also recommend power washing your home’s exterior once a year to remove dirt and grime, especially if you live in an area with a lot of ongoing construction and development.

Cleaning up clutter can help too. Move bikes and toys to the back of the house and limit the number of planters on your step, especially if you have a small entryway. You can create a sense of openness and space by taking a minimalist approach to decorating your front porch.

Consider painting your front door

lilac front doors are a trending color

One of the easiest ways to update your front door is also the least expensive. But painting a front door is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Choosing a color is just part of the decision, and you’ll want to tread carefully before embracing the latest trend. For example, the top front door paint color for 2024 is predicted to be lilac, a soft shade of purple. Luxe, laid-back, and lighthearted: purple can play many roles. Whether you pick warm or cool, purples can complement most any color palate. But use caution—a little goes a long way (unless you’re Prince), and too much purple can be gaudy...and, of course, not every home will look its best with a lilac-colored front door. Want some more traditional choices? Try this list from Real Simple and Angi.

Keep in mind that colors have different meanings and interpretations, especially when used on a front door and depending on where you live. Candy-colored pastels are the norm in areas like South Beach, FL, and distinctive, classic colors like forest green are more at home in historic neighborhoods. When choosing a distinctive, new color for your front door, make sure you understand how it may be interpreted by passersby.

Front door colors for brick houses

Depending on the type and color of your home’s brick façade, you have lots of options for front door colors. Check out Fixr for paint colors that look best with traditional red brick. Better Homes and Gardens has suggestions for homes with white, gray, earth-tone, or orange brick, plus general advice about choosing a front door paint color to complement brick.

Use plants and pots for pops of color
front door makeover

Like our friend and designer Laurie March always says, plants are one of the easiest ways to change your décor. Your front landscaping can go a long way in freshening your façade and greenery is another affordable way to improve the appearance of your entryway.

Group pots of the same color, in different sizes, to create visual interest. Use low-maintenance perennial shrubs like boxwood as your base and fill in with colorful annuals throughout the growing season in your area. If your home’s siding or exterior paint is a dark color, choose light-colored plants and vice versa. For homes with light-color brick or siding, plants in dark, dramatic colors will supply more contrast.

No matter where you live or your area’s growing zone, Southern Living suggests that window boxes are another way to add freshness and color to the front of your home without cluttering your entryway. Landscape architect Anne Daigh notes that window boxes often require frequent watering, so make sure they’re easy to reach.

Want to get started with window boxes, pots, raised flower beds or similar? Check out our article on container gardening for some inspiration. Pro tip: don’t forget to consider the light levels—if you have a covered porch or front entry that is shielded from much of the daytime sun, be sure to choose flowers that do well in the shade.

Add affordable accents

a wreath is an easy way to add pizazzDistinctive accents are another easy, affordable way to jazz up your porch and entryway.

Swap out your old mailbox for one that’s more attractive and secure. Replace your house numbers with oversized versions in a fun but readable font or paint your current ones a bright color. Wreaths are another great option that can be swapped out to change up the look and feel of your front door.  Choose options that match the seasons or specific holidays, incorporating different plants, materials, and colors. Think greens of all shades and hues for springtime; bright, joyful primary colors for summer and Independence Day; harvest tones for Thanksgiving; and hardy winter greenery, birchbark, grapevines, or berries for cold-weather holidays and celebrations. 

Light up the night
solar lights on a pathway

Outdoor lighting elements can be the workhorses of your front door perk-up. Not only can you use the fixtures as décor elements, they also serve many functional purposes.

Better Homes and Gardens says that adding “low voltage landscape lighting significantly impacts your home's curb appeal while also providing safety and security.”

Strategically placed lighting can give trees and shrubs a completely different, magical look as day turns to night. Landscape lighting makes it easy for visitors to follow a front path or walkway.

Not comfortable doing electrical work on your own?

Solar fixtures are an easy way to add lights that don’t require wiring, and they’re a more sustainable choice than electric light. String lights are another popular trend in exterior lighting that also don't require wiring or electrical know-how. Use them to mark walkways, line a fence, or add a bit of welcoming warmth to a front porch seating area.

Spring for a new door

ensemble entry doors from renewal by andersenIf you’ve been in your home for a long time, chances are it’s time to think about replacing your front door altogether. Depending on the amount of traffic in and out of your entryway, there may be damage or deterioration that no amount of repair or refinishing can remedy. 

Replacing your front door is a sure way to increase curb appeal and improve the safety and security of your home. Extra wide doors are trending these days, as are doors with sidelights and interesting window accents that let in more light. 

You’ll find plenty of options for different front door materials including wood, steel, fiberglass, and composite. Each has its own set of pros and cons, and it's important to look beyond a door’s price tag when making your decision.

Keep the overall look and personality of your home top of mind when choosing a new front door. Consider the amount of time and effort you’re willing to invest in maintenance. Think about the other homes in your area. Historic homes and newer, more modern designs lend themselves to completely different front door options. 

Whatever type of door you choose, make sure it’s well-fitted and energy efficient, minimizing the amount of heat transfer and airflow when the door is closed. 

Cosmetic changes to your home’s entryway can be fun to do on your own. Choosing a new door, and having it installed properly, requires the help of a trained professional. To see what’s possible for your home, and for expert advice and installation, schedule a free consultation with a Renewal by Andersen design specialist. 

In This Issue

Join The Conversation

consult button