Florence Jones, owner of Arlington Color Consultants, is no shrinking violet. The longtime Arlington resident recounts a favorite front door story, one she considers a solid success.
“One of my favorite front doors is in my neighborhood,” she says. “It’s a beautiful pink,” the exact shade of the property’s dogwood tree. Some years ago, Jones says, someone must have talked the neighbor into repainting her door a less vibrant color. “She did, and it was so boring. So I knocked on the door to say, ‘You know, your door was so much better before,’ and she went back and repainted it pink.”
But how does one choose an appropriate front door color without such clear inspiration? Experts take a primary look at the home’s body—is it painted, natural brick, siding?—then consider the color wheel’s spin on complementary hues.
Lauren Withers, an interior designer at Arlington-based KPH Studio, just painted her own front door turquoise, specifically Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Feathers. Her row house in northwest Washington, D.C. is an orange-y brick. “Thinking complementary colors, I knew I wanted to go in a blue tone,” she says.
Sometimes the way to discover a home’s best-suited front door color is take a peek inside. Experts agree there’s often an obvious accent in pillows, throws or vases that the homeowner is already embracing.
In this area, doors are traditionally red, green and black, says Zoe Kyriacos, owner of Takoma Park-based Colors by Zoe. But the type of door on the style of house matters. For example, if a door is half-glass, she says she can be a little more aggressive with the color because the painted space is smaller.
When it comes to trends, Jones says Marsala, Pantone’s color of the year, would be great on a door. “It’s a really rich burgundy red,” she says. “I see that as a color that would last through time.”
Red will always be in style, agrees Kyriacos. It’s welcoming, and feng shui says red can bring fortune and fame. But she also sees more interest in unexpected jewel-toned oranges and turquoises.
Then, says Jones, there’s the discussion of finishes such as matte, semi-gloss and high-gloss. Semi-gloss is more durable, but the finish really depends on the homeowner’s personality.
Best advice? The front door is the home’s focal point, so “work with a color you like,” Jones says.