Choosing a front door color: the secret = there’s no right or wrong answer.

A co-worker has recently repainted every single room in her house, spending hours in the past few months researching color theory, Feng Shui, the history of color, and everything in between.

And she’s not alone in her obsession and decision paralysis: articles on selecting the “perfect” paint color are all over the internet. There are entire Instagram accounts and Pinterest boards devoted to paint colors, including a favorite, The Doors of London.

So maybe you’ve driven family and friends crazy asking them for feedback on hundreds of color swatches and have pulled colors from the running just because you didn’t love their names (a living room painted in “Hannah Banana” or “Grandma’s Sweater” for example). Paint selection can become so overwhelming, it’s easy to see why people can give up on the project altogether. So, we’ve collected some research here to help you with your own color-finding journey.

(The best part? If you’re buying a new M/I Home in one of our Houston-area Smart communities, all 12 of these front door color options are available to you! Even if you’re not looking to move, I hope this article is enjoyable, useful, and convinces you that you’re not alone in this – I see you my color-obsessed friends. Welcome.)

Things to Consider When Choosing Paint Colors

What style is your home?

Odds are that even if you’re living in an older home, your property is a combination of architectural influences across time. Unless you’re living in a certified Tudor castle, or Frank Lloyd Wright original in which case – I apologize, and also, congratulations – here’s a reason that many paint manufacturers have a “historical line” of paints, or that some brands specialize in historical, period-appropriate paint schemes and formulas. (If you’re living in historic Williamsburg and want to embrace the colonial history of those streets, painting your door bright fuchsia may not be either historically accurate or aesthetically pleasing.)

At M/I Homes in Houston, many of our home exteriors are influenced by one of these styles:

  • Prairie
  • Mediterranean
  • Hill Country
  • European
  • Cape Cod
  • Ranch
  • New American
  • Modern Farmhouse
  • Traditional

Historically, front door colors for these styles of homes would have been impacted by popular color theory of the time as well as readily available materials. In many of these examples, a beautiful wooden, polished door would have been crafted for the home’s main entry. At M/I we do offer Mahogany stained front door options for buyers who would prefer it.

What does the surrounding landscape look like? Would you like your home to blend into nature, or stand out a bit?

Regional influences, landscape (natural or curated) can all make an impact here and there are different trains of thought. Some color experts advise that creating a harmonious scheme with the natural environment will allow your home to beautifully blend in. Others recommend choosing a complementary, contrasting color to make your home stand out. For example:

  • Forested Areas
    • Blend-In Approach: natural greens, earth tones
    • Complementary Approach: reds, including classic brick reds
  • Beach Front Properties
    • Blend-In Approach: muted sea greens, light blues, or sandy colors
    • Complementary Approach: ever been to Miami or quaint seaside storybook towns with bright, cheery front doors all around? Look at some orange based options, or cheery pastels like lemon and lavender.
  • Prairie & Desert Locations
    • Blend-in Approach: embrace the warmth of these environments with yellows, reds, oranges, or earthy neutrals
    • Complementary Approach: stand out with greens and blues with a similar color saturation as the surrounding landscape, think sage green or a dusty blue

How do you want to people to feel when walking up to your front door? Color is intensely personal and can carry a variety of emotional and psychological associations.

This one is tricky and mostly subjective. Color theorists use yellow as a good example. Upon initially being asked, many people in America would describe yellow as a “happy, cheerful” color, yet psychologists are quick to point out babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms, and adults can become more frustrated and quick to anger in yellow rooms.

In the United States, red is traditionally viewed as an “aggressive” color, but is also acknowledged as a color that stimulates appetites, making it a popular choice for restaurants and dining rooms alike.

Could this explain those storied Thanksgiving dinner arguments?! Was it the paint all along?

In other dining related theories, studies have shown that food served on a blue plate is consumed in smaller quantities than other colors, making it a common suggested plate ware color for those on a diet.

Most important to note here, is that different saturations of color may have a greater impact on emotions than hue itself1. For example, less saturated greens and blues are very common choices for spas.

Which direction does your front door face?

North, south, east, west, or south by southwest?

One of the biggest influences on our perception of color is light, and how our brains process it. This is one of the reasons front door color can be narrowed down by direction. In this line of thinking, the direction your door faces informs the quality of light it receives throughout the day, and whether that light can make colors appear warmer or cooler.

For this reason and other practices like Feng Shui, countless articles can be found on the internet related to “best colors for an east-facing front door,” and even, best front door directions.

Did you know that certain cultural or spiritual practices place meaning on front door color and can help guide your journey? Numerology, Feng Shui, and other practices place importance on the home and how its energy can influence the people living inside it. Some influence may be given to which direction the front door faces, or the numerology of your house.

What is your interior color scheme?

Credit goes to AMA Interiors out of Dallas, TX for this one. If the inside décor of your home is centered around the American Southwest with a color scheme that includes navy and dark reds, why not carry that thought to your front door and tie it all together?

Your Favorite things = More Important Than Anything

What do you and your family love? Color trends evolve, but if you and your family absolutely love yellow, go for it! That yellow front door may be remembered fondly for years to come – as the place you hung holiday wreaths, took family photos in front of, or greeted long-missed friends with laughter.

The Best Thing About Paint?

Once you’ve decided on one, it’s pretty easy to change it. So no matter how many paint brands you read up on, free color swatches you collect, or Instagram tags you stalk (check out this article from the Spruce to get you going “The 18 Best Instagram Accounts for Color Inspiration”), if you hate it, you can start over.

Front Door Color Options in M/I Homes’ Smart Series Communities

If you’re already a color expert, or just know in your gut that your front door NEEDS to be green, let me introduce you to our 12 front door paint color options in our M/I Homes Smart Series communities. One of the primary goals of our Smart home plans is to make the new home buying process easy while also giving you access to personalize your design and make the home unique. This palette of timeless front door colors has been carefully curated in partnership with PPG Paints® and our Houston Design Studio to offer something for everyone.

Looking for even more curb-appeal reading and live in Texas? Check out our recent blog article on Texas gardening ideas.

1 Oberfeld, Daniel & Wilms, Lisa. (2015). Effects of color on emotion: Evidence from self-report ratings and physiological measures. 10.13140/RG.2.1.1472.2001.



Author

Erica Lopez
Erica Lopez

Author

Erica has over a decade of experience in residential design, and came to M/I Homes in 2017 to head our brand new Houston Design Center. A Houston area native, Erica and her husband Adam currently live in the Tomball area with their daughter and 2 dogs. Around the design center, Erica can be heard laughing with homebuyers and excitedly explaining selections that would work for our customer’s personal style. Knowledgeable about all facets of interior design, Erica is constantly keeping up with the latest products and trends.