At the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns, people across the world plastered their windows with brightly colored paper. Hearts, rainbows and encouraging notes faced out toward the street, greeting neighbors, friends and passersby and emphasizing the significance and power of human connection. And while the events that necessitated such gestures were anything but ordinary, the concept itself isn’t far from a time-tested trend: the message conveyed by a front door color.
Whether a vibrant shade of red, a calming shade of blue or even a neutral like brown or black, the hue of an entry says a lot to both guests and strangers alike.
“The colors you choose reflect your personality,” explains St. Francisville-based designer and color expert Ellen Kennon, who has dedicated her life to the study of color, starting her own paint line in 2001 and working with clients from Valentino to Hunt Slonem. “All colors affect us emotionally, and what you choose for your front door is what provides that crucial first impression. You have to ask yourself: How do I want my guests to feel?”
The idea of sending a message through the color of a front door is nothing new, though Kennon says the idea has risen in popularity again in the last five years. In early America, red doors were a signal to passing travelers that a home was safe and open to guests. Even before that, the shade was said to ward off evil in China. And now, with people bound to their homes, improvements have come to the forefront and doors have become a means to communicate with the outside world in a meaningful and emotional way.
Here, Kennon breaks down the cues behind the colors and how to choose what’s best for your home, drawing inspiration from a rainbow of doors we spotted right here in the Capital City.
- Kicking off the warm hues, red is one of the most popular choices for people seeking to make a statement with their front door. The shade is the quintessential color of welcome and helps create a social mindset for guests and homeowners alike. Photo by Gretta Blankenship. 3114 Gladden Avenue is currently for sale through realtor Jan King/RE/MAX First.
- Evoking the image of the sun, this bright shade isn’t for everyone, but it encourages a pretty important activity: communication. And while the more typical form of the color is known for promoting optimism and hope, the more sophisticated form, gold, is all about spirituality and positivity. Photo by FotoSold Professional Real Estate Photography. 807 South Eugene Street is currently for sale through realtor Lisa Kirby/Shirley Kirby & Associates, Inc..
- A color to be more careful with when choosing a shade, pink is an emotionally nurturing hue. Since it is known to promote feelings of comfort, Kennon says it’s no surprise that the lighter forms of the shade have become so popular with millennials—aka “millennial pink,” as the door pictured here is painted.
- The ocean. The sky. It’s no secret that blue is all about relaxation. Choosing this hue for a front door ensures that guests are met with tranquility. Add a little green to the mix and the overall impression does even more to reduce the stress of visitors and passersby alike. Photo by NOLA Real Estate Marketing. 6452 Government Street is currently for sale through realtor Rhett Sandusky/Berkshire Hathaway.
- According to Kennon, “Every room needs some green.” The color is the most balancing and healing of all the hues, evoking the calm that comes with being outdoors. Photo by Melissa Oivanki
- A front door doesn’t have to make a vibrant statement to impact mood. Gray is known for its alignment with peace. Adding this color to the exterior of a home elevates an already timeless look, giving it an air of ethereal sophistication. Photo by Melissa Oivanki