When it comes to curb appeal, shrubs, potted flowers, doormats, and house numbers all make for a nice supporting cast. But let’s be honest, the front door is the real main character.
“A front door can massively affect curb appeal,” says Lori Levine Harris of Brock and Lori, a Los Angeles-based real estate agency. “You want your front door to match the style of the home,” she says. “So for a Spanish home, a curved, wooden door is ideal. Mid-century homes typically have a geometric pattern or paneled glass. And if the door looks outdated, we recommend either replacing it or modernizing it.”
Since a stylish front door is imperative when it comes to first impressions, I thought I’d ask real estate experts, “Which styles are on their way out?” Here’s what they have to say.
Ahh, the tuxedo of door styles. A crisp black and white front door fits nicely into the farmhouse trend. But this style may not be the most practical, especially when doors that are painted black have southern exposure, says Robert Wiley, an agent in the Baltimore, Maryland area and team lead for The Wiley Group. “Black doors can get very hot, and the paint can blister with enough exposure,” he explains.
A trend to embrace, though, according to Wiley, are front doors with bright or unexpected pops of colors — that is, if your design scheme (and HOA) allows for it. Along the East Coast, you’ll see lots of door colors like “Williamsburg blue” (think: Prussian blue with a gray base paint) which, he says, is popular in neighborhoods where there are row homes.
Your front door is the first point of visual contact a person has when looking at your home, says Jennifer Baptista, a licensed Realtor based in Massachusetts. And for that reason, wrought iron doors not only prove to be dated, but are just too busy for the eye. Same goes for wooden doors with lots of ornate carved decorations, Baptista says.
Front doors with ornamental glass — like a half circle with a floral design — can really date a home, Levine Harris says. If you don’t replace the door fully, you could paint the glass to match the door color or frost the glass to make it more opaque and hide any floral patterns, she suggests.
“When we prepare homes for sale, we typically paint the doors with a pop of color — we’re very into emerald green and navy blue these days,” she says.
Another problem with those doors with oval windows carved up top is that they don’t let in enough light for today’s focus on bright interiors, says Realtor Cecilia Bonner of KW Philly.
Similarly, leaded front doors with beveled glass also look outdated as they were an overused design of the late 1990s and early 2000s, says Lauren McKinney, a Realtor with Beverly-Hanks in Asheville, North Carolina. “Most of my clients want something more modern with clear or opaque glass,” she says.