When we moved into our house, the first major project we did was switch out the front doors. I say “major” not because it was a lengthy project but because it completely transformed the outside of our home, as well as the daylight coming into our home. For weeks, I had seen the listing for our new home on the MLS but I did not like the outside at all and kept swiping every time it would come up on my email. Finally, my wise husband dragged me over to see the house and I really liked almost everything about it. Except the front doors…and the foyer. From the outside, it felt dated. From the inside, I felt like I was standing inside a vault. The large foyer felt claustrophobic with no daylight peeking through the front of the house. So, we switched out the solid stale blue doors for some Chinese Red ¾ glass double doors that feel more Charleston, SC than Reston, VA. I told my husband the other night that if we ever move, I’m taking the doors with me.
Sometimes we can get stuck in design droughts, especially in suburban areas where developments go up in mass, with only a few options to choose from. In an area like North Reston where most homes were built in the early-mid 80s, it’s time to find ways to liven up our curb appeal to reflect the fun vibe in most of our neighborhoods. Front doors are not cheap but there are tons of off-the-shelf styles at stores like Home Depot and Lowes that can do the trick if you don’t want to spend the money on a custom job. I’ve given the name of my door guy to three friends/clients over the last few weeks, so it seemed like a good time to talk about door trends and the importance behind a welcoming front door.
I’m seeing more glass doors both in new construction and as updates to older homes. The most common style I see is either a door that is ½ glass with a standard colonial grid line or ¾ glass with a standard grid line. These can be custom or not. Black is popular, as well as a darker wood stain look. Almost all door manufacturers are using fiberglass and have really perfected the art of making a realistic wood-grain look without the maintenance of real wood. Fiberglass is practical and usually more cost effective than solid wood doors. We chose Sherwin Williams Chinese Red for our paint finish on the new doors because we have a red brick house and we wanted to paint the shutters black. We had a dark stained craftsman door at our last house and I always felt the need to liven it up with a wreath or potted flowers in front of it. This time, I wanted a door that spoke for itself and I knew red would always be welcoming, whether we had pretty flowers in bloom or not.
If you’re thinking about doing a lot of glass on your front doors, you do have to think about privacy and whether you’re ok with someone seeing into your foyer when they stand on your front stoop. If you want a lot of glass but want more privacy, you could consider seeded glass if that goes with the style of your home. We are on a quiet street and are situated a comfortable distance from the road and sidewalk, so we felt we didn’t need the privacy of less glass. Personally, I like pulling into the driveway at night and seeing my family running around the inside of our home.
In neighborhoods that are starting to age and have a lot of uniformity in terms of architecture, door transformations can really separate your home from your next door neighbors’. Like most features of inviting curb appeal, a new front door can be just what you need to sell your home in a sea of similar models. If you are thinking of painting your door, you might enjoy checking out the meaning of each color in advance.