How to really make an entrance: Front door ideas to set the tone for the rest of your home

A standout front door sets the tone for the rest of your home. Here’s how to give yours a refresh.

There’s something about a beautiful front door that creates a sense of intrigue. A stunning mews cottage, a townhouse steeped in history, an oasis hidden in a busy street – who knows what stories lie behind it? 

It’s no surprise, then, that ‘doortraits’, or portraits of interesting doorways, are taking over Instagram. Bella Foxwell, door fanatic and curator of hugely popular Instagram account @thedoorsofldn (69k followers), has snapped more than a thousand doorways since 2015. ‘It started as a hobby and fast became a daily project,’ she says. ‘London is rich with architectural history – no two streets are ever the same.’ Her weekly trawls traverse the city, finding everything from attention-grabbing paint shades to unique doorknockers. 

Bella Foxwell
Bella Foxwell runs the hit @thedoorsofldn Instagram account

Her Insta posts resonate beyond the visual level: ‘I get so many lovely messages. One lady even recognised a door as the house in which she spent childhood summers,’ she says. 

Inspired? Here, some of Bella’s finds plus our own front-door inspiration show you how to give your own home the warmest of welcomes.

Big up the blooms

front door ideas
Bella Foxwell

Flowers and trellises with trailing plants are great tools for drawing the eye away from outdoor bins and also create a welcoming focal point. 

  • If you have brightly coloured flowers around your doorway, opt for a darker or more muted door colour to allow plantwork to stand out. Here a black front door takes a back seat to the floral display. 
  • Think outside the box when it comes to planters – in this case a bike basket has doubled up, but hanging baskets, pots and tubs can be equally effective.
  • Flowers needn’t be confined to pots – use cascading garlands (whether made of real or fake flowers) and trellises for a stylish entrance all year round.

Think bold

A bright hit of block colour is a simple and cost-effective way to update your door. This one is painted in Mister David by littlegreene.com. 

front door ideas
Camera Press
  • To make an impact, opt for bold hardware on your door or contrast fixings with a tone that matches the paintwork. Nickel or brass will blend in with most colours.
  • A statement doormat is an easy way to be creative and add personality. Here stripes introduce an element of fun. For a similar mat, try ikea.com. 
  • Research and take inspiration from residential areas with houses that are similar in age and style to yours, which will help you with ideas for planning your own decorating scheme. 

Use contrasting shades

Doorways don’t need to be painted in one colour. Make the woodwork around your porch stand out by painting your front door in a different shade.

front door ideas
Bauer Media Group
  • A porch can modernise the exterior, while blending in with the original build of a house. For whitewashed flooring, try woodandbeyond.com. 
  • Here, an oversized doorknob is complemented by the statement owl print in the entrance. For quirky doorware, try rockettstgeorge.co.uk.
  • Accessorise your doorway. This fiddle-leaf fig tree is given a new lease of life in a graphic planter. For a similar pot, try darkroomlondon.com.

Add class with glass

When choosing windows for your front door, think about framing materials: opt for timber over PVC as it gives natural insulation and is more sustainable.

front door ideas
Sisalia Interior Design/Tess Kelly Photography
  • Even muted tones can make an impression when it comes to updating your doorway. If you opt for a full glass-panelled door, though, try painting the woodwork in an eye-grabbing colour.
  • Stained glass can look modern and artistic when teamed with a brighter colour. Glass also allows light to enter your hallway, opening up the indoor space

More front door inspiration

Score serious style points with these eye-catching flourishes

Plant pot, £59, amara.com 

House number, £19, johnlewis.com

Door stop, £30, gardentrading.co.uk 

Tile, £8.99, firedearth.com 

Mail slot, £58, anthropologie.co.uk 

Garden light, £38, conranshop.co.uk 

Wall light, £40, habitat.co.uk

Door knocker, £60, coxandcox.co.uk 

Door mat, £19.50, trouva.com 

Wall light, £169, conranshop.co.uk

Bike, £385, bobbinbikes.com

House number, £27.95, finnishdesignshop.com 

Plant pot (25cm cube), £90, darkroomlondon.com 

Report by Nicole Gray