Show-Stopping Front Door Design Ideas From Your Favorite HGTV Stars

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Anyone renovating a home typically starts on the inside, which makes sense because this is where we spend much of our time. Though kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that sell a house, it's often curb appeal that gets potential buyers through the front door in the first place. And one of the easiest ways to add an upscale factor to your home's exterior is by simply revamping the front door. Stylish exterior doors that improve curb appeal are a relatively small change that can have a big impact. As Drew Scott tells his twin brother in an episode of "Property Brothers" (via Realtor), "A modern front door updates everything."

The cost to put in a new front door can be steep, but often this is offset by the fact that a new front door can add value to your home. On a budget? No problem. HGTV stars like Hilary Farr and Jenny Marrs reveal some showstopping door designs achieved with simple DIY upgrades utilizing paint or new hardware. Get the look of a much more expensive front door to wow your neighbors and visitors by using these tips and tricks shared by the hosts of your favorite renovation shows.

A mid-century modern door may be Jenny Marrs' favorite so far

In Season 3, Episode 13 of "Fixer to Fabulous," HGTV's Jenny and Dave Marrs tackled an extensive renovation on a mid-century home that was lacking in character. One of the key features to get updated was the front door. The original ornate metal double doors were replaced with walnut doors of Jenny Marrs' own design. On her Instagram account, she says, "This door is perfect for this house because it's custom, it's unique, and it fits in with everything else that is happening in here with this mid-century design." Marrs also commented on her blog that "the new modern style sharpened the home's appearance and set the stage for the renovations inside."

If you have an existing set of glass doors and a few basic woodworking tools, you may be able to DIY a similar design by adding walnut strips. Or, you can install a contemporary door with similarly clean lines, like this one from Doors by Decora. Jenny and Dave Marrs also created a sense of connection between the interior and exterior of the property by using the same wood and carpentry style on the front door and the dining table. This is an idea that can be easily replicated in any home to create a relationship between inside and outside. Consider painting your front door the same color as your kitchen cabinets, or opt for a more subtle nod to your interior style by using the same hardware finish on your front door.

Love It Or List It star creates a bold look with a black door

HGTV's "Love It Or List It" star, Hilary Farr, revealed a black, modern exterior door to homeowners in her popular HGTV renovation show, proving that a bold look can still be very classic. She says on Facebook, "Sprucing up the front door with a fresh coat of paint really elevates curb appeal." Farr followed her own advice and gave the homeowners a new look with a sleek black front door in Season 19, Episode 5 of "Love It Or List It." Farr coordinates the front door with other exterior elements such as the window frames, the overhead lantern, and the mailbox. The black makes for a stunning contrast against the siding, which is painted in pure white.

Black is a neutral yet bold color, making it an awesome paint choice if you want a striking look without going for a bright shade. However, black paint can highlight imperfections on the surface of a door, so if you dive into this DIY project, be sure to thoroughly prep and clean your doors before applying a fresh coat of paint. Depending on the current state of the finish, this will usually involve washing the door and thoroughly sanding it down until it's smooth and flawless. A roller will give you super smooth coats, but you may also need to use a soft-bristled brush to ensure paint gets into any crevices.

Alison Victoria unveils an aged brass style door

Alison Victoria is no stranger to front door transformations. Discussing entryways with HGTV, she says, "[It's] all about curb appeal. It's your first impression. I want to make sure it looks like a million bucks." The unique front door makeover HGTV's Alison Victoria nailed on "Rock The Block", a competitive design show, was a brass-style triumph. Sheathing it in unlacquered brass, Victoria achieved a front door that looks authentically aged. She says, "We added some nail heads to it, and then we patinated it. All of it just looks like a solid brass door."

If a unique look is what you're after, a front door that appears to be pure metal could be the way to go. Victoria loves using shim stock, a type of thin metal, malleable enough to be molded and cut into different shapes to resurface various items, such as furniture. She creates a patinaed, aged finish by spraying the metal with white vinegar. You could achieve a similar look by covering your existing front door with thin sheet metal or coating the door in metallic paint like this Rustoleum product from Amazon.

Jenny Marrs says your front door should tie into your design style

HGTV's star Jenny Marrs from "Fixer to Fabulous" offers front door curb appeal tips, telling Homes & Gardens, "You can boost curb appeal by swapping out your front door. I love wood doors; they add a lot of warmth, but painting your front door makes a huge impact, too. Fresh paint allows you to paint it a pop of color against a neutral house, and this can set the tone for what's inside your home. It's the first thing people see, and it's the first thing they enter through, so finding a door that you love is really a really impactful thing."

As Marrs suggests, opting for a front door that reflects your style inside the property gives people an indication of what they can expect as they step across the threshold. If the interior of your home is Art Deco, choose a more elaborate front door, maybe with stained glass in an Art Nouveau style. A traditional-style door featuring recessed or raised panels, complete with a letterbox plate and matching knocker, could add the ideal touch to a historic townhouse. For a very modern interior, go for clean lines and minimal detail on your front door. If your style is farmhouse chic, opt for a solid wood door in a natural finish or paint it a muted shade of green if this is part of your home's color palette. 

Drew Scott gives an original front door a pretty makeover

Planning a renovation in competition with his brother in Season 8, Episode 6 of "Brother Vs. Brother" (via HGTV), Drew Scott says, "In the front, I'll revive the dreary exterior with bright white cladding, which will complement the newly painted original front door, then I'll build new front steps with cheerful tiling to make the house look bigger and give it a presence on the street." Drew drastically improves the curb appeal of this home by painting the original wooden door a bright shade of light blue and updating the surrounding elements. When Jonathan sees the reveal, he's certainly impressed, commenting, "Talk about a transformation. I like the door."

If you have an original door that's important to the story and character of the home, you don't need to replace it to upgrade the look of your exterior. Instead, follow in Drew's footsteps and enhance this original feature by updating the surroundings, for example, by painting or replacing the siding, adding new front steps, or installing new door furniture. Tiles on the front step can really ramp up curb appeal, as Drew proved in this renovation. For example, adding these black and white porcelain tiles from TileBar to a set of entryway steps leading to a front door could smarten up the look of a home and give it a modern, geometric vibe.

Wood and glass front doors open up an entryway according to Rachel Taylor

Rachel Taylor, host of HGTV's "Curb Appeal Xtreme," discusses the difficulty of dark hallways with Apartment Therapy, explaining, "Replacing the front door with a light-bearing door that has wood and glass is a lovely way to not only bring light into the entryway and the interior of the home but also create a new lens from the exterior."

Is a dark hall making your entryway feel depressing? Flood the space with light by installing a door with glass features. You can enhance the effect of daylight by painting the entryway in a pale, neutral shade, such as High Reflective White by Sherwin-Williams. As the name of this paint color indicates, it can reflect light to create the illusion that a space is larger and more airy than it really is. If privacy is a concern with glass front doors, opt for frosted glazing, which will allow light to pass through without compromising on seclusion.

John Gidding wants you to make your front door eye-catching

John Gidding, presenter of HGTV's "Curb Appeal," knows all the best tricks for improving the façade of a property. Interestingly, his most serious sticking point revolves around dull front doors. He tells Homes & Gardens, "The biggest mistake people make is not making their front door eye-catching because it's a missed opportunity. Unlike the rest of the façade that really should be based on the identity of the architecture and less on trends, the door can follow color trends if there is a tone that's really in this season, feel free to paint your door that color. Also, matching metal finishes is a great way of showing you've got a design eye. It's almost like the jewelry of the house when the metal finishes imply you have a design sensibility about you."

Are you battling a bland and boring exterior? The easiest way to boost your home's curb appeal, especially on a budget, is to paint your front door. Find a color you love that's going to be set off by other exterior elements of your home. A green door will contrast beautifully with a red brick home, or if your house is white, try out a striking shade like deep red or peach. Don't be afraid to make a statement and be the first home on the street with an interesting front door. As Gidding suggests, door hardware can also make a huge impact. Coordinate door hardware with other exterior elements, like your mailbox, any railings, light fixtures, and planters.

Hilary Farr's arched front door radiates class and tranquility

In Season 19, Episode 2 of "Love It Or List It,"  Hilary Farr took the viewers on a renovation adventure in her own home. Discussing the transformation of the front exterior of her property on Instagram, she says, "I knew I wanted a front door that would be an unexpected design with the traditional brick exterior of the house. It must not be too modern. It must look beautiful from the inside and the exterior. It must let in maximum natural light but give privacy. It must be sturdy. A tall order!"

This striking door was personalized to Farr's very specific requirements to suit her home and her style. It's a look that feels elegant and classic yet modern. You could replicate this vibe by updating your front door with paint. Black and dark gray are two front door paint colors that are timeless and classic. The patterned glass in Farr's door creates the effect of running water, which adds a zen feel to the property's exterior. Opt for a similar glass pattern in the windows of your door to achieve a sense of tranquility and calm by upgrading the glazing or applying a window film such as this decal from Wayfair.

Unsellable Homes hosts say dark doors are growing in popularity

Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb, hosts of HGTV's "Unsellable Homes," share their thoughts with Apartment Therapy on the trending front door colors of the moment, with Lamb saying, "What I see more and more are dark doors — even a black door, [or] using a really dark charcoal. I always encourage our clients, express yourself through the door. It's really not a hard thing to change."  Davis adds, "It kind of sets the tone for your guests that are coming over. What are they going to find inside? Who are you? What's your style?"

Like Lamb says, dark doors in shades of deep gray or black have become increasingly popular, and can give a modern upgrade to the exterior of a home. Follow this trend with shades such as 'Liquorice' by Farrow & Ball or 'Iron Mountain' by Benjamin Moore. If you want your home to exude a more vibrant personality, then follow the sisters' suggestion of expressing yourself and getting playful with your door color. Don't be afraid to paint your door in a shade that seems a little out there. What's the worst that can happen?

HGTV's Meg and Lili love wacky front door colors

Lili Zarghami and Meg Allan Cole from HGTV's "Design Goals" discuss front door aspirations on YouTube, with Zarghami stating, "I am very inspired by things I don't have. Mainly, right now, a bright front door. I dream about a very simple dream — having a home one day, where I could do things like paint my front door a wacky color. I love a red front door, purple, turquoise, doesn't matter; I just want something cheery that's offset from the house itself, and it says 'welcome to my home.'"

If, unlike Zarghami, you own a home where you have the opportunity to paint your front door — what are you waiting for? Choose a bright and bold color that adds energy to the exterior of your home, such as sunny yellow or pretty pastel purple. Consider the other exterior colors and finishes you're working with. For example, if you have a brick façade, you'll want to think about the best front door colors that complement brick homes. If a shamelessly striking front door color feels too extreme, you could inject personality with wacky colors in smaller ways. Try painting the frame in a bold color while leaving the door in a neutral shade, or install brightly colored house numbers on the upper panel.

This Fixer to Fabulous front door oozes character and authenticity

In Season 3, Episode 8 of "Fixer to Fabulous" (via HGTV UK), Jenny Marrs turns a dull and dated bungalow into a Spanish-style villa by painting the exterior white, incorporating Moroccan-style hand-painted tiles on the front steps, and upcycling some solid wood doors. She says, "We found this old door. It was a set of French doors, but I really wanted a cool, old door. So we put them together and made one. It has that character, for sure." In her blog, Jenny further explains how the door came to be, saying, "I found this one at an antique shop. It was actually two doors to begin with, which Dave fused together to create one large door. It gives the house so much character!"

Upcycling an old door is a great way to get an authentically aged look while also making use of existing materials. Opt for a door in keeping with your home's architectural style, like Jenny did when she incorporated the rustic wooden entry into the threshold of the Spanish-inspired bungalow. This is one of the ways to ensure you choose the perfect front door to match your home's style. To save a door from going to waste while bringing unique charm to your home's façade, check out scrap yards, garage sales, vintage stores, and flea markets. Avoid doors with irreparable damage and issues like active woodworm, which are usually more hassle than they're worth. 

Double doors make a 'forever home' according to the Property Brothers

When "Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott design a forever home for their parents with the needs of aging in mind, Drew Scott explains (via HGTV), "Having a double-wide door is great for anybody who needs wheelchair access into the home." In his parent's house, the double-door entryway is painted in a dark shade of bottle green, which helps the building appear unified with the landscaping while creating a look that is individual yet timeless.

As we age, a home should fulfill important practical functions to make day-to-day living easier. A double-wide door makes access a problem of the past for wheelchair and walker users and creates a sense of grandeur that is appealing to any homeowner. If you want to render your entryway more user-friendly and suited to aging in place, you should also make sure the front door is free from tripping hazards. This could mean installing a ramp or leveling the door frame to ensure it is flush with the ground.