GET HOOKED ON SOCIAL MEDIA
When you’re out of ideas, a must-try tactic is to follow your favorite interior designers, magazines and retail stores on Facebook, where your news feed will routinely fill with stupendous ideas for styling your entryway. Payne, for that matter, is quickly becoming an addict of Pinterest, the site that’s created a craze of creative new folks. “With Pinterest, everybody has the opportunity to be creative. There’s a wealth of information and images that had not been at our fingertips before,” she says. The designer’s been seeing a ton of fabulous tricks for door decorating from the friends and media outlets she follows there, from oversize monograms, to contemporary square wreaths, to a hodge podge of picture frames painted in the prevailing color palette. For fall, use a few yard sale frames painted yellow, orange and brown. Come Christmas, shake up the spray cans and lacquer them again shades of green, gold and crimson. It’s a clever way for, say, college students in apartment building or homeowners in subdivisions to make their homes stand apart from lookalike neighbors.
TRY SOME RETAIL THERAPY
You can source a surplus of ready-made wreaths, faux leaves and pliable ribbons at craft and decor stores. Even some retailers’ garden sections offer an array of seasonal items to quickly spruce up your door. Need a little more design inspiration? Try Pottery Barn, suggests Payne. “From the moment you walk in the store, you’ll see new ways to put things together. It’s classy, it’s classic and the seasonal decorating classes to teach you how to create those looks at home. It’s definitely worth checking out the class calendar.”
KEEP IT UNIQUE WITH MASONITE
For a Masonite wood entry door, all you need is a nail and wire or a door hanger. But many Masonite doors are made of high-quality fiberglass or steel, so you’d never deign to drill a permanent hole in them. Yet this shouldn’t stop you from festooning the front with festive trinkets. “One of the things I like to do with Masonite doors is use fasteners or hooks. They leave no marks and they have a clean look,” Payne says. And in lieu of the typical hangers that hang on a door, there are magnet hangers that can be purchased at big-box retailers. If you do opt for the old-school door hanger, take measures to make it chic. “When I use a normal door hanger, I always paint it to match my door,” explains Payne. “Some people use fabric to cover them, but I don’t love that look. Use a little spray paint, and it doesn’t stand out. People pay more attention to what you’ve got hanging instead.”
Ahhh. The cooler days are finally upon us. With the leaves falling and Thanksgiving on the way, we felt compelled to give our Masonite doors a little lift. So we talked to Atlanta-based designer Gay Pennell Payne for a number of tips. Through her company, DIY Decorating Plan, Payne teaches clients to add fun and attractive touches to their homes—and how to do it themselves. Much of that, of course, comes down to doors. Payne proclaims she’s “a door person.” As she tells it: “I love doors. I love French doors. I love unique doors. On my Pinterest page, I actually have a section called “Door Love,” because doors, to me, are the introduction to your home. They say so much about you and your personality. Whenever I see a really cool door, I always think that there must be a really cool person living inside that house, because they’ve taken the time to think about the first impression they’re showing to the world.” We couldn’t agree more.
MAKE IT RAH-RAH RAVISHING
We know that entry doors sell the home, and decorating that door is a tremendous part of that first impression. One of the biggest trends Payne is seeing at the moment is the showing of team spirit—especially in gung-ho college towns. “From hound’s tooth hats for Crimson Tide to hanging pendants that show school spirit, sports memorabilia is everywhere.” Burlap is big, too, she adds. This inexpensive fabric works wonderfully outdoors, because it wears well in all weather and comes in a range of vibrant colors. Browns and oranges are big for autumn and, as Payne explains crafty folks are using it to create shapes like footballs or pumpkins to adhere to their front doors as adorable ornaments.
RETURN TO YOUR ROOTS
Crisp autumn days invite a host of new decorating inspirations. Fall foliage is a given—think leaves, grape vines, pumpkins, mums, autumn wreaths, corn husks and corn cobs. But as Payne points out, you can venture far beyond that. “There’s a big trend happening right now, and it’s all about returning to our roots and the industrial age,” she notes, offering a couple suggestions for jumping on that bandwagon: Hang garden tools on the door to tribute a time of harvest. Fill a Mason jar with natural elements gathered in the yard, and place an electric tea light inside to set the scheme aglow. Your neighbors will be dazzled. If you’re out of ideas, just visit the art store. Grab a glue gun to take home, and you’ll be surprised by all you can accomplish. One example Payne loves? Little banners spanning your entryway that spell out family surnames or phrases such as “Happy Fall or Happy Autumn.”