Category Archives: Entry Doors

5 Mailbox Ideas to Try Before Holiday Cards Arrive

By: Brenna Malmberg, Houzz Editorial Staff

Communications come in many forms, such as text and email, but physical mail still has its place, and so does your mailbox. Here are 5 ways to update this “in-box” before holiday cards — and guests — arrive this year.

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1. Liven up the entry. A lime mailbox paired with a colorful doormat brightens up this entry, but a mailbox could be done in any color of the rainbow.

“Pick a color that you love!” says Ami McKay, the owner of and lead designer at Pure Design. “We always ask our clients what colors they are most drawn to and find creative ways to implement them into the design.”

This client fearlessly loved color, so McKay saw this as an opportunity to add bold hues to the dark and neutral exterior, and have fun with outdoor accessories.

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2. Coordinate with the front door. A mailbox that matches the front door can lead guests from the curb right up to the house.

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3. Match the hardware. The similar materials used for the mailbox, doorbell and front door hardware keep the small details of this entry consistent, creating a unified design that lets guests focus on the bright yellow door.

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4. Let letters fall into the house. A slim mail slot allows the mail to fall right inside the front door. Large packages go in the lockbox to the right of the door.

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5. Put it on the fence. You can save the mail carrier a trip to the front door and make getting the mail a bit of exercise for yourself by adding your mailbox to a fence. It’s also a great way to maintain privacy and security up near the house.

Your turn: What does your mailbox look like? Tell us about it and post a photo in the comments!

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Make a Sophisticated Natural Wreath for Fall and Winter

By: Annie Thornton, Houzz Editorial Staff

Each of us decorates differently around the holidays, but a homemade wreath hung on the front door is a welcoming vision to all in fall and winter. Rhiannon Smith from San Francisco’s Farmgirl Flowers shows us how to make a holiday wreath using year-round favorites such as rosemary and olive foliage, along with the seasonal flourish of bittersweet berries.

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Follow her instructions to create the wreath pictured here, or choose foliage cuttings from a local florist or your own backyard for a completely custom look.

Plant Materials

Foliage sprigs cut 4 to 5 inches long, such as (from left):

  • Seeded eucalyptus
  • Olive
  • Rosemary
  • Silver bell eucalyptus
  • Bittersweet, or other winter berries

You can use many kinds of foliage for your wreath, or keep it simple with just a few. The wreath Smith demonstrates here is made from olive, rosemary and Oriental bittersweet. (In areas where the Oriental variety is invasive, American bittersweet is a good substitute. Both species are toxic.)

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Other Materials and Tools

  • Pruning shears
  • Floral stem wire cut 4 to 5 inches long
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire wreath frame (8-inch frame shown here)
  • 22-gauge paddle wire

1. Cluster together five or six sprigs. Try to keep them somewhat uniform and their cut edges aligned. ​Smith puts olive and rosemary at the back, and a couple of bittersweet pieces toward the front for visibility in the wreath.

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2. Wrap a piece of floral stem wire a little more than halfway down the sprigs to form a bundle. Wrap as tightly as possible and secure the wire end.

3. Make 10 to 20 bundles, depending on the wreath’s size. Use the same foliage combination for each, or vary the the materials. Here, the bittersweet is in only half the bundles. Smith suggests assembling all the bundles before you start wiring them to the frame. This will help you achieve a more uniform look.

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4. Place the first bundle on the frame and wrap the paddle wire three times around the bottom of the bundle and the wreath frame as tightly as you can to keep it in place. Do not cut the wire.

5. Put the second bundle on top of the first so that its loose leaves conceal the paddle wire and wreath frame beneath. Wrap the wire around the bundle and frame three times. Continue adding bundles (and leaving the paddle wire uncut), varying them if you made different kinds. As you work your way around the circle, make sure none of the paddle wire or frame is visible.

6. Tuck the ends of the last bundle under the loose leaves of the first.

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7. Wrap the paddle wire around the foliage and frame a few extra times, then cut it with a wire cutter. Tuck the loose end into the greens to hide it.

Add a bow or ribbon, or just hang the wreath from the wire frame.

Your wreath will stay fresh for about a week, but it will slowly dry and last one to two months or more as a dried decoration.

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Experiment with different foliage combinations. Here, Smith used olive and silver bell eucalyptus. Try other foliage types that may be more available where you live, including bay, pine or oak.

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Design Recipes for a Fun and Functional Entry

By: Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

A well-designed entry helps propel you out the door in the morning, keeps you organized and gives visitors a hint at your personal sense of style. It’s a lot to ask from what’s often the smallest room in the house! Let these five examples of stylish and feature-packed entryways inspire you. Plus, get how-to tips to help achieve these looks at home and ideas for keeping this hardworking space tidy.

Playful Modern1. Playful modern. Set a lighthearted tone at the front door with a bold splash of citrusy colors, from lemon and lime to tangerine. The round mirror is a welcome touch, while a trio of woven pendants makes the most of a double-height ceiling.

Tidy tip: A half-console table is a smart space saver. Tuck one into even the narrowest of entry halls, and gain a spot to set your keys, mail and more.

Get the look: 

  • Colors: lemon yellow, lime green, tangerine
  • Bright and bold front door
  • Painted console table
  • Woven pendant lights
  • Flat-weave dhurrie rugBotanical Charm

2. Botanical charm. With its botanical wallpaper and simple furnishings, this entry radiates nature-inspired calm. And don’t think of a look like this only in the country — why not infuse your city apartment with relaxing rural pleasures?

Tidy tip: Hidden storage inside the bench seat and a row of pegs provide ample space to stash your belongings.

Get the look: 

  • Colors: mossy green, white, natural woods
  • Botanical wallpaper or art
  • Vase of cut ferns or a potted plant
  • Shaker-style peg rail
  • Natural-fiber rug
  • Ladder-back chair

Farmhouse Eclectic3. Farmhouse eclectic. With barn-style sliding doors made from reclaimed wood, a kilim rug underfoot and a modern George Nelson pendant light overhead, this entry covers a lot of ground designwise while managing to look utterly simple and comfy. The secret? It’s the power of three: The light is the most modern element, the barn door the most rustic, and the warm rug ties it all together.

Tidy tip: A closet for coats plus a credenza tucked in a nook make for ample storage in this entryway (luckies!), but if your entry lacks a closet, you can make a rustic-industrial coat rack with pipe fittings mounted on the wall.

Get the look: 

  • Colors: cream, white, spice red, natural wood
  • Reclaimed wood barn doors
  • Modern Bubble light
  • Kilim rug
  • White credenza
  • Handmade pottery

Midcentury Pop

4. Midcentury pop. A cherry-red door, pottery horse and oversize midcentury pool photo by Slim Aarons set a playful, party-ready tone in this entry.

Tidy tip: A low credenza is a great piece for the entryway since it offers ample hidden storage for quickly stashing items (the dog’s leash, paperwork), as well as a surface for holding keys and a bag (or a drinks tray at a party).

Get the look: 

  • Colors: cherry red, black, white, a dash of yellow
  • High-gloss front door
  • Oversize pool or beach photography
  • Midcentury-style credenza
  • Shiny chrome light fixture
  • Lacquer accessories in bright hues
  • Handmade pottery or sculpture

Art Gallery Chic5. Art gallery chic. Create a minimal oasis with smooth floors, putty-colored walls and a sleek bench — it’s all the better to draw eyes toward a special piece of art on the wall.

Tidy tip: If you love this look but need more storage, swap out the bench for a version with hidden storage inside or a low credenza.

Get the look: 

  • Colors: espresso, putty, gray
  • Bare floors
  • Sleek bench
  • Sculptural stool or side table
  • Potted succulent
  • Original painting

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Craftsman Front Doors Make an Entrance

By: Rachel Grace, Houzz Contributor 

This spring my husband and I are removing the old two-tone storm door and energy-inefficient glass front door on our home and replacing them with a single Craftsman front door. The upgrade has me breathless.

Known for its mathematical design, a typical Craftsman-style front door has three divided windows (known as lites) over a large ledge with dentil molding and three flat panels. Typically installed on houses with porches or porticos, the Craftsman door is too lovely to be covered by a storm door.

I’ve yet to decide if we will paint it à la FGY Architects or keep it natural like RW Anderson’s designs below; either way I am really looking forward to the major architectural upgrade it will provide.

How to Choose a Front Door

Goforth Gill’s lipstick-red Craftsman front door features a single lite rather than three divided ones. It also boasts two matching sides.

Goforth Gill Architects

On close inspection you’ll notice that this door features lites with detailed glass. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, three leaded glass panels fancify this otherwise straightforward design.

RW Anderson Homes

Rich Eldorado stone and a wooden front door combine to create the warmest of warm entryways. Many Craftsman front doors have only a ledge and dentil molding on the exterior side of the door, much like this beauty.

Bill Fry Construction

Flanked by planters, windows and lanterns, this Craftsman entry couldn’t be more inviting. I especially love the white and gray color palette.

FGY Architects

Although this door has only two lites, it does feature bonus side lites and a decorative transom window, all with ornate leaded glass.

Harrell Remodeling, Inc.

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Smart Solutions for Nonexistent Entryways

By: Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

If you live in a home without an entryway in the traditional sense (that is, a nice, wide hall or an open foyer), I can feel your pain. Perhaps someday I will be lucky enough to have a formal entry with room for a full-size table, lamps, benches and all the works, but for now I must make do with what I have: a door that opens onto a sliver of wall, smack in the middle of my living room/dining room/office. Thankfully, smart solutions do exist for remedying a number of entryway challenges — so whether you have a very narrow hall or no hall at all, there are ways to make your space work efficiently and beautifully. Let’s get started.

MAK Design + Build Inc.

Dilemma: An Open Entryway

This is such a common scenario, especially in smaller homes: The front door opens directly into the main living space, with no defined foyer or hall. In this situation the challenge is creating a transition from outside to inside without breaking the flow of the rest of the space.

One smart solution is to use a console table behind a sofa positioned near the entry door. This creates the enclosed feeling of a hall and provides a place for mail, keys and bags.

If you prefer to keep the space open, try setting up a wall-mounted system near the door instead. A mirror hung above a floating cabinet is a foolproof combination. Having a few drawers is great for keeping messy piles of paper and other odds and ends out of sight.

Jennifer Grey Interiors

Another sleek and efficient option is to hang a row of hooks on the wall and place a boot tray on the floor below. If your space is small, don’t worry about not being able to accommodate tons of guests’ coats — those can go in another room (or on a rented rolling coatrack). A few hooks for daily use is all you really need. A market basket on one of the hooks can hold odds and ends.

If you have children, two rows of hooks are wonderful for corralling everyone’s gear. Having child-height pegs or hooks helps little ones gain independence, as they can reach to put their own coat away.

Dilemma: An Extremely Narrow Hall

With an entryway this narrow, a table (or even floating shelf) is out of the question. Use what little floor space is available to wrangle umbrellas in a chic holder, and attach a few small hooks to the wall to hold keys.

Photo credit: Ricci Shryock
Design details: In a tiny hall, you can use the surfaces to bring in color and pattern. Here, the patterned tile floor, pendant light and glossy black door paint dress up the space, and even the narrow radiator cover is used to hold a vase of flowers.

If your hall is a smidgen wider than the space above, you may have room for a full-length mirror or chalkboard propped against the wall. And if a full-width console table is too wide, look for a half table that attaches to the wall. If you are handy, you could even attempt your own DIY version with a wooden table.

Moroso Construction

Dilemma: The Door Opens Onto a Stairway

Many older homes have a formal entrance that opens directly onto the stairway, with no real space for a table. In this case you may want to redirect to a wider spot in the next room with a full table. Otherwise it’s time to put every little sliver of wall space to work.

If the stairs are very close by and you have little wall to work with, consider installing a wall bracket or a few decorative hooks on the stairway wall to hold essentials.

Barbara Egan - Reportage Photography

A wall-mounted coat tree is a smart idea for those with a bit more space beside the door — it adds personality and performs a necessary task, yet hardly takes up any space at all.

Tell us: What has been the biggest challenge in designing your entryway?

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Could the Inside of Your Front Door Use a New Color?

By: Janell Beals, Houzz Contributor

Painting the exterior of a home’s front door a distinctive color is one of the fastest ways to add character and enhance curb appeal. But too often that’s where the color stops, resulting in a missed opportunity to carry the improvement into the entry by painting the other side of the door as well. If this is the case at your home, consider extending the exterior door color inside — or select another hue that both coordinates with the exterior while setting the design tone for the entry.

Here’s an entry that’s simply bursting with happy personality, thanks in large part to the color of the door. Just imagine if the door was white — much of the impact and charm would be lost.

Built by Highland Custom Homes

Source: Built by Highland Custom Homes

When deciding where to stop the color, there’s no right answer. Paint just the door, the door and sidelights, or go all out and paint the door, sidelights and trim. Such is the case here, with Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Blue making a dramatic statement in this entry.

Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

Source: Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

Red is another top choice: From apple red to the brighter shade of ripe tomato here, it’s a color that brings a sense of excitement and energy.

Ramona d'Viola - ilumus photography

Source: Ramona d’Viola – ilumus photography

Here, Al Green by C2 Paint, a sophisticated yet edgy muted lime, stands out among the pale gray walls and white trim.

Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Source: Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Is there a favorite color you’d like to see enhancing the inside of your front door? Painting a door is a fairly simple one-day or weekend DIY job, depending on experience level. Here are the supplies and steps to get you on your way to a more colorful entry:

(Note: The steps will vary slightly depending on the door material and any previous paint, varnish or stain used on the door.)

Step 1. Begin by gathering your supplies: medium- and fine-grit sandpaper, tack cloth, painters tape, brush, adhesion primer and semigloss paint.
Step 2. Lightly sand the door to remove the top layer of varnish, paint or stain and give the surface a “tooth” for the primer to adhere to. Start with medium-grit sandpaper and finish with fine-grit; wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 3. Tape the door edges and any hardware, leaving only the surfaces to be painted exposed.
Step 4. Paint a layer of primer. Consider KILZ Adhesion Primer, designed to bond to a variety of tough-to-paint surfaces.
Step 5. Let the primer dry, then very lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper.
Step 6. Wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 7. Apply the first coat of paint. This may be enough in many cases, or, depending on the color used, a second coat may be required for optimal results. If so, repeat steps 5 and 6, followed by the second coat.

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How to Paint Your Front Door
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How to Choose a Front Door Color

By: Vanessa Brunner, Houzz Editorial Staff

Don’t let your home blend into the background — even if you’re not in the market for changing your exterior color scheme, a new coat of paint on your front door could be just the makeover your home needs.

Use our color guides to each color to learn which hue, from unexpected orange to bright yellow to elegant black, will work well on your exterior door.

Miller's Meadow Farm Entry

Yellow. Welcome visitors with a cheerful yellow front door. Often identified with happiness, high energy and warmth, a lively yellow can brighten otherwise gloomy exteriors.

Guide: When to Paint Your Door Yellow

Hickory Lane

Deep red. If bright red feels too audacious for your home, deepen the hue for a more crimson tone. More refined and sophisticated than brighter reds, certain shades of this deep red can work almost as neutrals.

Guide: When to Paint Your Door Deep Red

5609 Residence

Orange. Orange is one of those colors that can go wrong really quickly. But don’t let that stop you — with the right complementing tones, small doses of orange can look quite modern and welcoming.

Guide: When to Paint Your Door Orange

Block House

Green. Play off your surrounding landscape or introduce a new, refreshing color by painting your front door green. Whether olive, mint or lime, there’s bound to be a shade of green that can fit into your exterior palette.

Guide: When to Paint Your Door Green

Arcadia Exterior Remodel

Black. Always classic, glossy black doors make an elegant statement. Use other exterior accents to help tie a black door into the rest of your home’s design.

Guide: When to Paint Your Door Black

More color guides: Color palettes, paint picks and more in the Houzz Color section

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Browse Thousands of Exterior Photo on Houzz

5 Bright Palettes for Front Doors

By Jennifer Ott, Houzz contributor, principal designer, Jennifer Ott Design

Nothing welcomes guests to your home better than a bold, beautiful color on the front door. Many people have no trouble picking out a fun color to paint the door, but don’t know what to do with the rest of the exterior. And what about the trim?

The key to working with bold colors is to limit them to elements you really want to stand out, which makes the front door the ideal place to feature a vibrant color. Then select supporting hues for the rest of the house that don’t try to compete for attention.

Check out these Houzz homes with delightfully colorful front doors, along with potential palettes that incorporate a bold front door hue with other exterior hues.

This acid yellow-green front door shouts “Come on in!” and works nicely with the natural wood siding. If you have no choice but to paint your siding, you could go with a cooler brown/taupe shade to set off the brighter hue of the door.

Example palette. Get the same effect with (clockwise from top left, all from Martha Stewart Living): Lagoon MSL125, Lamb MSL225 and Bayou MSL237.

Example palette: Clockwise from top left (all from Sherwin-Williams): Red Tomato SW6607, Iron Ore SW7069 and Cityscape SW7067.

Tell us: What color is your front door? What color would you like it to be?

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Five Homeowners Take Back Their Views

Masonite VistaGrande

VistaGrande doors are designed with 18 percent more glass than comparable products.

We are excited to announce the winners of the Take Back Your View Contest. These five – yes FIVE – people are getting brand new VistaGrande doors. Launched this year, the VistaGrande flush-glazed smooth fiberglass patio and entry doors are designed with approximately 18 percent more glass than comparable products so homeowners can truly enjoy their outdoor views.

These five winners submitted pictures of how their doors obstruct their beautiful outdoor views.


We are excited these homeowners now get to truly enjoy their views – and we get to be a part of that experience.

Thank you to everyone who submitted pictures of their obstructed views. Congratulations to the winners!

Masonite’s Belleville Smooth Entry Door Earns Consumers Digest “Best Buy” Rating

Belleville Smooth is one of just four fiberglass doors to earn distinguished label in recognition of materials, quality, and warranty.

TAMPA (August 26, 2015) – Consumers Digest, a publication that provides unbiased evaluations and recommendations across a range of product categories, designated Masonite’s Belleville® Smooth a “Best Buy” in its July report on entry and storm doors. Belleville Smooth is one of only four fiberglass doors to receive the Best Buy rating, which is determined through evaluation of materials, quality of construction, and warranty.

In its report, Consumers Digest highlighted Belleville Smooth as the least expensive fiberglass door with a polyurethane core and a lifetime warranty. “It also is the least expensive such model that has laminated veneer lumber stiles, which make the door stronger than are doors that use plain wood stiles,” the publication noted.

Belleville Smooth fiberglass entry doors are crafted with specially engineered fiberglass door facings for maximum protection and durability, along with a high-definition panel profile for authentic shadow lines and a square edge design for a wood-door appearance. The doors’ high-performance smooth surface is ideal for painting and is resistant to rusting and denting.

“Masonite’s entry and interior doors are crafted with an ideal combination of beautiful aesthetics, long-term performance, and value, and those qualities shine in our Belleville Smooth line,” said David Perkins, vice president of channel marketing for North America residential for Masonite International. “We’re honored to see those attributes recognized by Consumers Digest.”

Subscribers to Consumers Digest can access the full report at www.consumersdigest.com/home.
For additional details on Belleville Smooth and an overview of available profiles and glass options, click here.