If you're re-painting your front door, you'll end up going round in circles — especially if you're thinking of selling soon. Do you keep it simple? Mix it up? Go for something bold to stand out in the market? Annunciata Walton quizzes the country’s most experienced agents to get their views on the best colour front door for selling a house.
‘First impressions count and you want to look smarter, cleaner and more inviting than your neighbours. If your house is of Cotswold yellow stone, duck-egg blue can be appealing… A darker royal blue can look smart against red brick… If it’s by the sea, however, it’s a mellow, chalky, duck-egg blue.’ Rupert Lawson Johnston, head of Strutt & Parker Chichester
‘In the South Hams, many coastal properties sell because of the amazing water views that become apparent when either walking through front doors or when leaving properties overlooking the sea. Currently popular is a front door with a porthole in it, usually blue, which adds humour and a coastal feel.’ Jane Summers, senior sales negotiator at Marchand Petit
‘A London town house may be beautifully set off with a door in teal blue or eau de nil against a red-brick or cream-stucco surround.’ Nick Churton, chairman and managing director, Mayfair Office
‘Heritage blues are popular. These need to be shiny, midnight blues with golden door pulls and letterboxes. Brighter blues are good for smaller properties, but grander homes tend to go for a strong navy or midnight. Too bright a blue can look cheap, so we recommend sticking to a dark tone or a duck egg and keep the finish glossy, which gives an impression of luxury. Blues can look particularly striking on red-brick Victorian properties, which often have elegant skylights or stained-glass windows.’ Michael Donnelly, director, Cheffins
‘Assuming it’s a period property, dark blue or dark green, as I think they add class and value.’ Nicholas Leeming, Chairman Jackson-Stops & Staff
‘For country cottages, soft blues and greens are charming. For a white façade, a deeper shade of green.’ Rupert Lawson Johnston, head of Strutt & Parker Chichester
‘A Cotswold cottage may suit an olive green, but the oak of a neighbouring manor house may be better left unpainted.’ Nick Churton, chairman and managing director, Mayfair Office
‘Each year, new colours come to the market. Green has always been popular as it’s very welcoming.’ Jeremy Campbell-Harris, head of London country houses at Humberts
‘Front-door colours are not so relevant in the countryside—it’s very rare to use your front door these days. The large eat-in kitchen/living areas so commonplace now are usually accessed through the back door. Sellers should therefore consider sprucing up a back door to set the tone for a successful viewing. I’m a fan of organic shades, such as Lichen, a muted green from Farrow & Ball.’ Jonathan Harington, founder of Haringtons
‘My personal choice is a matte from Little Greene’s Lead Colour range or Elephant’s Breath from Farrow & Ball, but greys only work if the door is dressed with a freshly painted crisp-white door frame, green trees either side and chrome door furniture.’ Rupert Lawson Johnston, head of Strutt & Parker Chichester
‘In London, grey. In the country, cream.’ Charlie Wells, managing director at Prime Purchase
‘It depends on the area and what kind of statement you want to make, but a front door should always be welcoming and clean, with good paintwork or wood stain. At a push, go with French grey.’ David King, Winkworth
‘I’m a traditionalist. Down Pipe from Farrow & Ball.’ Ian Westerling, managing director at Humberts
‘Smart black in a Georgian terrace in Spitalfields looks just right, likewise white on the Royal Crescent in Bath.’ Lindsay Cuthill, head of Savills country department
‘Particularly in the chilly North, a cheerful entrance is key, so even on the most horrid rainy day, you want to go in. Although black looks smart and elegant, it’s quite cold.’ Patrick Paton, managing partner at Rettie & Co
‘Black is the only colour to paint your front door. It’s classic, smart, timeless and elegant.’ Ed Heaton, founder and managing partner at Heaton & Partners buying agents
‘If you live on one of the big estates in London, such as the Grosvenor, your door will be black—that’s the rule.’ Saul Empson, director of buying agency Haringtons
‘In town, black or dark-blue doors lend gravitas and stay clean. In the country, a natural wood is the best choice as it reflects the quality of the property.’ Rupert Sweeting, head of country-house sales at Knight Frank
‘Red works with brick houses.’ Lindsay Cuthill, head of Savills country department
‘Red makes a property stand out, but is aggressive.’ Patrick Paton, managing partner at Rettie & Co
THE REST OF THE RAINBOW
‘Extreme colours only work for the few; orange, lime green and pink are all out there, but are not likely to have broad appeal. The door to my own house in the country is a dark aubergine.’ Lindsay Cuthill, head of Savills country department
‘Don’t use a pastel.’ Nigel Colebrook, director at Bright & Bright
‘Move over to Notting Hill and it’s all vibrancy: flamingo-pinks, yellows and azure-blues are commonplace, which help to set this London village alight. My ultimate choice is Little Greene’s Mister Yellow.’ Saul Empson, director of buying agency Harington
‘Optimum door colour depends on where you are. Town is often a soft grey; country is more blue, reds and greens. Regardless, the paint does have to be Farrow & Ball.’ Rory O’Neil, Carter Jonas
So there you have it — blue is the best colour front door for selling a house! Whether duck egg, midnight, navy or teal, the estate agents with years of selling houses under their belts deem it the most enticing (12 votes). Second is green (8) in sage, lichen, royal and olive.
Joint third with seven votes each are grey (in all its shades) and black. Next is plain wood (3) red (2), yellow (2) and cream, white and dark aubergine (1 each). Lastly, whatever the colour, it’s clearly time to buy shares in Farrow & Ball.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
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