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8 Color and Plant Combinations That Complement Bright Front Doors

by By Lauren Dunec Hoang, Houzz | May 03, 2017

Painting your front door a bright, bold color is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your home and create a welcoming first impression. But once you’ve chosen a vivid shade of red, orange, lime or purple, it can be tricky to know what other exterior colors work well with it. Nail your entryway style with paint colors and garden plants that complement a bright door, as shown by these eight fresh, colorful examples.

Color strategies. Balance a bright front door with exterior paint and window trim in neutral colors that will complement and enhance the door color. Flowering plants, evergreen shrubs and potted plants placed by the entryway provide another opportunity to complement a bold front door. Pull a bright paint color into the landscape with flowers and bright berries in a similar hue, or use dark green and blue-green foliage plants to balance a bold door.

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Color Plant Combo 1: Rudloff Customer Builders, original photo on Houzz

Aqua. Wake up a home’s entryway with an unexpected splash of light turquoise paint. The bright, spring-like color looks equally fresh on traditional and contemporary homes, and pairs well with white or light gray exterior paint.

Robin’s egg blue looks particularly charming with mixed cottage-style perennial beds planted with pastel-colored blooms such as coreopsis, dahlias, foxgloves, delphiniums and lavender. For landscapes that favor foliage over flowers, pair a blue-green door with silvery lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) and medium-green evergreen shrubs like boxwood or pittosporum.

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Color Plant Combo 2: Rick & Cindy Black Architects, original photo on Houzz

Coral. Peachy medium orange-pink paint feels cheerful, inviting and also a little daring to use on a front door. Emphasize bold coral with exterior paint in charcoal or medium gray.

In spring and summer, coral mixes well with lush foliage and tropical blooms, like creamy yellow angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) and peachy-petaled rose of Sharon (Hibiscus spp.). In winter, coral acts as a welcome bright spot in a darker, sparser landscape.

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Color Plant Combo 3: Dynan Construction Management, original photo on Houzz

Chartreuse. Lime green is a popular color choice for bright front doors, particularly those on contemporary-style homes. It feels fresh and modern without looking like you’re trying too hard. Plus, it works well with a range of exterior paint colors, such as white, gray, beige, black, brown and navy.

Pull the lime color into garden beds with a few accents of chartreuse plants such as Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii) or ‘Key Lime Pie’ coral bells (Huechera hybrid). For more drama, pair chartreuse with dark plum-colored plants like purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria).

Paprika. Rich red-orange is a useful transitional color. It can be used to make stark, modern homes feel warmer and more inviting or give traditional-style homes a more contemporary edge. For the most impact, mix it with exterior paint colors in cool-toned gray, like charcoal, and weathered natural wood.

For plants, turn to those with gray-green and blue-green foliage, such as dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) and honey bush (Melianthus major), which act as cooling complements for the fiery-hot paint.

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Color Plant Combo 4: Modshop, original photo on Houzz

Meyer lemon. As fresh as a bowl of citrus, a zingy yellow door feels at once carefree and contemporary. Yellow works equally well with traditional-style homes — picture it with light gray siding and white trim — as it does with more modern architecture. For this Palm Springs, California, home, the designer used yellow with a stark white-and-black color palette for a contemporary look.

Dark green or variegated foliage shrubs would make great entryway plants for this look, as would flowers like yellow-centered, white-petaled Marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum spp.). Draw some of the lemon yellow into the landscape with a citrus tree in the front yard. All citrus fruits ripen in winter, providing a welcome jolt of color in a more subdued landscape.

Cherry red. Like a bright red flower that draws in the bees, there’s something about a red door that seems to pull you in. The color complements just about every home style, from traditional to contemporary. Keep the door color as the center of attention with neutral paint colors, like white, gray or beige, on the home’s exterior.

Look for other ways to pull red into the entryway and garden, such as placing a box on the porch in a candy-apple hue or using plants with red berries, like holly (Ilex spp.) or heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), as foundation plants. Evergreens with deep green foliage, like tea plant (Camellia sinensis), also mix well with cherry red and add year-round interest.

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Color Plant Combo 5: Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces, original photo on Houzz

Periwinkle. Purple hues are rarer choices for front doors and make a home stand out on the block. In this home in Santa Cruz, California, a bright periwinkle door works well with a sage green and natural wood exterior. The vivid color makes the entryway stand out beneath the shade of an overhang.

Rambling ‘Rozanne’ cranesbill (Geranium ‘Rozanne’) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) bring the violet color into the front planting. The silver-gray leaves of the evergreen olive tree complement the purple door and sage green exterior.

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Color Plant Combo 6: Urbanism Designs, original photo on Houzz

California poppy. A splash of punchy orange on the door immediately draws attention to the entryway from the sidewalk. Bright shades of orange — like tangerine and poppy — work well with contemporary or midcentury modern-style homes with clean lines and neutral or cool-toned color palettes.

Keep plantings contemporary by choosing plants for form rather than flowers, like upright horsetail reed (Equisetum hyemale) or clipped evergreen hedges. A potted kumquat tree placed to the left of the door would pick up the bright orange paint color in decorative clusters of tangy fruit.


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