Front Doors for Colonial Style Homes

colonial home

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Colonials homes were so-named because they were first constructed by early American settlers in New England and the northeastern United States. There are actually several different styles of Colonial home, depending on the country of origin for the settlers. Ultimately, they have merged into what is perhaps the most common style of home throughout the States, and can be found in nearly any suburb, old or new. Front doors for Colonial style homes are generally simple, paneled wood painted in traditional colors.

What are the Characteristics of the Colonial Style Home?

Although there are several types of Colonial style home, there are some commonalities among them. Generally, a Colonial style home is made from brick or wood, is two stories high, with simple lines and proportions. Front doors tend to be centered with windows evenly spaced on either side. Roofs are sharp and steep with little overhang, although some Colonials may have covered front porches.

The most obvious attribute of a colonial home is its symmetry. Colonial-style homes normally have a square or rectangle shape, with the door located in the exact center and the same number of windows reflected perfectly on either side. They traditionally have two to three stories with similar, traditional room layouts.


Colonial Style Exteriors

English Colonial Homes had simple designs with wood frames and shingles or clapboard on the exterior walls. Chimneys were central on these two-story homes.

Georgian Colonial Style was notable for its near-perfect symmetry. Doors were central with windows on either side. Chimneys were found on either end of the home, which was most often red brick.

Federalist Style is almost identical to Georgian style. The primary difference is the addition of design elements such as the balustrade, which resembles a small fence on the eaves of the roof, and arched windows over the main doorway.

German Colonial Homes, like the English style, were simply designed with steep roofs and central chimneys. However, they are distinctive in that their windows had small arches, and the edge of the roofs had a small flip. German Colonials were most often built from heavy stone.

Dutch Colonials Homes are most often found in New York and New Jersey. Originally, they were most often built of brick and stone, but settlers soon switched to wood and clapboard. Dutch Colonials are most notable for their unique doors, which are split in half horizontally so that just the top half can be opened when desired.

French Colonials, built in the Southern states, had large covered porches offering shade in the hot summers.

German Colonial style home
German Colonial Home

Traditional Colonial Style Front Doors

Front doors on Colonial homes were general large and heavy, with sidelights and fanlights above. Doors themselves generally did not have glass panels. Instead, they had multiple panels laid in a grid. Doors may have been very simple, or carved and trimmed with elaborate millwork. Black, white, deep blue, and red were common colors.

Dutch colonials were likely to have Dutch doors, which were split in half horizontally. This gave the homeowner the ability to open just the top half of the door to let in fresh air and light, but kept animals out.

A typical white colonial style two story home in a  modern suburban setting

Modern Colonial Front Doors

Modern Colonial front doors maintain many of the characteristics of their historic cousins. However, it is now more common to find glass panels in the doors themselves – generally small panes near the top of the doors. Sidelights continue to be popular, as are double doors creating a gracious opening to a large foyer.

Depending on the overall exterior of the home, color may vary from traditional to brighter shades of yellow, tan, and green. Stained wood doors also look good on a modern Colonial home.

5 great colors for the front door of a colonial style home:  white, naval blue, deep green, red, and gold

Key Takeaways for Front Doors for Colonial Style Homes

Colonial style refers to the types of homes constructed by early American settlers. There are variations in this style to reflect the differences in construction from the various countries these settlers came from.

Commonly, Colonial style homes have simple, classic lines and proportions. Roofs were steep with very little overhang. Chimneys were large and either in the center of the home or on either end.

Front doors were often centered on the house, framed by columns and windows, and painted traditional shades of black, blue, red, and white.

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front door for colonial style home

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