Style Inspiration: High-Contrast Front Doors

black and white pencils and backgrounds

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One of the biggest style trends for homes we’ve seen this year is a high-contrast front door. Clean, sharp, and thoroughly modern in appearance, a high-contrast look can be used on any style of home to create a dramatic focal point at the home’s entrance.

The Best High-Contrast Combinations for Front Doors

Are you ready to try out the high-contrast trend for your front door?

It’s actually much easier than you might at first think.

This is because the color combination with the greatest contrast is also a classic – the ever popular combination of black and white.

Black and White

If you are fortunate to have either a black or true-white house (or you are thinking about making a major color change), this combination could be right for you. Even though it shows signs of being a major trend in the next few years, it is also a classic combination that never truly goes out of style, so you can expect to enjoy this update for years to come.

This combination works in both directions – a white house with a black door, and also the ultra-modern and dramatic black house with a white door.

The most of-the-moment look moves from the familiar shiny black to a completely matte black.

Of course, as you will see below, you can achieve a trendy black and white look no matter the color of your home.

black and white squares

Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow

Another great combination that looks very current right now is a flat grey (without heavy undertones) and a clean, bright yellow.

The experts at The Pantone Color Institute have announced that Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow are its colors of the year for 2021. Don’t be surprised to see this color duo everywhere this year.

yellow and grey squares

Deep Blue and Creamy White

A third high-contrast combination is a creamy white and deep blue. These two colors come across as just a bit softer than the black and white pairing, but they will still provide that high-contrast effect.

For this combination to work at its best, the white should be a softer, slightly yellowed white, not a pure white. The blue can range from deep navy to denim, and may even contain a purplish undertone.

How to Create High-Contrast Style for Your Front Door

The high-contrast look is most often created by painting the exterior walls and the front door in two contrasting colors. However, there are a number of other ways to achieve a high-contrast look that can be equally effective. Some may be a much better choice if you prefer to forgo the work of painting your exterior walls.

Here are four ways to create this look that require minimal – or no – paint.

Paint the Front Door and Trim in Contrasting Colors

Painting a front door is not a difficult or time-consuming project. Generally, front door trim is painted at the same time. Why not choose two contrasting shades, one for the door and one for the trim?

If and when you tire of the high-contrast look, it’s a simple matter to repaint the trim to the color of the door again. But contrasting front doors and trim are a super of-the-moment look right now.

black front door with white trim

Create Contrast with Hardware

If you wish to avoid paint altogether, consider changing your hardware to contrast with the existing color of your front door.

Matte black hardware looks fantastic on a white or cream door. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style. Select a large handset to emphasize the contrast, but don’t stop there. Add black hinges, doorknocker, numbers, and perhaps grillwork (if it suits the style of your door). The idea is to have enough black to really pop against the color of the door.

In contrast, if your door is currently a dark color, add contrast with shiny metal hardware. Gold pops on black, dark blue and green, and shiny silver stands out against these colors as well. Just make sure your hardware is large enough to have a presence – small handles won’t give the same effect.

Create Contrast with Decor

Even the smallest front entrance can handle some type of decor items, such as a table, plants and planters, or maybe an outdoor chair. If you are fortunate to have a large entry or ideally a full porch, decor becomes that much more of an opportunity to highlight your door.

Use your decor to update the look of your front door.

Consider what items you can upgrade this year to create more of a high-contrast look.

You may want to start fresh with new purchases, or grab a can or two of spray paint to refresh existing decor items.

For inspiration, take a look at these collections of black and white decor selected for farmhouse, modern, and traditional homes. The planters, pillows, and other accessories provide the contrast you’ll want without making any changes at all to the home or door itself.

Even something so basic as a new doormat just might provide enough of the look for your entrance.

Create Contrast Using Plants

Plants provide living decor to add softness and a touch of nature to your front door. But they can also be very effective at creating a high-contrast look.

Plants come in all shades of greens, browns, and greys. Add in the blooms of flowering plants, and your color options are virtually limitless.

Why not try some new combinations this year? Consider pairing flowers based on contrast – sunny yellow with deep burgundy red, lime green and dark purple, white and brightest orange. The contrast will create so much more drama than choosing blooms of all the same color.

dark blue and bright yellow flowers

Key Takeaways for Style Inspiration: High-Contrast Front Doors

Although trends for front doors do not tend to be as sharply defined as for interior decor, they still offer opportunities for updating the look of a home’s entrance.

High-contrast color is one of the most popular trends for both interiors and exteriors right now, and it’s an easy one to create at any entrance.

Consider the classic combination of black and white, but making it more modern by using matte black.

Great paint alternatives are deep blue with cream, and grey with bright yellow.

Without changing the color of exterior walls, you can create a high-contrast look in several ways:

  • Paint the front door and trim in contrasting colors
  • Replace hardware with large, statement pieces in contrasting tones
  • Create contrast through decor such as pillows, tables, and doormats
  • Create contrast through plants, especially flowering plants, that surround your front entrance

What to Read Next:

Style Inspiration: high-contrast front doors.  Pictured are black on white, blue on white, orange on mint, and yellow on grey.

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