DOOR GUIDE_edited.jpg

 DOOR GUIDE 

 How to get the entrance of your dreams 

Having a front entrance you love is a wonderful thing. It's the first impression your home makes, you see it multiple times a day and it can transform the exterior of your property. Make sure it sparks joy! Whether you are starting from scratch or looking to give you current set up a glow up, our guide takes you through all the elements you should consider to get the door of your dreams.  

Skip to: 

 

Door Style 

Complementing the existing property style is a good start when choosing the style of your door. Understand the era of your home or the style features of your newer build home, will give you a guide on the front door that will look best. Pinterest is a great place to browse to see a selection of Victorian, Edwardian, 1930's  and cottage style doors. 

1920's                                           Cottage                                     Victorian 

london door comapny 1920's.jpg
timber windows_edited.jpg
cotswood door company victorian.jpg

London Door Company 

Timberwindows.com 

Cotswood Doors 

Padlock doorknocker full front door insta 1350.jpg

Edwardian 

london door comapy edwardian.jpg

Contemporary

london door comapny modern wood_edited_edited.jpg

London Door Company 

London Door Company 

TOP TIP

If in doubt a simple 6 panel style suits a variety of house styles and can be personalised with glazing panels, colour and hardware. 

Glazing in a door is a brilliant option to add personalisation and to bring light into a dark hallway but note that if your door opens onto the street, you may prefer a solid door for security and to avoid disturbance. Stained glass design has limitless stunning options but like the door design, should be tailored to the house's era.    

 

Composite 

Composite doors are made from a mix of materials and often have reinforced panels making them an extra secure and efficient option with very little maintenance. 

The standard colour options can be limiting, however, some companies can spray a wider range of colours so its worth asking to get the look you want. 

Our traditional door hardware can be installed on composite doors to give a more traditional feel but we do advise to check your doors warranty.  

Fine Line 

Wood 

Many people covet a traditional timber door and its easy to see why - there are a huge range of stunning styles to suit period properties with bespoke carving and mouldings options. Plus the world is your oyster when it comes to colour choice making it easy to add personality and create a unique entrance. 

Its worth remembering that wood doors lack  thermal efficiency of other materials and also require some maintenance. Although maybe that is just a great excuse to change your colour!  

yellow.jpg
hayley windows composite.JPG

Hayley Windows 

Pinterest 

uPVC

We won't lie, uPVC doors may not have the allure and period appeal of a wood door but as they are lower cost, they make an affordable option.

While PVC doors are low maintenance and have good thermal efficiency, they can lack character and come in limited colours. Our tip is to use traditional door hardware, rather then the standard uPVC options to add personality and charm. 

A lady in London 

DID YOU KNOW.... that its really easy to paint your uPVC door?

There are many exterior paints on the market that are suitable to use without primers, meaning its a cheap and cheerful way to perk up your uPVC door. 

Dulux 

doors-upvc_doors everest_edited.jpg
painted upvc door upvc spray painters.jpg

Everest 

upvc spray painters 

 

More than ever, our homes are a reflection of self and colour is key to expressing personality and creating a mood and atmosphere. Your front door is the first impression of your home so use it to not only make a statement but to make yourself happy! Not sure where to start on colour? We've got a few tips for you...  

Cotswood Door Company 

Cotswood Door Company 

London Door Company 

Cotswood Door Company 

Oakwoood windows & Doors

Love a Classic? 

Elegant and timeless; black, dark blues and greys will work well on any home regardless of age and features. Both brass and nickel door hardware will look sophisticated and give an overall impressive vibe. Primary Red and Racing Green are also traditional colours for period properties and are a great way to add colour to your exterior while still maintaining a pared back, classic aesthetic. 

cotwood door company.jpg
cotswood door company red.jpg
london door company light grey 2.jpg
oakwood windows and doors.JPG
cotswood door dark green.jpg

@thedoorsoflondon

Annie Sloane

Bella Foxwell 

@prettydoorsofbritain

@doorsofdulwich

Colour Boost  

Never underestimate the power of colour to transform and uplift and we're seeing more than ever, people using their front door colour to express themselves and offer the first glimpse of what can be expected on the inside. There's no right or wrong and personally, we think ALL types of houses regardless of period or style can take colour on the door (although we advise checking your colour works with your brick or exterior colour first) so get out your paintbrush and go with what you love.    

IMG_8479.PNG
annie sloane Amsterdam-Green-front-door-with-wreath-3_1024x1024_2x.jpg
bella foxwell pink.jpg
door SKY BLUE 2.jpg
door TERRA 3.jpg
london door comapny 6 panel victorian.jpg

Softly Softly   

Want a hint of colour on your door but don't fancy too bold a punch? A pastel shade or a 'greyed off' hue are both great options to get colour with a subtle feel. Pastels are low saturation colours with a white base - offering a wash of colour. We particularly love chalky pastel neon's for a fresh look. Alternatively, if you are looking for more intensity, choosing a colour with a grey undertone is a great way of knocking back the vibrancy of a shade while still getting the saturation.

bespokefrontdoorcompany  lemon.JPG
pinterest.jpg
stone blue farrow and wall.jpg
hector m sanchez.JPG

London Door Company 

Bespoke Front Door Company 

Pinterest 

Farrow and Ball 

Hector M Sanchez 

Gloss or Matt? 

Once you have chosen your colour and found a suitable exterior paint for your door material, take some time to decide on the finish you'd like.

A super high shine gloss will look grand and imposing, ideally suited to elegant period properties. Matt paint has a more rustic quality which is great for cottages and rural homes but is harder to clean. If in doubt - go for an eggshell for its soft mid sheen finish - its smart and easy to maintain.  

High Gloss 

Matt 

Eggshell 

TOP TIP

A high shine gloss finish is usually associated with traditional door colours but using a polished ultra reflective pastel paint is an inspired twist!  

gunter & co.jpg
polly eltes.jpg
farrow and ball mid sheen.jpg

Gunter & Co 

Polly Eltes 

Farrow & Ball 

Think about
your frame 

When deciding on your door colour, don't forget to think about the door frame and any other surrounds on your entrance. Below is a little food for thought...

All the way 

An increasing trend is to take your door colour onto your frame, creating one block of colour which is brilliant at creating a strong impact and celebrating your chosen shade. If you have glazing on your door or the surrounding panels, this works particularly well. Although dark shades are commonly used for this technique, we love to see the soft coloured frames coming through such as this dusty pink and blue.  

farrow and ball frame and door pink.JPG

Farrow & Ball 

cotwood door company.jpg

Cotswood Door Company 

moderncountrystyles.JPG

Modern Country Style 

Bit of all white  

A classic white frame is fresh and clean. If your door colour choice is super vivid, this is a good option to avoid overwhelming the front of your house and pastel shades, when surrounded by white frames, seem to have their prettiness intensified!        

better homes and gardens.JPG
pinterest.jpg
london door comapny 20 nd 30.jpg

Better Homes & Gardens

Pinterest 

London Door Company 

Contrasting Combinations   

Another option is to add a contrasting or tonal door frame to really make your door colour leap out. Black or charcoal will work against most brick or rendering but a tonal or complimentary colour can actually be quite subtle so give it a try! 

shelterness.jpg

Shelterness 

gabdearq  Yellow-Front-Doorwith-Black-Frame-.jpg

Pinterest 

unnamededfefe.png

Gipsy Hill Hardware 

 

Once you have decided on your locks and door security, its time to think about the rest of your door hardware and how to bring some personality and kerb appeal to your entrance.  Your front door is an extension of your home and the first showcase for your interior style, so ditch the bland, mass produced letterbox, door knocker and house numbers and opt for something unique, handmade, solid brass and exclusively designed. click to see the full range    

Padlock Heart door knockerwith fan letterbox.jpeg
Polished nickel door knocker lilac door.jpg
Knock Knock Polished Brass Door Knocker wix.jpg
12 on wall.jpg
Polished Nickel door set mini heart knocker.jpg

All Gipsy Hill Hardware 

There are a variety of metals that can be used for door knockers (brass, bronze, cast iron being most suitable) and additionally, a range of plating, patinas and polishing to give you many finish options. It important to check that your hardware is solid metal and not plated aluminium. Plated aluminium hardware is a cheap pick but will rust from the inside. Not good! 

HEART FINISHES crop.jpg

Polished
Nickel 

Matt
Nickel 

Black Powder Coated 
 

Unlacquered
Brass 

Polished
Brass  

Brass is a natural choice for door furniture due to its natural beauty, durability and antibacterial properties. Either polished to a shine, aged or left in a natural raw finish, its a traditional choice for a period aesthetic or equally at home on a more contemporary house. If you are after a 'silver' finish, a Nickel plated solid brass will give you the colour you want with the advantages of brass's durability.  

The pairing of hardware finishes and paint colours should definitely be considered as certain colours and metals work harmoniously together enhancing the beauty and characteristics of the finish while some can jar and distort the colour of both the paint and the metal. See below for a few tips on some stand out colour and finish combinations

Black hardware is often overlooked in favour of brass and nickel but our black powder coated finish looks super striking when paired back with soft pastel shades, emphasising the shape and form of the pieces and offering a sleek contrast which we just love. 

London Door Company 

London Door Company 

Pinterest

The wonderful tones in nickel are complimented by colours with cool undertones. Blue is an obvious friend to nickel but any grey/cool toned shades can work well. Try a dusty pink or cool green to reveal the beauty in your nickel hardware.  

Black 

 Nickel 

Swallow door knocker Matt Nickel sky blue door.jpg
Black door knocker made from brass web 1.png

 Gipsy Hill Hardware 

 Gipsy Hill Hardware 

 Gipsy Hill Hardware 

There is no denying the beauty and timeless appeal of brass. Colours with warm yellow and red undertones are perfect for bringing out the brilliance of the metal. Terracotta's, warm pinks, rich reds and oranges are natural partners but warm tones of green and blue will also work well.  

Whether you prefer a velvety satin soft finish, an antiqued patina or a high shine polish, there's really no right or wrong. Its down to personal preference. 

brass on pinks.jpg
shiny green silver33.jpg

Brass 

Matt or Shine 

 Gipsy Hill Hardware 

LACQUER or UNLACQUERED?

We think brass is beautiful! As a natural material, brass oxidises and patina over time to give your piece unique personality. Some brass door hardware is lacquered with a thin clear protective layer that stops the patina happening (how sad!). However, over time the lacquer can break down and flake in places leading to a patchiness and the door knocker having to be re-lacquered by a professional. By leaving brass unlacquered, you are able to remove any oxidisation with a suitable brass cleaner and non abrasive cloth and control the level of colouration and aging you like.   

 

If you really want to make an entrance, the walkway to your front door should be as inviting as the door itself. See below for our favourite ideas of how to achieve this.  

 

posey gentles garden consultant   front-garden-path-posy-2-534x800.jpg

Posey Gentles 

chevron paver.jpg

pinterest 

Paver Path 

Often, we automatically default to tiling a front path but a paver path is great option that can be adjusted to look appropriate for many different house styles. A reclaimed rustic brick would be a great choice for a cottage style property, while a cleaner newer paver adds character to a newer build. Play around with the layout of your pavers; a simple chevron or brick layout looks amazing but more complex layouts and borders designs can add a touch of uniqueness to your walkway. 

Traditional Victorian 

If you love a classic, timeless look to your period property then you can't go wrong with a traditional Victorian designed mosaic tiled path.  You may be lucky enough to have an original that just needs a touch of restoration but if you are starting from scratch, consider adding colour into your design. We love how the blue of the door is picked out in the path. A slick black and white checker effect will work with any door colour - a perfect backdrop! 

london mosaic.JPG

London Mosaic 

a lady in london tiles.JPG

A lady in London 

bert and may.jpg

Bert & May 

anna m stark.jpg

Anna M Stark 

Modern Victorian 

We are very much onboard with reimagining Victorian design and so love the new interpretations of period tiles that are available. Often taking elements from traditional tiling of the age, they are reworked and simplified into a contemporary look and fresher colour palettes - meaning you get all the beauty of period design with a touch more fun. These reworked designs also suit more contemporary properties where a typical period tile might jar. 

Quarry Tiles 

This super hard, impervious paving tile is an excellent choice for high traffic areas. Naturally durable, they were often used for Edwardian hallways and paths. The distinctive red and black square checkerboard layout stands the test of time but we love the colour and texture variations of reclaimed tiles. Mixing shades creates a natural randomness and authentic feel of a path that could easily have been laid 100 years ago. Alternatively, a solid black quarry tile path is a simple and chic option to let your door take centre stage.   

london  garden design     quarry-tiles-victorian-terracota-black-mosaic-path-london.jpg

London Garden Design 

restorian quary tile.jpg

pinterest 

blk gravel.JPG

pinterest 

decorist.jpg

Decorist 

Gravel

Gravel is often seen as a cheap option but we think there is a rustic and natural charm to a gravel pathway which feels very fresh and new. A perfect pathway to show off some great planting, there are many stone colours to choose from depending on the vibe you are looking for. Plain white or black stones can look very clean and sharp while a traditional gravel with brick edging has a romantic country appeal.  Remember that the smaller the stone, the easier it will be to walk on. Worried about your gravel scattering? Try embedding your gravel in resin to keep it in place.  

 

Whether you have green fingers or are a plant novice, there is no denying that some greenery is the perfect way to frame your entrance. And it doesn't need to be hard - pots, planters or window boxes are all you need to bring the colour and texture. There are plenty of easy to care for plants and many that provide colour all year round.     

gardeners world ivy and bulbs.JPG

Gardeners World 

Window Boxes

There's not many things more joyous then a window box. We love a window box stuffed with a mix of evergreen plants for year round greenery, alpine flowers for winter colour and ivy to cascade and soften the look. Tuck some spring bulbs in amongst the plants so you can enjoy those first burst of spring blooms. Choose floral colours that compliment your door colour and you'll look like a gardening pro!    

sweet home style.jpg

Sweet Home Style 

aladyinlondon2.jpg
owen gale.jpg

A lady in London 

Owen Gale 

Climbers 

Climbers are a brilliant way to soften or add interest to your home frontage, making them especially good for adding character to new builds. Many climbers will grow happily in pots as well meaning that you can still enjoy them if you have a paved front garden, Wisteria and Roses are very beautiful but remember that they will be dormant and woody in the winter (and Wisteria take a lot of work to keep it under control!) Avoid damage to your walls by choosing climbers such as Boston ivy and Jasmine. 

Modern Country Style 

Pinterest 

Modern Country Style 

box pinterest.JPG
cddd.jpg
moderncountrystyle2.jpg

Pots & Containers 

When considering the type of planter to choose, you of course want to compliment your house and brickwork. but also consider your interior style and think of your entrance as a snapshot of what to expect inside. If you home is modern and minimal, a contemporary design could work well. Research your plants even if its just reading the labels! If the front of your house gets a lot of sun, Lavender, Crocus's and Verbena will be a dream. Ferns, Hellebore's and Snowdrops are a good bet for a shady spot. Boxwoods are a popular choice for its dense evergreen leaves that can be easily shaped but they do require some sun. Yew and Japanese Holly are alternatives that work in the shade.   

Need more advice? 

We hope you found this guide useful and inspiring for your door project. If you have any questions, queries please get in touch as we'll always be happy to help. 

If you would like more information on installation, try our Installation Guide 

If you would like more information on finishes and aftercare, have a look at our Finishes Guide.

For general questions, try our FAQ's

 

Otherwise, drop us a message at contact@gipsyhillhardware.com