Dress it up
Want a quick makeover? Start with your front door, where you can be adventurous with colour, writes Nathalie Marquez Courtney
They say it takes going away to appreciate home. While meandering around the beautiful city of Lisbon recently, admiring the pretty tiles and pastel facades, I found myself thinking about what postcard-ready vignettes we do well here in Ireland, and, of course, Dublin's gorgeous doors sprang to mind. Is there anything cheerier than a brightly coloured door? Or better yet, two regal Georgian doors next to each other, in complementary hues? I often pass these while strolling along the canal and admire the neighbourliness that resulted in such pretty pairings.
But, of course, I'm not the only one who has fallen in love with Dublin's doors, and there is an Instagram account to prove it. The aptly titled @thedoorsofdublin has more than 28,000 followers, and growing. Curated by Eleanor Costello, locals and tourists alike use the hashtag #thedoorsofdublin to share their favourite door discoveries. "Street scenes in grey, rainy Dublin are made that little bit more friendly by a beautiful, colourful door," says Eleanor. "It brightens the whole facade."
Whether you're lucky enough to own a photo-ready, canal-facing period property or not, more and more people are getting a bit more playful with their own fronts. "If you're house proud, it can be frustrating as there's often so little you can change about an exterior," she says. "But a nicely painted door is a way to show a bit of personality without going overboard."
In terms of colour trends, Instagrammers 'go crazy' when Eleanor posts a pink door. "All brightly coloured doors are popular though," she adds. "People seem to like greens, reds and yellows."
And while we may daydream about a candyfloss-coloured entry, there are practical considerations before opening the paint pot. Colour expert Patricia Wakely, who works with Fleetwood (fleetwood.ie), stresses it is important to consider the finish on your home when selecting a paint colour. "I always try to balance a finish like brick with subtle cooler tones of greens or blues," she explains. Similarly, cooler, contemporary stone finishes can be softened with sweet pastel shades. As you'll end up looking at it daily, it's also worth thinking about what mood you'd like your front door to evoke. "Have a look at similar houses and imagine what kind of mood is reflected and what impression it gives," advises Patricia. "You can't deny that a cheery bright yellow colour will always make you smile, while a blue door will have a more relaxed and calming effect."
Whatever hue you go for, the main thing is to get stuck in and have fun experimenting. "There is nothing to be scared of when changing your front door colour, it simply follows the golden rule of painting - preparation, preparation, preparation," says Patricia. "The cost of repainting a front door is relatively low, yet it can completely change the look of your home."