Don’t Love Accent Walls? Try Accent Doors

published Dec 23, 2022
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Credit: Lula Poggi

Have you checked out the paint colors of the year yet? They can certainly inspire some dreamy and dramatic paint projects, but sometimes tackling an entire room or wall with a bold new color is a daunting task. For renters, it may not even be an option. Even color block projects like arches or murals can be tricky to map out, measure, and execute. An alternative way to give a room a fresh look — with little more than a sample-sized can of paint — is to consider a statement door.

The concept of statement doors (or accent doors) is nothing new. In colonial or craftsman-style homes, it’s common to see doors kept in their natural wood finish, a statement of its own. (The wood usually extends to the trim, baseboards, and wainscoting, too.) This Minneapolis house uses the warmth of the wood doors and trim throughout the house to a unifying effect. It’s also common to see a bold statement front door on a home, like on this Portland bungalow front door that pops in Sherwin Williams’ Jovial pink.

Credit: Lula Poggi

But colorful painted doors work on both the exterior and interior. In this Barcelona apartment, the homeowners kept the walls a neutral white while adding color to the doors and trim. Inspired by the countryside and the seaside, they chose an organic green that evokes thoughts of seafoam and sage.

When painting doors and trim, you might want to go with a satin or gloss sheen, which can be wiped down and holds up better to scuffs and everyday wear. You might also choose to go with multiple accent colors. A hallway lined with bright bedroom doors is a great way to customize kids’ bedrooms, or to give a hallway a boost of energy, like these Nashville homeowners did in their retro-inspired home.

Remember that colors hold meaning and significance; they can change your mood and emotions as you move throughout the house. Colored doors can also delineate spaces in a home and cue about a room’s purpose or vibe. Consider painting a home office door a color that makes you feel awake, creative, and focused — perhaps yellow. A room meant for relaxing or reading might have a door painted a calming color like green or blue.

If you still find color statement doors intimidating, or you gravitate more toward traditional or modern design, painting your doors and window trim black against neutral walls brings a kind of gravity and geometry to a space. These Detroit homeowners used black window and trim to complement their historic home’s stained-glass and leaded-glass window detail. It feels timeless and grounding.