Q: Our new house faces the street, and we have two doors: the front door and one that goes out from the laundry room to our driveway. We have a nice porch that spans the front of the house, and both doors are under the porch roof. Both doors are painted black with yellow trim, and the rest of the house is dark blue with white trim. Most people like to use our back door more than the front door, but many people think our house is a duplex and knock on both doors. I'll be painting our front door something brighter, but how else can we encourage people to use only our front door?
A: Congratulations on your house. Many features in homes that are designed to be convenient for the occupants also end up being convenient for visitors. Because most people enter the house after pulling the car into the garage or driveway, that door becomes the most frequently used door, and sometimes visitors pick up on that.
To change that behavior, really emphasize your front door. Painting it a different color, as you plan to, is a great start. Depending on your style, warm and spicy colors like paprika reds, cognac, burgundy, pumpkin oranges, and dijon yellow will go nicely with the dark blue. Turquoise, bright citron colors, and emerald green are just as bright, but cooler in tone.
If your front door is brighter than the back door, people will be drawn to it. Add attractive porch lighting, and keep it on during the evenings. If practical, light the front walkway, too. Add some inviting seating on your porch, angling it toward the walkway and the front door. Oversize flower pots, a big mat, and easy-to-read house numbers also make an inviting statement and increase curb appeal.
Adding white holiday lights around your front door or porch and keeping them up all year will also create a more welcoming entryway. You also can find decorative wreaths for year round, too. Or change it up with the season.
Disguise your back door by painting it and the trim the same colors as the rest of your house. But for your own safety and to welcome yourself home, you should have an attractive light at the back door, too. Consider putting it on a motion sensor so it's on only when you need it.