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Design dilemma: should your external doors match or not?

There isn’t a strict answer to the dilemma of matching or contrasting your front door with other external doors but there are a few things to consider when making door decisions.

When you have more than one door on the same elevation, the front door should always stand out, so visitors know where to head. The front door should be bigger and more impressive, which can be achieved through finish, design and size.  

You don’t have to match the doors in colour and finish. For instance, you could have the front door in hardwood and the secondary door in the same colour as the windows. (Image: Creekwood) Looking at our examples, however, most clients choose the same finish but different designs for their external doors. If both your doors have the same finish, make sure your front door has a bigger and/or different handle and larger sidelights to make it stand out

Your decision may also depend on how close the doors are to each other. For example, at the luxury Birch Grove development in Chalfont St Giles, one of the properties features a utility door on the same frame as the front door. The doors match but size negates any possible confusion for visitors

When making your decision about doors, remember:

  • Size matters - the front door should always be wider and taller than other external doors.
  • Large sidelights can help identify the front door.
  • Different design and size of handles is a good differentiator. Usually, side or utility doors have a lever handle rather than a pull handle, often chosen for on front doors.
  • Side and back doors often have glazing in the door itself as they are usually a single door, which helps identify them as a side door. If the back door is visible through the house, it’s a good idea to opt for the same finish. 
  • Doors on another elevation don’t have to match if they aren’t seen from inside the house and choosing something simple can be a good way of reducing costs.  We would recommend matching such a door to the colour of the windows to make sure there aren’t too many finishes.

More door inspiration

To match or not to match - check out these articles for more ideas on matching doors in your home.