Prop­erty News

What colour front door best sells a house? An­nun­ci­ata Wal­ton quizzes the coun­try’s most ex­pe­ri­enced agents

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Edited by An­nun­ci­ata Wal­ton

Ru­pert Law­son John­ston, head of Strutt & Parker Chich­ester

‘First im­pres­sions count and you want to look smarter, cleaner and more invit­ing than your neigh­bours. If your house is of Cotswold yel­low stone, duck-egg blue can be ap­peal­ing. For coun­try cot­tages, soft blues and greens are charm­ing. A darker royal blue can look smart against red brick. For a white façade, a deeper shade of green. If it’s by the sea, how­ever, it’s a mel­low, chalky, duck-egg blue.

My per­sonal choice is a matte from Lit­tle Greene’s Lead Colour range or Ele­phant’s Breath from Far­row & Ball, but greys only work if the door is dressed with a freshly painted crisp-white door frame, green trees ei­ther side and chrome door fur­ni­ture.’

Lind­say Cuthill, head of Sav­ills coun­try depart­ment

‘Pink! No, I’m jok­ing. There prob­a­bly isn’t a stand­out win­ner. Smart black in a Ge­or­gian ter­race in Spi­tal­fields looks just right, like­wise white on the Royal Cres­cent in Bath. The Far­row & Ball Stone col­lec­tion works well in the Cotswolds, al­though I con­fess to pre­fer­ring the Paint Li­brary or Pa­pers and Paints and, al­though not for me, red works with brick houses.

Ex­treme colours only work for the few; or­ange, lime green and pink are all out there, but are not likely to have broad ap­peal. The door to my own house in the coun­try is a dark aubergine.’

Paul Cadge, part­ner, and Sarah Cull, as­so­ciate at My­d­del­ton & Ma­jor

Paul and Sarah, who have worked to­gether for 18 years, have com­pletely dif­fer­ing views. Sarah sug­gests that black or a her­itage shade of sage green can in­stall a sense of con­fi­dence about what lies be­hind the door. Paul be­lieves the colour doesn’t mat­ter a jot, as long as it’s main­tained and clean. Patrick Pa­ton, man­ag­ing part­ner at Ret­tie & Co

‘Par­tic­u­larly in the chilly North, a cheer­ful en­trance is key, so even on the most hor­rid rainy day, you want to go in. Al­though black looks smart and el­e­gant, it’s quite cold. Red makes a prop­erty stand out, but is ag­gres­sive; dark blue is also cold. I’d paint my front door royal green, light blue or, my favourite, yel­low.’

Nigel Cole­brook, di­rec­tor at Bright & Bright

‘Don’t use a pas­tel. Dark colours, such as green, ma­roon and blue (my per­sonal favourite), look more wel­com­ing. Light or bright colours can jar and they show the dirt.’ Jane Sum­mers, se­nior sales ne­go­tia­tor at Marc­hand Petit

‘A fit-for-pur­pose door is al­ways a good sell­ing point. For in­stance, if you live in the High­lands, a Swedish door that opens out­wards will stop snow from en­ter­ing the hall­way, so Nordic colours or wood are good.

In the South Hams, many coastal prop­er­ties sell be­cause of the amaz­ing wa­ter views that be­come ap­par­ent when ei­ther walk­ing through front doors or when leav­ing prop­er­ties over­look­ing the sea. Cur­rently pop­u­lar is a front door with a port­hole in it, usu­ally blue, which adds hu­mour and a coastal feel.’ Nick Chur­ton, chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, May­fair Of­fice

‘A front door is the open­ing state­ment to any prop­erty and colour is as cru­cial as de­sign, but de­pends on the ar­chi­tec­ture and ver­nac­u­lar tra­di­tion. A Cotswold cot­tage may suit an olive green, but the oak of a neigh­bour­ing manor house may be bet­ter left un­painted. A Lon­don town house may be beau­ti­fully set off with a door in teal blue or eau de nil against a red-brick or cream-stucco sur­round. But where would 10, Down­ing Street be with­out its fa­mous gloss-black por­tal? It’s so sub­jec­tive. Get it right and the front el­e­va­tion can be trans­formed. Get it wrong and the whole build­ing and those around it will suf­fer.’ Jeremy Camp­bell-har­ris, head of Lon­don coun­try houses at Hum­berts

‘Each year, new colours come to the mar­ket. Green has al­ways been pop­u­lar as it’s very wel­com­ing. I see more red doors in built-up ar­eas and black is still a firm favourite on the ma­jor­ity of houses across the coun­try.’

Char­lie Wells, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Prime Pur­chase

‘In Lon­don, grey. In the coun­try, cream. For my ul­ti­mate choice, dark blue, as it’s less ob­vi­ous than black. How­ever, good-qual­ity pe­riod brass door fur­ni­ture is the win­ner.’

David King, Winkworth

‘It de­pends on the area and what kind of state­ment you want to make, but a front door should al­ways be wel­com­ing and clean, with

good paint­work or wood stain. At a push, go with French grey.’

Rory O’neil, Carter Jonas

‘Op­ti­mum door colour de­pends on where you are. Town is of­ten a soft grey; coun­try is more blue, reds and greens. Re­gard­less, the paint does have to be Far­row & Ball.’

Michael Don­nelly, di­rec­tor, Ch­effins

‘In Cam­bridge, we have rows and rows of re­cently re­fur­bished Vic­to­rian ter­races; th­ese usu­ally sport a grey or sage-green door. Her­itage blues are pop­u­lar, too. Th­ese need to be shiny, mid­night blues with golden door pulls and let­ter­boxes. Brighter blues are good for smaller prop­er­ties, but grander homes tend to go for a strong navy or mid­night. Too bright a blue can look cheap, so we rec­om­mend stick­ing to a dark tone or a duck egg and keep the fin­ish glossy, which gives an im­pres­sion of lux­ury. Blues can look par­tic­u­larly strik­ing on red­brick Vic­to­rian prop­er­ties, which of­ten have el­e­gant sky­lights or stained-glass win­dows.’ Ed Heaton, founder and man­ag­ing part­ner at Heaton & Part­ners buy­ing agents

‘Black is the only colour to paint your front door. It’s clas­sic, smart, time­less and el­e­gant.’

Saul Emp­son, di­rec­tor of buy­ing agency Har­ing­tons

‘If you live on one of the big es­tates in Lon­don, such as the Grosvenor, your door will be black—that’s the rule. It’s a dif­fer­ent story in Kens­ing­ton, where there’s a dis­tin­guished pal­ette of Far­row & Ball. Move over to Not­ting Hill and it’s all vi­brancy: flamingo-pinks, yel­lows and azure-blues are com­mon­place, which help to set this Lon­don vil­lage alight. My ul­ti­mate choice is Lit­tle Greene’s Mis­ter Yel­low.’

Jonathan Har­ing­ton, founder of Har­ing­tons

‘Front-door colours are not so rel­e­vant in the coun­try­side—it’s very rare to use your front door th­ese days. The large eat-in kitchen/ liv­ing ar­eas so com­mon­place now are usu­ally ac­cessed through the back door. Sell­ers should there­fore con­sider spruc­ing up a back door to set the tone for a suc­cess­ful view­ing. I’m a fan of or­ganic shades, such as Lichen, a muted green from Far­row & Ball.’

Ian Wester­ling, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Hum­berts

‘I’m a tra­di­tion­al­ist. Down Pipe from Far­row & Ball.’ Ru­pert Sweet­ing, head of coun­try-house sales at Knight Frank

‘In town, black or dark-blue doors lend grav­i­tas and stay clean. In the coun­try, a nat­u­ral wood is the best choice as it re­flects the qual­ity of the prop­erty.’

Nicholas Leem­ing, Chair­man Jack­son-stops & Staff

‘As­sum­ing it’s a pe­riod prop­erty, dark blue or dark green, as I think they add class and value—but you could an­noy the neigh­bours by go­ing for Day-glo or­ange!’

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