Think about every home or apartment you’ve lived in. How many of them had white doors? Our guess is most. It’s rare to stumble upon a door that’s been painted in a bold hue, a subtle neutral, or even left in a rich wood stain.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Doors don’t have to be relegated to simply a functional element, there only to let you in and out of a room—they can be so much more. A door can serve as an eye-catching pop of color to draw you into a room or a colorful surprise when you shut it on the other side. It can be the finishing touch when a room feels like something isn’t quite clicking and it can be the perfect space to work in a favorite color.
Here are five design experts on their favorite colors for interior doors and the projects where they’ve said, “no, thank you” to white and instead opted for bold and colorful. And, yes, we did include one designer who has just the right white for those moments when white is right.
Paint it Black, Always
Dominique Gebru, an interior stylist and content creator recently wrapped up a huge home DIY that involved drywall, tile, and, yes, painting her interior doors. She opted for a sleek black that contrasts beautifully with her white walls, colorful book collection, and vintage rugs.
Of the project and her journey in interior door trial and error, Gebru says, “I’ve experimented with a few different colors on the inside of our condo’s front door (mustard, punchy green, white), but none have felt as immediately satisfying as black. I just finished the One Room Challenge in my own home, and I decided to add that same black paint onto all of the interior doors in the space—a total game-changer. My grandma had great taste, and her number one trick was to 'paint it black,' whatever 'it' was."
Gebru's advice: don't shy away from a bold color like black. "Black doors can add bold elegance and make a space look modern," she says. "It’s a classic color for a reason.”
Go Green to Bring in a Sense of Nature
Giana Caputo, the decorator behind Indie Boho Nest, knew that white wouldn’t pop in her bright, white, neutral space, so she went natural with a soothing, warm green.
Caputo says, “I wasn’t sure I was going to go green, and you better believe I got some funny looks from my family and our painter, but I knew when I got that little green swatch and held it up to the door and the floors, it was perfect.”
Once she’d gone green, she couldn’t resist pulling the color into other doors in her home. She adds, “When I put the closet door DIY plans into full swing, I didn’t feel white would pop with all of the other white we already had in there, and black or grey would be too dark or too boring for me. So, I sampled some deep greens and fell in love with this shade.”
Use a Rich Hue to Draw Out the Door as an Architectural Element
A door doesn’t have to be an afterthought. With more than a few striking, saturated doors in her repertoire, Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors advises, “Doors can serve as an eye-catching architectural element in a space. They are the first and last thing you see when you enter a room and deserve special attention. I honor them by incorporating unique silhouettes, painted in a deep, rich hue.”
This alluring peacock blue-green adds a sophisticated sensibility to a farmhouse style dutch door and classic white kitchen, but she’s also used the color in monochromatic spaces where walls, trim, and door are all bathed in this deep hue.
Keep it White to Let the Room Shine
There’s a reason white is what you’ll see in 99% of homes: it’s classic and it lets the rest of a room take center stage. The trick here is, of course, choosing exactly the right shade of white.
Sanda Stojakovic of Design Playbook prefers to ground her bold, vibrant designs with a peaceful Chantilly Lace white. “I really love bold colors and patterns in rooms so I have been keeping doors a neutral white to not take away from the star of the show. However, if it’s a fairly neutral room, I like to use the door in a deep onyx color for some drama.”