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Warm Welcome: Curb Appeal Ideas for Everyone

Knock, knock! The arrival of spring is a great time to take a fresh look at your front-door area. We’ve gathered our favorite decorative accents, styling tips, and color palettes to increase your home’s curb appeal -- and help the outside look as good as the inside.

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Photography by: Annie Schlechter
<p>To complete this country-inspired entry, we hung a planter filled with begonias, sweet-potato vines, and coleus, and added a chalkboard for writing messages to guests. Large mail slot, $75, and frog doorstop, $35, <a href="http://rejuvenation.com" target="_blank">rejuvenation.com</a>. Walnut Hollow Basswood Country Round, 5" to 7", from $7, <a href="http://michaels.com" target="_blank">michaels.com</a>.</p>

1. Country

“Before you decorate the exterior of your house, you need to consider its architectural style and color palette,” says MSL decorating director Kevin Sharkey. For instance, to temper the chartreuse door of a shingled cottage, he and home editor Lorna Aragon kept everything else neutral. They also made sure to up the charm factor: “Adding personal touches, like a chalkboard or bench, is key when creating a country vibe,” says Kevin.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Fresh and Fun

This palette is echoed in the colors of the hanging plants.

 

Paint (door), in 2073-10 Dark Purple, benjaminmoore.com.
Paint (house), by Ralph Lauren, in Saltaire, homedepot.com.
Paint (accent), in SK21, finepaintsofeurope.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Oil-rubbed bronze lends informal charm.

Good Lock

A handle makes a stronger visual statement than a doorknob.

 

Hawthorne single-cylinder handle set with Juno Knob featuring Smart-Key, by Kwikset, in Venetian Bronze, $135, homedepot.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Barn Beautiful

“It’s clean and unfussy,” says Lorna of the Factory Modern #4 sconce.

 

$159, schoolhouseelectric.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Basic Black

Dark numbers against a light color are easy to spot.

 

Flush-mount metal numbers, by the Hillman Group, $4 each, homedepot.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Soft Landing

Martha loves this understated and ultra-durable rope mat.

 

From $34, capecoddoormats.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Anchors Aweigh!

“This aged iron knocker would be perfect for a lake home in the country,” says Lorna.

 

Anchor door knocker, $20, shopterrain.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner
High-gloss paint and a covered porch can help protect wooden furniture from the elements.

Rest Easy

This bench comes unfinished, so you can paint it any color.

 

Enfield Shaker-Meetinghouse bench kit, $480, shakerworkshops.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Shelf Help

A corbel can add architectural interest to the wall.

 

Fretted corbel, by Martha Stewart Living, in Sharkey Gray, $404, homedepot.com.

2. Traditional

Most older houses are painted in a muted palette. “Planters are an easy and impermanent way to bring life and color to a traditional home,” says Kevin. Plus, they offer year-round delights: Depending on the season, you can plant flowers, shrubs, or small trees in them.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Sharp and Sophisticated

Nothing’s more classic than a white house with a black door.

 

Paint (door), in 25-17 Black, prattandlambert.com.
Paint (house), in 967 Cloud White, benjaminmoore.com.
Paint (accent), by Behr, in 490D-6 Thermal Spring, homedepot.com.

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Photography by: Courtesy of Manufacturer
This strip of brass is striking against a black door.

Turn Style

If you want to highlight a metal, choose a lockset with a plate.

 

Doorknob (#11433), in Polished Brass, omniaindustries.com.

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Pendant Jewelry

The blue on the interior adds a subtle hit of color.

 

Hamilton light fixture, by Michael Amato, in Hewn Brass, urbanelectricco.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Well Rounded

“This brass knocker lends instant formality,” says Lorna.

 

Classic ring door knocker, $85, rejuvenation.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Touch of Class

“The metals you choose should all be the same color,” says Kevin.

 

Estate-style house numbers, in Polished Brass, $20 each, baldwinhardware.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Growing Trend

This Versailles planter was inspired by the ones used in Louis XIV’s Orangerie.

 

In Jade, from $495, frontgate.com.

3. Modern

“Don’t underestimate the impact of the slightest design gesture,” says Kevin -- particularly when it comes to modern homes, which tend to have clean lines that highlight every detail. For example, spend time choosing the house numbers: “It’s amazing how they can transform a house.”

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Bold and Beautiful

“The pop of red feels very ‘modern art’ to me,” says Kevin.

 

Paint (door), in Dix Blue No. 82, us.farrow-ball.com.
Paint (house), in SW7018 Dovetail, sherwinwilliams.com.
Paint (ccent), in 1323 Currant Red, benjaminmoore.com.

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A nickel finish suits modern spaces.

A Cool Grip

This set is forged and polished by hand.

 

Atlanta entrance trim, in Polished Nickel, $550, baldwinhardware.com.

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Photography by: Courtesy of Manufacturer

Light Box

The translucent glass gives off a soft light.

 

Union Filament milk-glass narrow sconce, in Polished Nickel, $259, restorationhardware.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Stick Figures

A modern home calls for sleek lines.

 

Elevated nickel numbers, 5", $6 each, homedepot.com.

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Angle of Repose

Made of recycled plastic, this chair is a clever update on a classic design.

 

Adirondack chair, in Red, $450, dwr.com.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Sole Mate

“A great alternative or supplement to a doormat,” says Lorna.

 

Wooden foot scraper, $145, rejuvenation.com.

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