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Show Your Front Door a Little Love: Southern Charm to Help Sell Your House

Tuesday, July 3, 2018   /   by Anne Rose

Show Your Front Door a Little Love: Southern Charm to Help Sell Your House

Every list of tips for selling your home includes updating the front door. Showing your front door a little love can help boost your home value and increase buyer-appeal. A great door color and stand-out accents will help make your house the prettiest one on the block. Throw in a dose of Southern charm, and your front door can be a real show-stopper.

Infusing your front door update with charming Southern style may help sell your house. Because the front door is a small space with a huge impact, you can invest a modest amount of money to leverage a big bang. 

Essential updates
Check your front door and hardware with a critical eye. Is your door past its prime? Replace it with a stylish, quality solid core door. Look for interesting features in a new door that work with the architectural style and age of your home: decorative glass patterns, between-the-glass blinds, detailed trim, draft protection. Tired, wobbly door knobs and scuffed locks are not attractive. Go bold and modern with new door hardware, or choose a classic style that exudes historic Southern charm.


1605 Princess Street.jpg


Banish the squeak
If your door has a squeak, a quirky lock, or lackluster doorbell, this is the time to tackle even the most minor of annoyances. Make sure hinges are working properly, and that the key works smoothly, without fumbling. A quick spray of WD40 works wonders. Your deadbolt should be sturdy and effective, but not daunting. You don't want your front door to scream "fortress."

Be creative with paint 
Change the whole tenor of your home's exterior with a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Be bold and choose a color that makes a statement about your personality. Consider colors that might not come to mind first, especially shades of teal, yellow, or purple. Lilac might not be your first inclination, but it can make a lovely statement and goes well with greenery. Think about the visual impact of the colorful ocean-front homes of Kure Beach: these can be great color inspiration. If your street is lined with red doors, make yours a coastal blue. The idea is to stand out with a welcoming statement. You don’t have to paint; old wood doors appreciate a sanding and fresh coat of varnish. 

Add decorative accents
Reinvent your front door with a statement door knocker. Find one that is whimsical or classic, and that matches your general decorating theme. Your front door should hint at what's inside, so if you live with a coastal vibe, add a mermaid, maritime accessories, or seashell door knocker. Traditional homes could incorporate Southern motifs like equestrian items, or pineapples, artichokes, and other botanical elements.

Mix in some green
Use large, matching or complementary containers and ornamental shrubs. Pots should be of high quality, natural materials - this is the place to splurge - and the tones should complement your exterior color scheme. For drama, opt for shrubs that are sculpted and architectural. If you are adding flowering plants, consider Southern favorites like gardenia, hydrangea, and hibiscus. A studiously symmetrical look is traditionally Southern, but a carefully composed grouping of native plants can be charming and unique. Combine tall plants with short varieties, potted in matching planters of varying sizes.

Rethink that wreath
Door wreaths are starting to look a little dated to us, especially if they are too cute or mass-market. If you love a wreath, make sure that it is fresh, seasonally appropriate, and relatively neutral. Look to Southern decorating themes for inspiration. Materials that give a nod to coastal living are good choices: oyster shells or woven grasses. Magnolia blossoms, mimosa, cotton bolls and bundled tobacco leaves are charmingly Southern. Once the sun has faded your wreath and the weather has battered it, swap it out for new door decor. Make sure that the wreath does not interfere with the closing of the storm or screen door, and that it doesn't obscure a peephole. If you love wreaths, try hanging one with very wide ribbon so that the wreath is at the level of the door hardware. Or, go asymmetrical with a wreath that is designed to one side. Instead of one large wreath, a series of small wreaths is a fresh look.

Think about the “over” space
Choose a porch light that accents your door at night and that compliments the style of your home. If you still have the dated fixture from twenty years ago, head to the home store. A fresh light makes a great impression and says, “Come on in.” You don’t have to neglect the space above your door; add a decorative element like vintage ironwork, creative house numbers, or trailing vines like wisteria.


Front doors really can sell houses. A great front door can ooze Southern hospitality, and set your home apart from every other house on the block. A great front door will stand out in potential buyer's minds, too. 

About the photo: Red front door and at 1605 Princess Street, Wilmington NC. Home listed by KBT Realty.

This month KBT Realty is sharing front door inspiration on Instagram. Hop over and let us know which front doors make you want to #comeonin.
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