Whether you refer to them as half doors, double-hung doors, or stable doors, there's just something irresistible about an exterior Dutch door. As the name suggests, Dutch doors originated in the Netherlands in the 17th century where they were used in barns to keep animals from roaming freely while allowing fresh air to circulate. Dutch settlers brought them to the U.S. and they were quickly embraced for that same ingenuity — keeping unwanted pets, debris, and dirt out, while facilitating neighborly interactions and allowing fresh air and sunlight to filter in.
Not familiar with Dutch doors? They're essentially a single door that's been split into two parts— an upper and lower section — each of which can be opened independently of the other. Although the bottom half is generally a solid piece of wood, the upper portion can be constructed with windows, depending on how much light and visibility you want. Additionally, Dutch doors exude historic charm and are an ideal match for country homes — but make no mistake, they can also be used effectively in modern abodes, too.
However, keep in mind that it's difficult to install screens with them; so you'll be opening up your home to insects and other tiny critters. They're also a hazard to fingers, which can get pinched between the two door halves. Ouch! Those considerations aside, there's no denying that exterior Dutch doors are big on curb appeal and are a beautiful way to enhance an indoor/outdoor connection.
Have we piqued your interest yet? Check out the following exterior Dutch door ideas to see how you can incorporate them into your own home.
1. Go au naturel.
Exterior Dutch doors are oftentimes seen in vibrant, bold colors, but we think the natural beauty of wood is just as impactful. Let Design Shop Interiors show you how it's done with a traditional style door showcasing window inserts. Pair with charcoal gray board and batten siding for a sleek, modern look with rustic undertones.
2. Consider a tonal pairing.
Enhance the drama of a dark-painted home with an equally saturated entry. Designer Raili Clasen went with a tonal look for this shingled bungalow, painting the exterior in a moody shade of gray and the Dutch door in matte black. An unvarnished split fence, brick-paved walkway, and plenty of greenery add balance, contrast, and warmth.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black Exterior Paint
3. Better make it a double.
What could be better than a single exterior Dutch door? A pair of them, of course! Lundev Custom Homes created a welcoming entrance with a double dose of arched front doors in bright turquoise, which adds a playful tropical vibe.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Calypso
4. Choose a muted palette.
If you're looking to make a statement with your exterior Dutch door, but want something more subtle than black, gray is a no-fail choice. It offers a bit of contrast, and is still sophisticated and timeless. Shea from Studio McGee topped off this farmhouse entry with a bluestone-paved threshold, a trio of galvanized pots, and an all-weather doormat.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Cobblestone Path
5. Sing the blues.
Take a traditional porch to the next level by pairing tongue and groove siding with an exterior Dutch door, featuring a single-paned window above and X-paneled detailing below. Mindy Gayer amped up the al fresco appeal of this doorway by painting it Robin's egg blue, and then completed the look with a set of cement planters and a single contemporary sconce.
Get the look: Magnolia Winter Solstice Exterior Paint
6. Opt for black and white.
Take notes from Jenny Komenda of Juniper Home and pair a black exterior Dutch door with black and white walls for a classic color combo that works with any design style. She gives the porch an endearing makeover with a goose-neck sconce, weathered bench, and terra cotta wall planters.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Off-Black
7. Emphasize details.
Make a real visual impact with your exterior Dutch door by opting for an intricately patterned glass window pane, and then pair it with a lower half that features simple, yet charming decorative trim. Emphasize the unique details with a punchy hue, like the vibrant shade of orange that John Wooden Interiors selected for this doorway. Temper the bold color with white walls and natural accessories.
Get the look: Pratt & Lambert Poppy Petal
8. Welcome purple.
Add depth and character to a Dutch door with a tongue and groove face, metal rivet details, and a coat of regal purple. Kate Falconer used corrugated steel walls to enhance the industrial feel of this home's exterior, and to introduce another layer of texture while simple accessories complete the coastal aesthetic.