If you stroll through the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, you will soon find yourself dreaming of living there. The Southern city has a charm that just can’t be explained. During a recent visit, I started dreaming of living there, too. And I quickly figured out why.
The front door decor of Charleston homes are uniquely charming and welcoming. Passing by these houses makes you feel like you could knock on the door and be invited in for sweet tea and cookies. And that inspires feelings of moving to the historic waterfront city and being part of a friendly community that is rich with style.
And who doesn’t want that?
Front Door Decor Ideas of Charleston
During a recent visit, I woke up super early one morning to just stroll the historic streets of the city. I wanted to enjoy the charm and the quiet of these residential streets before visitors started coming in and the crowds started growing.
As I walked the Battery area on the waterfront, there were no cars out. The streets were quiet. Shop owners were sweeping their stoops in preparation for the busy day.
At some point, I veered off of Meeting Street as I got close to Ashley River. And I wandered down tiny lanes and ancient streets.
The wind off of the water swirled through the tight streets of downtown. I could actually hear the fountains tinkling in the hidden courtyards of historic homes.
It was magical.
I could really slow down and enjoy what makes these homes so special and so coveted. And I was rewarded with so many design inspirations that I knew I wanted to share with you!
These front door decor ideas are not only for the exterior door, but also the entire entrance, which can include the stairs, railings and porch.
How to Decorate a Southern Style Front Door
While admiring the simple, yet beautiful front doors of Charleston, I soon realized that there was a distinct pattern to creating a stunning front door that made visitors (and tourists) stop in their tracks and stare.
The most beautiful front doors of Charleston aren’t hidden behind large porches, imposing fences, or cluttered with a lot of decorations.
No, it’s the opposite.
The front doors of Charleston that make you stop and stare are simple and well taken care of. They picked a few key items and focused on those.
Homeowners choose simple, elegant, traditional styles that lasts through generations.
A front door and entryway that you love is definitely a part of having a home that makes you smile. When you walk through the door every single day, you should be surrounded by the colors, textures, and style that makes your heart happy.
Here’s how to decorate an entryway to give it curb appeal that will make guests stop and stare!
Use a Bold Color
So many front doors of Charleston, South Carolina are bright and colorful. They remind me of the stylish doors of narrow townhomes in London, where the only way to express your personality is through the color of your front door.
Pick a color that makes you smile inside. Of course, it’s nice if the color complements the color of your home, too!
Black and white are treated as a color on Charleston front doors. Is black and white a color palette that we normally think of? No. But when painted in a high gloss, and when the black or white blends into the overall color scheme, the front doors really pop just like a brightly colored one does.
Stop and stare at the front doors in Charleston for a while and you will start to see that symmetry is a big key to their beauty. Perhaps it’s lighting fixtures on either side of the door. Or pots on either side of the entryway.
You don’t always have to have pairs for symmetry, though. Just visually balance the look of the front door.
For instance, if you have a railing on one side, perhaps put a potted plant on the other side. If your light, handrail, large bush, etc. are all on one side when looking at the front door, then the symmetry is off. Add or readjust things when and how you can.
Use Bold, Decorative Lighting
Big, bold lighting accents are common with the most gorgeous front doors. These entryways don’t have a single, industrial-looking light bulb above the door that casts a cold harsh glow.
Instead, these front doors of Charleston have decorative lighting fixtures that make a statement, and also add a warm glow to the entryway.
Some have just one light fixture, others have a matching set. Whatever you do, choose a proper light fixture that fits your home’s style.
Use Gorgeous Front Door Wreaths
I visited Charleston in early November, just before Thanksgiving. So many of the homes were decorated for the season.
Wreaths are a big part of decorating a front door. They are quick, easy, and require no power tools. It’s one of the quickest ways to dress up a front door – and make that decoration seasonal.
Place a decorative hook on your front door to use with all of the gorgeous wreaths you have during the year. Or you choose an over-the-door wreath hanger that can be put on in seconds and easily removed whenever you want.
Hanging a wreath is about the easiest thing you can do to jazz up your front door and add your personality.
If you want to make your own wreath, check out my tutorials on DIY wreaths for every season.
Add Southern-Style Door Hardware
Even with a simple door and a simple color, you can create a unique entryway with the type of door hardware that you choose.
It’s all about the door handle, door knocker, door number and mail delivery slot.
You can have a plain Jane door and really make it pop just with colorful or stylish door hardware.
I am so in love with all of these beautiful decorative door knockers! For Southern style doors, I highly recommend the pineapple door knocker. It comes in a variety of finishes, and is a recognized symbol of Southern hospitality.
And the Nantucket Basket Door Knocker (in a variety of finishes) is the perfect way to add fresh flowers to your front door.
If you don’t know what color you want to paint yet, no worries. Just start with replacing some of the door hardware with a style that you like. You might find that you figure out the color more easily after choosing the decorative accents that you like.
Keep it Simple
Notice that even with holiday decorations, these Charleston front doors are simple. One potted plant. A few pumpkins. A nice door mat.
(Here’s my favorite place to buy stylish door mats.)
There’s nothing extravagant here. Nothing so over the top that you can’t do it, too. Minimal decor can be stunning.
Maintain Your Front Door
These homes are hundreds of years old. Yet the front doors are well-maintained and obviously well taken care of.
There’s not a lot going on, but what they do have is a clean and well-maintained front door. It is not dingy or weathered. There is no dirt splashed all over the front door. The paint isn’t chipping or flaking off.
If you have a wooden front door, see my easy tips for front door maintenance.
More design tips can be found in this elegant front door transformation on a budget:
Your front door makes a first impression, whether you want it to or not. From the postman to your future in-laws, everyone that comes to your home makes a snap decision about you as soon as they see what the place looks like where you live. So make yourself shine!