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Home » Should The Door Be Lighter Or Darker Than The Shutters? (Expert Advice)

Should The Door Be Lighter Or Darker Than The Shutters? (Expert Advice)

  • Zak 
should doors be lighter than shutters, should doors be darker than shutters

If you’re like me and love the view of shutters on the exterior of your home, then there’s quite a bit you can learn about how to style and color them in a way that maximizes their appearance. More often than not, doors and shutters are considered the perfect parts of a home’s exterior for accent colors. In other words, they help to add more character and detail to the overall aesthetic of the property. But, you have to be meticulous when choosing a color because it can make or break the flow of the design. This begs the question, should the door be lighter or darker than the shutters?

Ideally, I would advise you to select the same color and shade for both the door and the shutters because it creates a cohesive accent color that blends seamlessly with the primary color of the exterior walls. This is considered fashionable in this day and age and avoids a cluttered or busy palette of colors on the exterior of your home.

But, there are definitely some exceptions to this generalized rule, especially if you want to add more unique design elements.

For instance, some experts would recommend using the same color but a different shade for the door than for the shutters. If the shutters are a dark gray, the door could be a darker charcoal gray. 

This variation in shades creates diversity in design without compromising the tone and scheme of the overall house decor. 

In the case of a home that has a neutral primary color like white or gray, there’s adequate space for you to experiment with different accent colors for different zones of the property without spoiling the appearance. 

For example, the door could be black, while the shutters could be red, green, blue, or similar dark colors.

In my experience, home owners who prefer a sharp and bold exterior should choose darker shades of a color, whereas those who prefer an easy, light, and harmonious look should opt for shades that are closer in tone and lighter in tone.

Ultimately, the most important factor to consider is your personal preference. Some people absolutely adore a minimalistic and simple aesthetic for their home, and so they try to match colors as closely as possible.

Others who are more flashy would enjoy variability and boldness in color choices. 

Popular Colors For Shutters And Doors

should doors be lighter or darker than the shutters

In general, there are a few colors that tend to have worldwide appeal due to their versatility and attractiveness.

When you get a chance, drive through a few neighborhoods and count the number of homes that are painted white, gray, brown, or shades of cream. Apart from those that have a stone or brick finish, what you’ll notice is that the rest of the homes are primarily painted in these four colors!

This makes it a lot easier for us to color coordinate and give broad suggestions for what color doors and accent colors are suitable for most homeowners.


A rich, dark, and natural shade of brown is the perfect door and shutter color for most homes, especially those that fall within the four colors mentioned above. It promotes an earthy, simple, and classic style to the exterior, especially if you opt for unpainted wood for both the door and shutters. Stick with darker tones of brown because they conceal the appearance of dirt and debris more than lighter tones.


As an accent color that magnifies the details of architecture, black is a perfect choice for your home. It perfectly contrasts shades of white and gray and even blends in with natural stone finished exteriors.


These days, gray has become synonymous with modernity in the home decor space. Its cool yet moody tones are classy, and the large variety of them makes it possible to find a shade that works perfectly for most homes. If you’re adding gray to the doors and shutters of a gray home, be sure to choose a shade that is either lighter or darker than the primary color. 


Perhaps the boldest choice on this list is red because of how bright, rich, and uncommon it can be. But it has the potential to add a lot of personality and energy to the decor of any home, especially those that tend to have a neutral primary color. Choose a dark and vibrant shade of red for both the door and shutters. This is bound to make a statement in your neighborhood!


This is the perfect color for both the door and shutters if what you’re looking for is something clean, classy, and light. Against most colors, white stands out non-intrusively while tying all the design elements together. It’s not flashy, but it certainly is bright and inviting. You can’t go wrong with white as an accent color unless the rest of your property is painted white as well. In that case, everything would just bleed into each other, and that would defeat the purpose of having accents and details.

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of this article on whether or not the door should be lighter or darker than the shutters.

Ideally, they should have the same tone if the rest of your property is monotone and neutral. This ensures that there’s a cohesive design with a simple color palette that doesn’t overpower the actual aesthetic appeal of your home.

In some instances, when you are looking to make a splashy statement, you could make the door a darker color than the shutters. In fact, I would go so far as to say that you can use a completely different color for the door than the shutters. 

As long as they complement each other and do not clash with the primary color of the walls, it should look good.

With that being said, I hope you found this article to be useful. If you’d like to learn more about selecting the right colors for your home, be sure to check out some of the informational guides I have linked below before you leave.

Related posts:

Shutter colors for a white house

Should you paint walls before or after installing floors?

What color walls go with grey flooring?


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