Metro-East Living

Colorful and unique doorways add personality to homes, buildings

Friends Stan Stark and Toni Togias chose the paint colors for the doors on their side-by-side condos (and another neighbor’s) on East B Street in Belleville. They didn’t realize yellow, green and black were the official colors of the city, Stan said.
Friends Stan Stark and Toni Togias chose the paint colors for the doors on their side-by-side condos (and another neighbor’s) on East B Street in Belleville. They didn’t realize yellow, green and black were the official colors of the city, Stan said. sboyle@bnd.com

A door on a home, or a public place, can leave a lasting impression. Even if you only see it once.

Such was the case on a trip to London and Guernsey, a Channel Island of about 30-square miles that is tied to the United Kingdom but geographically closer to France.

Unique doorways were plentiful in busy London and surprising around bending paths in hilly Guernsey. Some were glossy and brightly painted and shouted “Look at me!” Others were carved and sedate. There were squat ones and tall curvy ones.

They were easy to photograph, marking a point in a walk to a rail station, a castle or a country museum.

Returning home to Belleville, I was still thinking of doors and asked readers what they liked about theirs.

Stan Stark’s standout door was on of a three-unit condo building on B Street where he lived from 2005 until this year. The rehabbed 1870s building has drawn attention since it was painted about two years ago because of its door colors.

When Stan and neighbor Toni Togias, who still lives in the triplex, picked out colors to repaint the three doorways, they chose yellow with black trim for the doors and jade green, yellow and black, with some white trim for contrast, for the inset panels on either side of the doorways.

Someone else did the painting and then friends began to point something out to Stan.

“We had no idea they were the colors of Belleville,” said Stan on Wednesday. “I didn’t even know Belleville had a flag.” He does now.

Lauren and Erik Huber, of Belleville, have a neat 1950s brick ranch that now has a turquoise front door, thanks in part to a neighbor who painted his black and white.

Lauren got inspired and decided their white door needed some pizazz, too.

“We’d picked black shutters (for the windows), so we thought turquoise would be good with them,” she said.

Erik painted the door over the Labor Day weekend: two coats of exterior semi-gloss Holiday Turquoise paint from Sherwin-Williams.

Lauren had a tip for any DIY-ers: “Buy the samples and make sure the color looks like you want it during the day and at night.”

She liked the idea of painting an older home with more modern colors.

Plus, “It's an easy DIY project that can add a fun and updated element to your home.”

For fall, she added a wreath special-ordered online to include a capital “H.”

Daughter Tess, who will be 3 in less than two weeks, knows the letter stands for her last name. She grabbed two of her tiny princess dolls and headed out barefoot to get her photo taken in front of the “pretty door.”

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