Tim Sadlon, a North Carolina-based builder, says most of his mountain-home-seeking clients desire custom entry doors made of oak or reclaimed barn wood stained naturally. However, he has noticed a few more requesting paint colors instead of stain. This summer, in fact, he painted the door of a majestic “cabin” Benjamin Moore’s taupe-hued “Woodcliff Lake.”

But even a taupe is playing it safe as far as exterior trend-watching goes. Gone are the days of just conservative black, brown or the occasional red as only choices for front doors. Homeowners are interested in cheery, first-impression colors such as golden or bright yellow, dark inky or denim blue, grayish-purple or even pumpkin (i.e. orange), touts June’s House Beautiful. A paint color, sometimes in a high gloss, grants otherwise staid styles sidewalk appeal.

HGTV.com agrees, showcasing green and blue-green in its “13 Favorite Front Door Colors.” Practically the whole gamut of greens is doable on doors. Blue-green connotes a tropical or contemporary feel and is ideal to dress up a white cottage or Mediterranean, stucco-style home. Dark green conveys sophistication and pairs well with Georgian brick architecture, while a soft, natural green is friendly on just about any style of front door.

The key is contrast. Consider a color like coral — maybe that sounds like a bit much for an entryway. But the hue is a statement-maker against white or pale gray, for example. Colors such as vermillion or lemon yellow set off bright or deep grayish-blues.

If the only drastic measure you are able to muster is red, Southern Living suggests an all-American red, a color that invokes “Coca-Cola (the original, not the diet version), the American flag, a great picnic-table gingham and other all-American notions.” A lighter tomato or rich barn are also popular front door reds.