Wooden door design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Are wooden doors the best choice?

When choosing doors for your home, you will naturally give some consideration to wooden versions, as they are still, seemingly, the most popular option. Suitable for both interior and exterior doors, wood is a fantastically malleable material and the advantages and disadvantages are as follows:


Wood timelessly beautiful and can be adapted to any style, while retaining natural warmth.

If maintained and treated regularly, they should last a lifetime.

Wood is generally considered to have universal aesthetic appeal.

Wooden doors are easy to personalise, with bespoke carpentry.

These doors have natural insulation capabilities that other styles simply don’t.

Wood is an energy efficient material and, depending on how it is sourced, can also be sustainable and eco-friendly.

Wooden doors can be finished in a huge variety of ways, including being painted, stained or varnished.


Wooden doors will require regular and thorough maintenance, to ensure no rot ever sets in.

Wood will always cost more in terms of interior and exterior door designs, than other options.

Carpenters are specialist tradesmen and can charge a premium for their services.

Which types of wood are suitable for door construction?

Before deciding which wood you want for your doors, it is worth remembering that only certain varieties will actually be suitable for exterior doors. In general, the most popular and reliable wood types are:

Redwood: Extremely durable, solid and able to weather shrinkage and swelling issues well. Finishes are quickly absorbed and it can look as good as new, for years.

Douglas Fir: Easy to work with, beautifully coloured and rot-resistant, this is a far more lightweight wood.

Maple: Available in a myriad of colours, but notoriously hard to work with and prone to insect damage. Better suited to interior doors.

Poplar: Pale in colour and lightweight, this is a more delicate looking wood, but does have resistance to rot and insect damage. Potentially better for interior doors.

Pine: Very soft and easy to work with but with little to no structural strength. Inexpensive to buy and only suitable for interior doors.

Oak: Very durable, solid and heavy, but easy to work with. Extremely good resistance to rot and damage. This is one of the most popular choices for front doors.

What about security doors?

Depending on where you live, or in what style of property, you might want to go one step further with your door designs and consider security installations. These are easy to come by and are most frequently brought to life in the following guises:

Triple protection: A three-way door for entrances, which sees a wooden exterior, sliding middle section and inner screen door.

Rear passage doors: For alleyways that lead down between terrace houses to bisected gardens, a metal, lockable gate and subsequent wooden door is advisable.

Screen doors: An exterior mesh metal screen door that is secured, so that visitors can be assessed before being allowed access to a property.

Caring for wooden doors.

Wooden doors are generally hardy, but in order to get the most out of them and keep them looking beautiful, you will need to care for them specifically. Your interior and exterior doors will need different types of care, but a good general schedule of maintenance will include the following steps:

Remove cobwebs whenever you are tackling general household dusting.

Use washing-up liquid and warm water to remove dirty scuff marks.

Wipe across the top of doorframes, to remove the build-up of grime.

Use wood polish to freshen up natural wood interior doors. Be sure to polish your hardware at the same.

Leave all wooden doors to air dry completely. You might want to turn up the central heating a little bit, if cleaning in winter.

Once a year, top up your finish, whether that means a coat of stain, paint or varnish.

Wooden door styles

There are countless styles of doors to choose from, especially when you consider that there are a variety of interior and exterior designs, each of which can then fall under a specific aesthetic genre. Some of the most popular options include:

Japanese sliding doors




Panel doors

Art Deco

Stable doors