This post is brought to you by Kwikset.

spring flower planters

Are you a front door or a back door house?

A front door house is a little fancier.  There’s usually a living room right off the entry that’s clean most of the time because no one really ever eats Captain Crunch in there.

A back door house is a little more all about coming on in and having sweet tea.  There’s usually a recycling bin and some bikes stacked up and Christmas wreaths that have to be put up in the attic you have to wade through to get to the entry way.

If you had to choose, which one would it be?

Which door is your house?

front door spring

Our house growing up was a back door house.

No one ever used the front door except the UPS man and a few random people who didn’t know any better.

I don’t ever think we locked it and it didn’t have a door bell.


It didn’t need to.

It had this old screen door that creaked and banged really loud whenever some stopped by.

There were five kids and all of our various roller skates and bikes and skateboards and left-over paint and styrofoam from when we created the nine planets in two days collected by that back door.

Generations and generations of stuff took up residence and never left.

spring front door

I would walk by that door with all of its paraphernalia as a teenager and roll my eyes and kick a skateboard out of the way and tell myself that when I grew up I would never, ever, ever have a back door house.

Too many lopsided bikes.

Too many creaking and slamming screen doors.

Too many moments of keeping it real.


Not for me.

front porch side view

I was going to have a fancy house with a fancy front door where people knocked politely and I opened the door wearing a super cute outfit with banana bread baking in the oven.

And now I have it.

A fancy front door that is.

There are planters with roses and wooden boxes full of flowers and a painted runner and an old church pew fill of black and white pillows and the prettiest metal spheres flanking the front porch in black urns.

spring front door with planters

Meet my fancy front door.


Except hat no one really ever uses except the UPS man and a few random people who don’t know any better.

Because really?

We’re a back door house.

And I wear yoga pants and messy buns and paint splatters most of the time.

And almost never bake banana bread.

So if you stop by to say hello, be sure to use the back door.

And watch out for all those planets. 🙂

door handle set

PS  This spring door decorating and flowers and tales of back and front door decorating was brought to you by my new front door handle provided by Kwikset.

You can see door handles and so much more over at their website here.

There are so many things I love about it, including the finish, styling and security.

But my favorite thing about this front door handle?  The thing that makes me smile and bring out the sweet tea and sigh?

It matches the one on the back door….

….and they both open with the same key. 🙂

disclosure:  this post was written in partnership with Kwikset.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Terri Terri

    Front porch is amazing!! Just gorgeous!!! New door handle and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lolol.... and of course you are back door kind of "Peeps" !! Anybody can see that!!!!lolol... Would love to be knocking on your back door on this gorgeous Friday morning!!!!! Banana Bread and hot coffee please!???!!! Have a "Fabulous" weekend !!!!!!

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I'm back door person with Yoo Hoo, anybody home type call and an additional I brought you something -- attached to the you hoo. Your door hardware is gorgeous -- your house whispered to me that it totally approved. You know, I grew up in a place where nobody locked their front door or their back door. *sigh* I wish we still lived in that kind of place. Your outdoors looks stunning -- I'd better get to working on ours. Have a great weekend. Hugs!

  3. Image for Susie Susie

    I just love your front porch,especially the way it curves around. I grew up in a back door house and live in one to this day. Wouldn't have it any other way. My kids are all grown so it's a little neater but once in a while my grandchildren leave cars and Legos for me to find! And I don't mind a bit!

  4. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Exactly! You took me back to the doors to every home and made me reflect. Don't we all discard items near the door we use to enter and exit more often??!! The area we use less has less now have to blog the planet solution! And that front entryway...fabulous! Makes me want to just sit on that wonderful pew and enjoy the view...*sigh*... until the UPS man arrives and interrupts the solitude!! Happy Friday, friend!

  5. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Love your from porch. I have one that The UPS man uses, too. I prefer my backdoor and the patio that it leads to. In fact the other day, I was on the patio and a friend stopped by, She knocked and knocked and knocked...then she came through the gate to the backyard! She said, "I finally remembered, that your are always out back!"

  6. Image for liz liz

    Love you front porch, it is beautifully decorated and so welcoming! Our front porch is tiny, just a landing really. Everyone comes in through the front even dogs! Our back door goes directly into the family room (which is not very functional)

  7. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    My front door isn't as pretty as yours. Mostly because I don't have a porch! Not even an overhanging cover....sigh. But we never use it anyway, except from the inside to let the morning light from the East brighten up the living room. When somebody does knock on that door, we know without a doubt it's someone who doesn't know us! Our back door leads right into the laundry room with it's half bath, and then into the kitchen....with two mini-doxies that call that laundry room their private quarters, you can imagine how pristine it is.....NOT. But at our house, what you see is what you get. LOL Love your pretty porch, Miz karianne....I'm glad you finally got the one of your dreams! ;)

  8. Image for sandi angel sandi angel

    When I came here years ago (before it was MY home), there was a side door (back door for this purpose). I live on a farm and everyone but everyone uses the door either through the garage or beside the garage when visiting others. Only strangers use the 'Front' door. Well, so it was--friends came to my side door which opened to a utility room and directly into the kitchen. And than the house was remodeled and my 'Side' door now opens to a garage which I always keep locked. People will pound on that door and I either won't hear them--or I'll peek out the living room window and point to the front of the house. Also on that side of the house is another door that goes to the basement and only contains my water softener and my heater and people will pound and pound on that door also and I wind up pointing to the front again. Now I have a 'Front' door (with doorbell and everything) but people who are friends (people I know) go from the front door directly to the kitchen through the middle room. So I am a back door person with a front door house. From the kitchen we can walk through a sliding door onto a large deck and an Audubon sanctioned bird habitat. Confusing I'm sure!!!

    1. Image for sandi angel sandi angel

      I had a senior moment and said my garden was sanctioned by Audubon--NOT--It's sanctioned by National Wildlife as a backyard habitat!!!

  9. Image for Kristen Kristen

    I'd love to sit awhile on the front porch. Whenever I see a wonderfully decorated front porch, I wonder if the house is wind protected or maybe no wind?

  10. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Love all the black and white on your rarely-used front porch and that the earns of fresh flowers and greenery (love the wreath!) get to take center stage. And that awesome painted rug! Years and years and years ago I saw that done to a drop cloth by Matt and Sherrie(sp?) in Room by Room. Ever since then, I've wanted to do that. I'll bet the once-in-while UPS driver really appreciates the ensemble! But I know exactly what you mean about having a back door house. We always knew it was either bad news or a stranger if someone rang the front door bell.

  11. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love your front entry-so beautiful! I am a backdoor person, who decorates both the front and back entry. Best of both worlds. Love everything you do- and love the new door handles!

  12. Image for Michelle Mortensen Michelle Mortensen

    It all looks lovely. True story, I used to work for the Santa Monica Police Department in Crime Prevention before I had children. I would often go to the homes and apartments of victims of burglaries. Almost always, they had some terrible lock that was easily broken. I wasn't sponsored - but I often recommended Kwikset because they make such good locks! Best & Bisous, Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

  13. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    HI KariAnne, When we bought our 1892 fixer-upper, there was only one door. So we added a second door...which "I" called the new Front door. It was the door that opened into the living room. The other door came into the kitchen, and while it had a beautiful sunburst porch off it, "I" always called it the back door. My hubby was just the opposite...he called the new door the back door and the door with the pretty porch off it, the front door. We've been in our house for 12 years now and still to this day, he'll say, "Someone's at the back door" and I'll run to the front door. Or he'll say, leave the back door open, and I'll say, "You mean the front door?" I've told him several times, "I bet if you asked 100 people which door do you think is the front door, 99% of them of them would guess the door I choose." But he thinks those 99 people are mistaken... *sigh* Love your doors... both of them! Gotta go...UPS is at my "front" door... :o) (A box from my sister is here!) Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Image for Colleen Colleen

    By default we're a front door house because we have dogs and a fence around our house so the back door is not accessible. I love our front door and and porch with white rocking chairs so I'm okay with that and most of all I love to hang flower baskets and decorate the porch for the seasons.

  15. Image for Patricia Patricia

    The UPS guy just rang my doorbell this morning. Which made me notice all the darn pollen covering everything. UGH! Sneeze. UGH! I love the Black Orbs in your planters. Did you make those? And how do you keep them from rolling, rolling, rolling?

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Hi Patricia! I bought them at a local shop called Trees 'n Trends. Here's the link to see if they will sell online: Happy Day! karianne

  16. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Nice! I guess our city house is a front door'd have to go through the back yard (greeted by two big, enthusiastic dogs). But the farmhouse? It's a thru the garage, kitchen door house. :-) Past paint, outdoor shoes, and more. I like it! Here's to informal. (Doesn't keep us from fancying up our front doors though, does it?) Have a happy weekend!

  17. Image for Cindy Jones Cindy Jones

    I looking forward each morning to reading your blog for a great story and the beautiful photos. You never fail to pull me into the setting, feeling the mood and then you bring to a close with a happy ending even if you do catch the ball with the wrong hand. Loved that story. We have the back door/front door dilemma too. We live on a lake and our front door faces the lake. But when you pull up to the house you have to know to go down one flight of stone steps, down the deck on the side of the house and then turn again and walk halfway down that deck to find the front door that faces the lake. Consequently almost everyone pulls up to the garage and goes down a flight of steps into the mudroom and then the kitchen. As soon as you open the door into the kitchen you get an eyeful of our beautiful lake. Living at the lake for 33 years has been such a blessing. In my book it doesn't matter which door you use, just come on in and enjoy God's creation.

  18. Image for Rosemary Rosemary

    I love our front door - it is red and cheerful and distinctive on the street. It is very pretty in the summer, when it's flanked by urns of red geraniums! I just spotted your honeycomb wall in the Frogtape ad in HGTV magazine! It looks great - congratulations!

  19. Image for Peggy Peggy

    What a beautiful porch! I would be on the sofa every night sipping my tea and watching the birds. Our little farmhouse has only a back door just as it was in the 1800's. A place to carry the produce right into the kitchen. And we fit that comfy, casual style. There may be a pot of geraniums to brighten the back door.

  20. Image for jae jae

    Our back door opens into the garage, so most people use the front door, which is ok because we have a big front porch with a swing and rockers and shelter......and ferns and impatiens. I have a horrible case of wreath-envy, those magnolias are "tres southern chic, honey" and would love to know if you made or bought it and if so, where? Please please please share......thanks for another enjoyable post. I grew up back door. Front was locked to keep people out, back was open so friends, family, neighbors could come in. Different times......

  21. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Girl, HOW DO YOU DO IT???? First off, WHERE did you get the spheres? And you can have roses blooming already??? The idea of the various balls all around is GORGEOUS!!! You never fail to inspire. It is a PIA for people to come around my house to the back door, EXCEPY in the warm months. We live out back so everyone comes around and uses the back door. "Bach door friends are best"!!!

  22. Image for Chris Chris

    You know the shiplap joke on the show "Fixer Upper"? My obsession is French doors! If there's a window space wide enough, it becomes French doors! I love bringing in the outdoors and lots of natural light. I don't just want to open a window, I want to open the entire wall space and be able to walk thru it. So there are lots of doors to choose from when someone comes over and they are usually opened wide, even on a rainy day (luckily I live in a warm climate). I always thought it made the house sad if no one ever uses the dining room or the front door, so I usually pick houses where I can move the main front entrance to the side, add a porch and a mudroom (with a door to close off any messes) next to it. So it can be formal and functional, like a front door with a back door attitude. Same with unused dining rooms, adding French doors that open to a garden patio with a fountain and soft lighting, makes it a spot that everyone wants to use day or night. The only draw back is cleaning all those French door windows! I'm a "use the good china dishes with pizza, and wear pearls with jeans" kind of girl.

  23. Image for Patty Marker Patty Marker

    We are a side door house for sure. The drive way is right of the side of the house so we never use the front door. Even neighbors and friends will come knocking that way and I love it. I don't love that you hit the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes first but I do like the friendliness of it.

  24. Image for Donnie Donnie

    I noticed the handle before you even mentioned the sponsor! So would love to have door handle with a thumb latch - I think that's what it is called. Just beautiful. We are front door people, because if you came in through the garage you might get lost in all the "fun" stuff stored there and we would never find you! But truly, if you ever came to visit, you could use whatever door you wanted to and I would be standing there with sweet tea waiting for you to step inside.

  25. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Love! That shiny door...swoon! I have a total front door house but we are ridiculously un-fancy. We are a front door house where beach sand is tracked in and backpacks clutter the foyer and a basket filled with flip flops invites visitors to just kick off their shoes and relax.

  26. Image for Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross

    I'm a front door AND a back (well really side) door person. I wanted the fancy front door with the nice entry to decorate, and I got it. And you're right' it came with the fancy living room, painted pink with silk drapes. My husband grew up in a house with a living room that was only lived in once a year. I didn't want that kind of house so suggested we turn it into a game room, but to him it's a man cave. LOL. We installed oak floors and a pub rail, painted, brought in a pool table, table and chairs, and hung artwork. Now it's a space family and friends see when they walk in the door. Oh, except our best friends...they use the side door.

  27. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    I have a friend who painted a sign to hang next to her back door that says, "Back door friends are best." Cute! I like the idea in theory. But, I was raised by a conservative father, who didn't especially appreciate the friendly, open-door policy, of my mother's family culture. Besides his starchy influence, I live in a huge city, where crime is a real threat and a I've chosen to live in a patio home, with a big brick wall surrounding my home. The wrought iron gate prevents people from even approaching my front door. The back door is really just a fire access off of the master bedroom. So, everything and everyone comes in through the front door, which opens into a very small foyer. In that space I have a coat rack, a small table, and a bench, but likely as not, on any given day, you may also see my husband's tool box, a pair of shoes, or, as is the case today, a foam ice chest (left over from Easter). I think it is a front door that functions as a back door...once you've actually been invited in. But you, KariAnne, are always welcome!

  28. Image for Leslie Leslie

    We were definitely a backdoor family growing up, and our front door had that same squeaky screen to it. It was a beautiful cape cod, and I miss the large rooms and that front porch. We're forced into being front door people these days by living in an unfortunate split-foyer/raised ranch.

  29. Image for PJ PJ

    Sometime in the evolution of our old farmhouse, which we have owned for two years now, the "true" front door disappeared. I think it existed off the kitchen where my husband now has his computer nook. As much as I would love a real front door, it would likely never be used. Everyone comes through the mudroom which has one door to the front driveway and another to the backyard. I am coveting your beautiful porch and hope that someday my side porch can be as lovely.

  30. Image for holly holly

    OK- I confess I am a woman with a problem....I love wreaths. Can you tell me more about where / how you got that beautifully simple wreath and the happy day sentiment? So many thanks......hb

  31. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    I have a beautiful Victorian-esque front door with fancy glass insets. No body but total strangers and the UPS man uses it either. Few people even use my back door. Everyone that knows us enters straight into my kitchen via the garage, most of the time. However, having seen YOUR gorgeous back porch, I bet most people can't tell the difference!!

  32. Image for Nikki Gwin Nikki Gwin

    I have always been a front door person. I use the back door when I am home all day on Saturday of course, but I LIKE for people (and myself) to see and know where to enter my house and I don't like front doors that are not used. I say all that, but I actually park in the garage which is the basement to our house so on weekdays I use the basement door. LOL I see that your church pew is painted black! I just painted mine white and I am liking it so far. My brick is dark red and the pews were also dark red and they just blended in. I may consider going black one day though because yours look fabulous. :)

  33. Image for Kelly Davis Kelly Davis

    Our house has a front door that is flanked by ferns and a long porch with rocking chairs. Always decorated somewhat, but I just had this very conversation with my 17 year old daughter over the weekend. We decorate the door that is never used, and the side door is barren, so I am working on sprucing it up! We have another door on the front of our house, closer to the garage, that enters directly into the kitchen by way of the laundry room. It is always filled with leashed and at least one pair of shoes. This door, that everyone actually enters (no knocking), is what my husband calls a "friendship door", and I love it:-) Occasionally my Mom will use the front door, even ringing the bell, just so we can laugh about our foyer and use it for change; otherwise, only first time visitors and the UPS man even acknowledge the front door, and we are fine with that:-)

  34. Image for Laura Laura

    I love the idea of a front door/back door house. We are such back door people that when the front doorbell rings we ask, "Now who in the world can that be?" Thank goodness our homes fit our personalities! Thank you for sharing this at our party Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Have a wonderful weekend! Laura White Spray Paint

  35. Image for Julie Julie

    It's all just so pretty! We have a posh front door that no one uses (except the post man) and a side door which is where we all leave our shoes/bags/stuff! I did try to pretty up the front door last year with two smart pot plants but sadly one has not made it through the winter. I was wondering how I'm going to find another matching one now but yours are not a perfect match so I'm feeling inspired that a close enough replacement will work ok - thanks!

  36. Image for Maria Maria

    Beautiful! Kari Anne! When I was growing up, we had a back door house too. It was lovely and so much more convenient for my mom and my sister and me. Thanks so much for sharing another glimpse at your beautiful home on #shinebloghop

  37. Image for Laura Ingalls Gunn Laura Ingalls Gunn

    The planters are so very pretty and the new door handle is perfection! Your post is such a happy addition to Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Thank you SO much for sharing the joy. Have a wonderful weekend!

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