Making the perfect first impression

Making the perfect first impression

The door can make or break your house. So, ensuring that you get the right one is of great importance.  Natasha Menezes  helps you pick out the perfect one for your home

Bold, classic, stylised, intimidating or inviting, a front door speaks volumes about the home owner’s character. It’s the front door that brings you to a person’s personal space. 

It is also the first piece that a visitor accesses, and as is common knowledge, first impressions are here to last. So make sure it counts! The look of your front door is dictated by multiple aspects like the exterior structure of the home, splash of pop colours being implemented on the door, texture, shrubs, foliage and door knobs, to name a few.

All these pieces tied together make for the curb appeal of your home. Attention to detail and structural components of your front door should be factored in to enhance its aesthetics value. Being the hallmark of an abode, it is important to ensure that the front door is calibrated to the style of the home.

For ease of understanding, architectural styles can be broadly grouped into four main categories - colonial, victorian, modern or bungalow. Make sure you are well-researched about the different kinds of doors and materials that are available on the market, since all of them are not created equal. 

The most important thing to consider is that it sits evenly against the façade of your home. Take into account factors like the architectural structure of your abode, the exterior wall colours, size and materials so that your door can complement your home. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Colonial style 

Most colonial, Georgian and federal-styled homes in the early eras were made up of solid wooden doors without glass panels. Entrance doors in a colonial-styled home can be combined with a pair of sidelights on either side of the door. Transoms can be an added feature that can be placed above the wooden door, to bring in natural lighting. They can be rectangular, semicircular or semielliptical. 

Victorian style

The middle of the 19th century was marked by a century of industrialisation and ‘more is more’ concept. Starting off with Greek romanticism, this style percolated down to Goth, Italian, Queen Anne and shingle.

Entrance into such homes was earmarked by a porch that clearly differentiated between a public and private setting. Ornaments were generously placed around doors, windows and in-betweens. Houses that celebrate this style are often decorated with etched or stained glass.

Instead of a single door, a two door accompaniment with glass is apt. The glass can be rectangular or oval, can sport an ached top or it can mimic windows. 

Bungalow style 

This era includes the Craftsman and Prairie styles and was trademarked by simple and unadulterated construction techniques. Similar to Victorian-styled homes, houses of this era too have porches as an important component with glass accents thrown in generously.

A popular door that was introduced at one point in this time consisted of six glass panes in the upper portion of the door, where the home owner could view his guests from. The lower portion of the door, on the other hand, consisted of two large vertical wooden panels meant to provide privacy and security. This style is ideal for compact homes with narrow entry halls, as it takes up less space. It is also good for those homes where privacy and security is at risk. 

Modern style 

Modern-styled homes are synonymous with mass manufacturing and production, with an approach to the ‘less is more’ appeal. The flush door was a creation out of this era, where visible rails and stiles were replaced by durable and inexpensive materials. These doors look best in homes that epitomise the modern age. In other words, when it is stretched from the floor to the ceiling, or when adorned with - or sidelights. 

Types on offer

Here are some of the door types that you could consider for your home:

*Hinged doors - The basic styles of doors include a single-hinged door, which is the most commonly used. The room must allow enough space for the hinged door to swing. Interior doors are generally lightweight and compose of two hinges.

They are usually 1-3/8 inches thick in dimension. Exterior doors, on the other hand, are heavyweight and compose of three hinges. They are typically 1-3/4 inches thick in dimension. 

* Panel doors - These are classic. Panel doors, typically, have three to four horizontal rails and three vertical stiles. The gaps between them are filled with thinner panels. Each panel is covered with decorative molding, latter of which is called ‘sticking’.

The resultant look is that of rich textures and hues that can be placed in contemporary as well as traditional settings. 

* Pocket doors - They do not take up any space and are traditionally used in older homes. Pocket doors slide into the walls when fully opened. They allow the doorway to remain open without taking an inch of space.

They are seen to be making a comeback with differentiations in shape and size. When installing a pocket door in your home, make sure you don’t install electrical or plumbing lines within this area. 

* Bi-fold doors - They take up about half the space of a swinging hinged door. A space that is six feet in width or more can easily accommodate a bi-fold door. These can be flush, panelled or louvered. 

* Bypass doors -They are like flush doors and are lightweight. Bypass doors operate a lot like a sliding door, but used very less.

Now that you have decided what material and style to use for your front door, it is time to adorn the rest of your front entrance space. Simple decoration includes green planters, foliage, potted decorations, benches, chairs, tables and lighting.

Besides enhancing the curb appeal of your home, these will also brighten up your mornings, bring cheer into your life as well as delight guests.

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