Home design: Welcome with style

A house’s entrance is the first glimpse visitors get, setting the stage for what’s inside.
Last Updated : 29 June 2024, 03:54 IST

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First impressions matter. A house’s entrance is the first glimpse visitors get, setting the stage for what’s inside. Experts offer tips on how you can go beyond the ordinary front doors.

Keep it symmetrical

Saheba Singh, design director at Fab Studio in New Delhi, shares insights from her recent bungalow project in the city. She used imposing columns, matching sculptures, and classic black and white marble flooring symmetrically with respect to the door. The wall-mounted lion sculptures doubled as water features, and the columns lent a majestic look.

Choose the right door

The key is to make your main door look imposing. You can go either with a grand double door or a sizable single door. “If you have space, go for a large double door (a door with two panels that meet in the middle). Avoid a double door with slim panels just for the sake of having a double door — this won’t make a statement,” explains Saheba.

Consider adding a broad architrave, that is, a decorative frame around a door. “A wide architrave enhances the door’s stature compared to the standard narrow margin,” she adds.

Style preference

There are two schools of thought. “One is to match the door’s design with the overall architecture and interior style of your home,” notes Saheba. For example, if your apartment boasts a neutral colour (like beige, white, and light pastels), choose an entrance door in the same scheme. This lends a cohesive look. It is ideal for those who prefer a seamless and calming aesthetic throughout
the house.

But if you want to surprise your guests, create a contrasting colour scheme. “Imagine a large charcoal grey door with a brass knocker,”
she explains.

Crossover designs

If you don’t mind experimenting, Ashok Chajjer, chairman and director at Arihant Superstructures, Navi Mumbai, suggests a fusion of styles. He drew inspiration from Persian and Mughal palaces to build a majestic entrance for a residential tower project. “The design incorporates intricate carvings, white marble inlays, multi-coloured glass, and jali work. It blends traditional elements like Mughal garden-inspired fountains with modern features, such as an energy-efficient glass door,” he shares.

Personalised decor

“Large entrances can be enhanced with artwork or sculptures while smaller spaces can make do with personalised touches like engraved metal windchimes,” notes Saheba. You can also add planters, welcome signs, and doormats with personalised messages.

In a new home project in Bengaluru, Deepthi C B, landscape architect and founder of Dharitri Landscape, added a koi pond with stepping stones next to the door.

Build curiosity

The bigger the entrance, the more you can do in terms of design. “You can build curiosity about a house if you have a spacious entrance with ample setback (space between the entrance gate and the home),” says Deepthi.

She gives the example of a project she did in Chikkamagaluru. She created an illusion that the driveway and front gate are floating on water. The entrance has a water body full of large river pebbles. The driveway and the compound wall are studded with lights, which give way to sliding gates that open slowly.

Then comes a lush green cobble-lined path, winding around the coffee estate. For at least five minutes, the visitor is engrossed in the leafy surroundings with no house or garden in sight. “Then, gradually, the house starts to emerge, creating a breathtaking moment,” she shares. Deepthi is currently working on a Bengaluru project where the entrance creates an illusion that the house is floating on water.

Sensorial experience

According to George E Ramapuram, managing director of Earthitects, Bengaluru, plan a layout that takes visitors on a sensorial journey. “Ensure the entrance opens to a naturally lit and airy foyer, creating a seamless transition from outdoors to indoors,” he says. In a recent project in Wayanad, he has integrated nature and the timeless charm of ancestral homes and grand forts. He used materials like teakwood and rough stone.

Add pit stops 

They suggest adding gathering spots at the entrance for a welcoming ambience.

Pallavi Pashine, founder and principal architect of Salankar Pashine & Associates, Nagpur, speaks about her recent work — an entrance for a three-tier lake-facing farmhouse. At the lowest tier, there’s a sunken party space complete with a mini bar and a pool. The middle tier boasts a landscaped lawn adorned with sculptures and sofas. “The upper deck offers yet another party area with sweeping views,” she explains.

Ease the ascent

Architect and co-founder of Pallavi’s firm, Anurag Pashine, emphasises creating an inviting entryway. “The stairway shouldn’t feel like a climb,” he insists. His solution? Incorporating a “green landing”. That is add a green patch next to the stairway. You can also add lights to the steps. When all other lights on the premises are switched off, the steps will look like they are floating.

Design challenges

•Lack of space. For example, creating a majestic look on a narrow plot is not easy to pull off.
•Conflicting family perspective on what kind of an entrance looks ‘inviting’.

Wallet factor

Set aside Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per sq ft.

Published 29 June 2024, 03:54 IST

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