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Professional Chat: Front Doors Hold Key to Great Style

I have come across many homes where a individual’s welcome mat stands out more than the door. That is definitely not the case with those carved, painted and arched doorway layouts. Inspired by Parisian vacations, damask fabric, geometry and much more, these are one-of-kind doors that provide people a proper greeting. Do you need your front door to make a statement? Get inspired by these professionals.

Gabberts Design Studio

Be motivated by your journeys. “My inspiration for this carved front door came out of my journeys in Paris,” states Marie Meko of Gabberts Design Studio. “I truly enjoy walking the streets of town because I get so energized and motivated by everything I see. One of the fantastic hidden treasures are all the sumptuous and still personal Left Bank residences. Among the most memorable things for me is that the unbelievable wooden doors which line the streets. They are intricately carved and beautifully comprehensive, and make you to find out what is on the opposite side.”

Allison Cosmos

Go for a graphic appearance. “This has been a remarkably common doorway,” says Allison Cosmos of The Art & Design of Alison Cosmos. “The layout was motivated by a damask pattern on a sheet of fabric. I just appreciated it so it had more of a graphic appearance. The white paint is gloss, and the coral shade is semigloss. By ignoring the panels on the door it gives it a more modern appearance.”

Michael Fullen Design Group

Create geometry your buddy. “We established our design for this doorway on squares and rectangles,” states Michael Fullen of Fullen Design Group. “The driveway is divided in a similar way, so it made sense to incorporate these shapes to the entrance. They are also a repeating element throughout the house.”

He adds, “When the sun hits this side of the house in the late afternoon, it casts a distinct pattern throughout the entrance floor.”

Silva Studios Architecture

Investigate a pivot and slide. “This door is solid walnut and was hand constructed onsite by a carpenter to my specification,” states Mark Silva of Silva Studios Architecture. “Plugs on the edge of the doorway cover threaded-steel sticks that run through the laminated boards of walnut to hold it together, and result in a good door that operates with pivot hardware.”

Silva Studios Architecture

Here’s an alternative view of the exact same doorway by Mark Silva. “A large part of the thought was to create something which became one with the arrangement by integrating the radius of the Kalwall skylight above,” he states. “The aluminum strips tie in with the aluminum fascia”

Noel Cross+Architects

Bigger might be better. “It really makes a stunning first impression, not only for the beauty of the materials, but for the simplicity of the design and its relationship to the whole — a fairly large house with a rather large perspective,” says Noel Cross of Noel Cross+Architects.

“Originally the front door was a rather normal dimensions, with sidelights on either side and transoms overhead,” he states. “But once we began to finalize the order, I took a chance and asked the owners if they would consider one large pivot door because the first idea began to look too cut fussy.”

They settled on a “huge” doorway — 80 inches wide by 120 inches tall by 31/2 inches thick. It was constructed from solid sapele mahogany with bronze accents and installed on a pivot hinge which can be opened with a single finger. “In this circumstance,” says Cross, “proportions required the bigger doorway, and it was the right thing to do.”

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Insert personality with age. “This doorway is a fantastic illustration of customer alliance,” states Hugh Randolph of Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects. “The homeowner was also the builder, and his wife is a designer with a fantastic sense of style. She discovered the door at a salvaged door shop in Gonzales, Texas, about an hour from Austin.”

He adds, “The Gothic arched door became the inspiration for the inside arches in the entrance hall into the adjoining rooms. And the simple fact that it is an old doorway adds greatly to the character of the house.”

H&H Design

Organic Modern Doors

Use antiques in new ways. “The Chinese screens within this doorway are from Beijing, my client’s hometown,” says Amber Hobbs of H&H Design. “She wanted to incorporate Chinese antiques to the home, and I wanted to see her screens featured in a sudden format rather than just hanging them from a wall. The screens duplicate an extremely old way of separating space while sharing natural light, yet in a modern setting.”

Tali Hardonag Architect

Brighten the entrance. “This doorway was chosen to complement a Craftsman-style house,” says architect Tali Hardonag. “The paneled glass at the top part over a little shelf with dentils is quite typical of this design, as is the broad casing round the doorway. The arched overhang was made to allow more exposure to daylight, which brightens up the entry hall inside.”

Tali Hardonag Architect

Establish the tone for what follows. Here’s another custom-built design by Tali Hardonag. The opening was slightly oversized to get a 3-foot, 6-inch from 7-foot doorway. Different wood species have been implemented to a slab door, and the design of this overlapping inverted L shapes is integrated in different areas in the house, for example, fireplace surround, the gate handles and the baseboard details.

“I added sidelights that pick up the doorway layout,” states Hardonag, “and the homeowners’ children colored in prints of their sidelights — that’s the way we picked the colours for the glass.”

Ruth Richards, Allied ASID

Hang on to first details. This older Tudor dwelling in Essex Fells, New Jersey, is used as a summer residence by a New York couple. “The architectural details, such as this front doorway, are quite beautiful and comprise many Arts and Crafts moldings and light fittings which are original to the house,” states Ruth Richards of Ruth Richards Interiors.

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