Choosing the perfect front door can be one of the most complex design decisions homeowners will make.
When Barry Moore talks with clients about outfitting a home’s windows and doors, the conversations are typically quick and straightforward. When it comes to picking the front door, however, that’s another story.
“I get to do some very large homes, and I can go through the window-and-door package in an hour to two hours. The front door — that might take a year,” says Moore, general manager with Pella Windows and Doors.
How to outfit the face of a home isn’t a choice most take lightly. It’s often the first flash of design visitors confront in a home, and door style says plenty about those on the other side of it.
“It always surprises me how emotional a front door purchase is. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a million-dollar home or something smaller; it’s always an emotional decision,” says Moore. “People often know what they don’t like more than what they do.”
Trending right now in the world of door design is a resurgence in traditional home styles, as well as contemporary looks: oversized, pivot-style front doors with glass elements, including white glass. Moore says large, solid plank wood doors are an especially “in” look, along with horizontal and vertical doors, featuring panels of wood and glass.
“In order for a door to be up to code, you do have to see through it, but there are creative ways to do that, like having glass on either side,” says Moore. “You have to be able to see who’s on the other side without opening it.”
Pamela Úbeda, architect and principal of Coast + Beam Architecture, says architects share a very particular way they look at doors.
“Doors are all about public and private. Who can see it [the door], and who do you want to see inside it? How much do you show; how much do you keep private?” she says. “The door itself is the threshold and is part of the entry sequence to the home.”
In one particular project Úbeda worked on, the homeowners had a completely private west-facing front, which meant it would be affected by sun and weather, but it didn’t need the shrouding a street view may require. As well, the entryway had to be both durable for a large family and present well for clients visiting this work-from-home setup.
“This project really allowed us to play with texture and light,” Úbeda says. “We created a framed view from inside and outside, but one where you can see though these slats for visual interest. Clutter had to be kept clear in this entryway, and the structure supported that.”