Architectural Details: the Front Entry

By March 11, 2013Building Ideas

There was a time when all comings and goings were through the front door of a home. In our autocentric culture we regularly miss the opportunity to use the front door, more often than not opting for a side entrance or one from a garage instead.  Still, the front door marks the transition spot from the bustle of the street to the intimacy of a home and can create a welcoming feeling to all who come there. Some recent projects and images from around the web have prompted a few thoughts on how to create an inviting entry space.

A brightly painted door on the home pictured below clearly marks the entrance while the covered porch provides protection from the elements and a small transitional shelter.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

The glass doors and sidelights of this covered porch suggest a graceful entry spot and provide a glimpse of activity inside.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

The glass doors and sidelights of this covered porch suggest a graceful entry spot and provide a glimpse of activity inside.

 

The full-width porch on the house pictured below creates an important visual element of composition while also providing an outdoor room with views to the street.

 

The front door of this mountainside home beckons from a distance. The pathway crosses over a bridge and leads to the front steps which accommodate a grade change. A glass roof covering the porch maximizes light into the home’s entry foyer. Lush plantings and the sounds of the creek below create a sensory experience for visitors to the home.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Trees and planting beds frame a diagonal stone entry approach to a simple but elegant porch on this 1940s brick rambler.

A large sycamore tree anchors the front of the home pictured below. A stone masonry porch and broad door distinctly mark the entrance.

photo by Mark Weinberg

A large sycamore tree anchors the front of the home pictured below. A stone masonry porch and broad door distinctly mark the entrance.

photo by Mark Weinberg

Wide steps, gas lanterns and plantings delineate the formal entry experience to the front door. (Note the visual trick here: the door visible from the steps is not actually the front door, but rather a side door.)

Several elements combine to create a whimsical entry in the photos below: the oversized steel door, a framed eye chart, the George Nakashima bench, and a Downton Abbey-like doorbell that announces the arrival of guests.

 

This beach house project on Puget Sound has no entry at all from the street side.  Instead, a side-entry path with stone pavers leads to the “back” of the house where a front door faces the water, a custom of waterfront houses.

 

 

 

Visit our Welcome Home pinterest board to see more examples of inviting front entries.