How to Choose the Front Door of a House?

How to Choose the Front Door of a House?

As much as walls, ceilings, and furniture pieces define the character and perception of an architectural project, doors play a critical role in building that style. Among all the doors used in houses, the front door is the first tangible element that homeowners and visitors will encounter, acting as the pivotal point where architecture greets the user. After all, first impressions are always important; and the entrance door is certainly one that can set the tone for the rest of the interior. However, choosing the right front door for a contemporary house can be difficult, especially with so many design possibilities. Therefore, before making that decision, it is crucial to know what those possibilities are – and how these can transform the front door into a design statement.

With this in mind, we have defined four major considerations when choosing the entrance door: material, style, color, and size. To help inspire homeowners and architects, we present these through a round up of beautiful modern front doors with a strong and unique character.

Diverse material possibilities

Wood

Selecting the right entrance door often begins by defining the materials that will best complement the architecture of a home. To this day, wood remains the classic choice because of its versatility, timelessness, and warm nature-inspired look. The material can be used in a variety of formats, finishes, and styles; from a rustic ambiance with a raw board, to an elegant look with a sleek wood finish. Even though it naturally expands and contracts with temperature changes, with improved manufacture and routine maintenance, exposed wood front doors are very durable and provide that elegant, yet comforting aesthetic that is unmatched.

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PS House / Guillot Arquitectos. Image © Lizeth Aviles
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Timber House / KÜHNLEIN Architektur. Image Courtesy of KÜHNLEIN Architektur
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Ayvalaan House / Paz Arquitectura. Image © Andrés Asturias
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Three Parts House / Architects EAT. Image © Earl Carter
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Candelaria House / Llano Arquitectos. Image © Alejandro Arango

Glass

When it comes to prioritizing views and light, glass and fiberglass doors are ideal, and they are certainly gaining popularity in contemporary residential entrances. Commonly paired with a steel frame, these illuminate homes with natural sunlight while providing a sleek contemporary look. At the same time, by eliminating the boundary between the outside and inside, they showcase interiors and frame landscapes like a beautiful painting. Besides being durable and easy to clean, glass front doors can also be colored, reflecting, or frosted, responding to privacy concerns while maintaining the passage of light. To ensure security, they can be reinforced with window film, laminated security glass, or polycarbonate glazing shields.

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Holiday Home in Vitznau / alp Architektur Lischer Partner. Image © Roger Frei
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Compact House in Kuramae / Kawakubo Tomoyasu Architects & Associates. Image © Toshihiro Sobajima
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Argo House / Megowan Architectural. Image © Tim Kaye
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Steel Craft House / Zecc Architecten. Image © Stijnstijl Fotografie
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8 Blacks / NRJA. Image © Gatis Rozenfelds

Steel

On the other hand, steel is often known as the most versatile and cost-effective material for entry doors, offering design flexibility and more durability compared to glass and wood. Steel doors neither expand or contract, are resistant to diverse climatic conditions, and insulate better. Even though these can be repainted and mimic other materials with decorative panels, “raw” steel doors with a rust finish (commonly known as Corten steel) can certainly be aesthetically attractive, especially when creating a modern industrial look.

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Vivienda Colectiva Pasaje Cabrer / AFRa. Image © Federico Kulekdjian
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Hackney Backhouse / Guttfield Architecture. Image © Will Scott
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Writer's Retreat / Architectare. Image © Leonardo Finotti
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Studio Sitges / Olson Kundig Architects. Image © Nikolas Koenig

Different types of door-opening motions

Pivot

Apart from their aesthetic value, front doors must allow the efficient movement of people and objects. Beyond the standard single hinged door, there are other innovative door-opening styles to choose from. When it comes to making a statement, pivot front doors are ideal for modern homes. Essentially, a pivot door rotates on a vertical axis, generating a freely rotating canvas that adds interesting movement. These can be made of countless materials – such as marble, glass, or metal – and offer flexibility in height, width and weight. Thus, with innovative hardware and easy installation, a pivot door provides functionality and endless design possibilities while creating an elegant grand entrance.

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House G-S / GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten. Image © Luc Roymans
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Guilhermes Home Studio / Studio Guilherme Torres. Image © Denilson Machado - MCA Estúdio
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Lamble Residence / Smart Design Studio. Image © Sharrin Rees
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Amagansett Dunes / Bates Masi Architects. Image Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

Double

Commonly known as French doors, double entry doors can also create a wide and attractive entrance. Although single entry doors are perfectly functional, there are several benefits of double entry doors to consider. First, they provide a larger access point that can be useful for entertaining or moving large furnishings, giving a sense of welcoming to a larger home and an open feeling for a smaller one. Of course, a bigger space also implies greater exposure to natural light and better views when opened. Because double doors are essentially a pair of single hinged doors that open away from each other, installation is simple and there are countless materials available.

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House of Scenes / FORM | Kouichi Kimura Architects. Image © Yasuhiro Nukamura
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House Overlooking The Sea / Edward Suzuki Associates. Image © Yasuhiro Nukamura
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Casa JA / Filipe Pina + Maria Ines Costa. Image © Joao Morgado

Sliding

Even though they are mostly used as dividers for interior spaces, sliding front doors are a viable alternative. By opening sideways instead of outwards or inwards, these can provide a smooth transition from outdoor to interior spaces and can be especially useful for cramped spaces. Besides their unique appearance, simple motion, and space saving functionality, sliding doors can be very secure and act as efficient insulators thanks to new technologies.

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Casa en Ofuna / LEVEL Architects. Image © Makoto Yoshida
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Terasho House / ALTS Design Office. Image © Kenta Kawamura
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FIKA / ON design partners. Image © Koichi Torimura

Bold colors to add character

Regarding color, front doors tend to show exposed materials or be painted in white, black, or neutral tones. However, adding the right pop of color, whether it’s a low saturated pastel tone or a vibrant shade, is a fun and easy way to make the entry door stand out with a touch of character, personality and playfulness. As long as they are incorporated in a balanced way, bold colors can achieve an appealing modern entrance that transforms the front appearance of a house – and because only a high-quality paint job is required, it is also a cost-effective solution. Thus, color implies a big change, but with little commitment.

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Gabriela House / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo Espinosa
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Plywood House / SMS Arquitectos. Image © Luis Diaz Diaz
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Osthang / Daniel Fagerberg Arkitekter. Image © Peder Sundström
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American Street Houses I / Materiality Office. Image © Greg Benson
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Stinson Beach Lagoon / Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects. Image © Shaun Sullivan
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Bigwood / Olson Kundig. Image © Benjamin Benschneider
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Keyhole House / EASTERN Design Office. Image © Koichi Torimura

Oversized doors to make a statement

The size of a front door is often limited by the home’s door frame, and standard doors don’t tend to exceed 80 inches (or 203 cm) in height. But with architects and homeowners prioritizing large hallways, tall ceilings, and spaciousness in contemporary homes, oversized front doors have become a trend in modern design, dominating the architectural marketplace. Although large doors are a bigger investment, they automatically make homes seem grand, leaving a strong and welcoming first impression. Thus, in order to achieve that modern elegant look, an oversized door could definitely be an ideal addition – and hence must be taken into account when designing the entrance of a contemporary house.

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Casa Roces / Govaert & Vanhoutte architectuurburo. Image © Tim Van de Velde
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Casa Tetris / Massive Order. Image © Nelson Garrido
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Casa Tetris / Massive Order. Image © Nelson Garrido
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Pivoting entrance door / Gavin Maddock. Image Courtesy of FritsJurgens
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Casa Besares / Arquinoma. Image © Pablo Betancourt
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Art Warehouse in Greece / A31 Architecture. Image © Yiannis Hadjiaslanis

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About this author
Cite: Valeria Montjoy. "How to Choose the Front Door of a House?" 04 Jan 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/974423/how-to-choose-the-front-door-of-a-house> ISSN 0719-8884

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