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Front Entryway Design

Homeowners who are remodeling a home or building a brand new home put a lot of thought into the exterior entryway design. From the shape of the roof to your choice of front door, this single design decision will shape the entire personality of your home's appearance and the style of its curb appeal. Will you go shapely or plain, modern or traditional? Will your front door be a glittering centerpiece or a shadowed inner sanctum?

Not to mention, you're also planning to enjoy your entryway for many years in the future, meaning that it needs to be useful and welcoming as well as visually attractive. Today, we're here to dive right into what makes a great entryway both visually and functionally. From there, we'll explore the types of doors and entryways that work best for different common home floor plans and lot designs.

The Elements of a Good Front Door Entryway

A truly great front entryway is both beautiful and functional. Your entryway defines the appearance of your home, but it also welcomes family and visitors as they arrive and provides shelter as they leave. Let's look into the elements of both beauty and functionality in an entryway.

Beautiful Exterior Entryways

  • Symmetry
    • Like most elements of architecture, your entryway should usually be symmetrical, at least unto itself. Entryways are often to the side of a home, but the roof will peak above the door and the columns of any porch will have a center. The exception is single-slope roofs in some forms of modern architecture.
  • Color¬†
    • The color palette of your entryway naturally needs to match the rest of your home and display some of the family's personality. Color can be achieved through many materials including paint, brick color, and even paving stones.
  • Framing
    • Attractive front entryways frame the door and possibly the entire porch in an appealing manner. This is often done with dormer roofs, brick archways, and larger porch structures that create an attractive frame for the front door at its center.
  • Leading Lines
    • The best way to accent your front entryway is not just with your choice of door, roof, and porch, but also with the landscaping and lines of the property. You want all lines to subtly point toward the front door, beckoning guests inside.¬†
  • Approachability
    • Most entryways also have a warm, welcoming element like hanging lanterns, plants, or decorative door paint that make guests want to come inside.

Useful Exterior Entryways

  • Accessible
    • A beautiful entryway is no use if it's not accessible. Your entryway should feature safe and even steps or a well-designed ramp. It will also need a porch area large enough to comfortably open the door without stepping off the pavement.
  • Shelter
    • Both people and doors benefit from a sheltered entryway. Your family and guests will appreciate having a place out of the rain (or sun) to set down bags, fish for keys, and get inside. Doors also last longer and their paint remains more vivid when protected from the elements by a built-in entryway shelter.
  • Seating
    • From coming home with groceries to watching your kids play in the front yard, there is always a good reason for seating in your exterior entryway design. A practical garden bench is a good choice for comfortable outdoor seating that can double as storage.
  • Discreet Storage
    • Storage is also useful to have in small amounts outdoors. Having somewhere to quickly stow garden tools, yard toys, and hose attachments can save you a lot of time going to fetch or stow things in the future.

Personalized Entryway Design Tips

Knowing the basics is a great place to start. But chances are, you came here for inspiring ideas, not just design priorities. While there's no way we can psychically know the best design for your unique home, we can give some helpful pointers on what works for different types of homes and entryways. Consider what the primary traits of your home entryway are and the best design elements to compliment them.

Your Home Has a Lush Garden

Some homes are designed with a lush garden of flower beds, shrubs, and planters. The garden becomes the primary feature of the home's curb appearance. This can be a warm and welcoming sight, especially when combined with the right door and entryway.

  • Sliding Glass and Trellises

One way to go is to create an open and airy entryway with an airy sliding glass door. The spacious glass design will make the front garden flow elegantly into the interior entryway and enhance the roominess of both. Create shelter for your glass door with attractive trellises so the garden itself can climb up to shade the door and front porch.

Your Home Has a Plain Garden

Thousands of homes have a simple, plain garden because it's easy to do. The landscaping is simply to shape the land and let it grow grass. If you have a plain or relatively simple garden design, your entryway can complement that by making the home more welcoming or even turning the plain garden into a better feature for play.

  • Paneled Door with Columned Porch

For a plain yard, you can make the porch your main event. Rather than relying on plants which need care and pruning, decorate with a columned porch and a traditional paneled wood front door at the center. Then use your porch to store yard toys so that the flat expanse of grass becomes the ideal place for your kids to play soccer or have summer water fights.

Your Home Has a Small Interior Entryway

The inside of your front door is also worth consideration. Homes with a very small interior entryway often deal with cramped spaces when arriving or departing. However, the way you design your exterior can significantly improve the puzzle your floorplan has posed. There are ways to design your entryway to enhance the size of your interior and make the whole entry more inviting.

  • Glass Door with Trellises

You can open up a tiny entryway with a welcoming glass door that will help visually share the outdoor space. A glass door combined with an airy porch or trellis shelter will make your tiny entryway feel much larger while still providing some extra space. Be sure to include benches or even storage to further enhance the expanded utility of your entryway.

Your Front Door Opens Into the Living Room

The opposite floor plan includes homes where the front door opens directly into the living room. There are no walls or spaces differentiating the entryway from the central living space. This can be a warm and open way to live, but it also opens up your living space to the entire front garden if you're not careful. Both in terms of privacy and protection from the elements.

  • High-windowed Door with Sheltered Porch

One way to go is to create your entire entryway on the outside, including visual and physical shelter. A front door with high windows will still provide light appealing design without putting your living room privacy at risk. And a porch that is well sheltered will provide privacy, protection from the elements, and a place to sit or set down bags. Consider pointing the entry to your porch away from the road for additional privacy on approach.

Your Front Door is Tucked in a Corner

Many homes are designed with the front door off to one side, tucked into a side-corner of the house. This makes for a very narrow exterior entryway in most cases and can create a challenge for home builders or those remodeling to redesign the space. Often, the best things you can do are change the front door and the roofing style. But even these changes can make a huge impact. What matters most is what you do with the space.

  • Paneled Door with Sheltered Seating

Doors tucked in corners are lucky because they are easy to shelter and often still make a lovely contrasting statement. A paneled door provides a touch of weight and tradition to the offset door and can be more easily seen from the road. Side-set front door are also great for welcoming guests if designed with garden benches along the side of the house or inside the sheltered porch. This can provide a comfortable place for guests to sit and a convenient place to put out the Halloween candy.

Your Front Door is Front-and-Center

Many homes in Australia are designed with the front door in the dead center of the flat front of the house. With a canvas this blank, it can be difficult to decide what to do with your front entryway as a design upgrade or remodel. The fact of the matter is that with the porch considered, your options are nearly limitless. You can have a plain or showy roof, a wide or narrow porch, or even build a rose arch leading to your front door. But here are two practical attractive choices.

  • Windowed Door with Wide Front Porch

When your front door is the centerpiece of your home, it should have a little flair. Consider a decoratively windowed front door at the center of a wide, welcoming porch. Wide porches are wonderful for social gatherings, safe toddler play, and general warm family time spent in the front garden area. And a wide porch will keep your door in an open centered space to become the decorative and welcoming core.

Choosing the right front door and exterior entryway design is critical when creating the curbside appearance of your home. Whether you are building on fresh land or are remodeling a home to improve its appearance, remember to consider both aesthetic and practical elements to craft your final entry design. For more information about choosing the right door for your home and entryway design, contact us today!

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