How to Design an Entry Sequence
The entry to a home is best considered as a sequence that begins at the point where you arrive on your property. A good design carefully choreographs each step of your arrival, whether by car or on foot. The approach to a traditional residence might focus on the formality and grandeur of the house, leading you past tidy gardens to a parking court on axis with an ornately detailed door. By contrast, the entry to a vacation home in the mountains might encourage you to wander through a wooded setting before depositing you at a rustic door sheltered beneath a deep overhang. In either scenario, the entry door serves as the final step in your progression home, marking the threshold at which you transition from your public life to your private one. Here are some examples to follow when creating an appropriate entry sequence for five common house styles.
A traditional house is designed using the classical orders, which provide a system of rules that emphasize organization and balance. The entry sequence of these homes is similarly regimented and further underscores the formal nature of traditional houses. The approach to the house shown here arrives on axis with the entry door. The driveway terminates at a parking court that extends across the front of the house. The plantings are simple and formal, with sculpted topiaries and orderly planting beds.
Victorian houses are not demure; they highlight the playfulness and exuberance of their era. Beginning at an ornamental iron fence, a brick path leads across a well-kept lawn to the porch of this Victorian home. Planter urns and vibrantly colorful flowers are grouped at the house’s foundation, a fitting complement to the showy millwork. The porch provides visitors an opportunity to pause, relax, and be seen.
The Craftsman style attempted to reconnect buildings with nature, countering the cold architecture of the Industrial Revolution. The approach to this Craftsman bungalow is informal and follows a meandering gravel path among informal planting beds. Decorative planters greet visitors at the steps of the simple front porch. Every element of the entry sequence feels natural and unforced, a fitting reflection of the casual personality of the Craftsman style.
The approach to this modern home is crisply detailed with precise edges and distinct material transitions. Tidy plantings flank a series of oversize concrete stepping stones leading to a tiered entry porch. The graphic composition of the entry blends seamlessly with the modern architecture of the house.
A tiled courtyard and fountain are the focus of the entry to this Southwest-style home. In dry climates where opportunities for gardening are limited, hardscapes are the norm. Earthtone colors and textures predominate. Accent tiles and a few carefully chosen plants bring a splash of color to this manmade oasis. The entry to the home is set beneath an arched overhang, providing a respite from the intense sun before continuing inside.
Illustrations: Jim Compton.