Ten Amazing Doors
The great potential of the craft and beauty in door construction is on full display with these remarkable portals.
Sponsored by ProVia
As Reid Highley wrote in the pages of Fine Homebuilding in 2012, at its best, an entry door is a condensed reflection of a home’s design, projecting the outward attitude of a house to visitors and passersby. A door can convey an image of formality or playfulness, solidity or lightness, privacy or hospitality. The choices you make about door size, placement, and materials define a personality that sums up the character of the home.
For this reason, entry doors are often placeholders in an architect’s drawings until late in the design process, when the character of the home is more fully developed. The first design decisions for a new door include careful consideration of its size and its location in plan. These choices establish the door’s impact on views, privacy, traffic patterns through the house, and the transition from outdoors to indoors.
With that in mind, please click the slideshow button below to be inspired by ten fine examples of the art.
This beautiful, hand-crafted door encourages a passer-by to stop, put a marble in the door, and watch it roll down the door. What a great concept of adding a playful aspect to a normally, functional part of a house. Everyone needs to stop and play for a moment when you take a break from your computer or when you are on your way to the bathroom! The door is made out of ash and pine and was built by the homeowner, Joel Taplin.
This photo of a Georgian era doorway could serve as a case study of the style. The decorative pilasters, transom above the door with bullseye glass, pediment above the transom with dentil work, and a paneled door produce a clean and elegant entryway to this lovely home in coastal Maine. The Georgian style was the first formal style in American architecture and was used in construction from approximately 1700 to 1800. Many thousands of Georgian houses survive today (primarily in the eastern United States) and are loved by those who appreciate historic architecture.
Inspired by a tight entry hall and his wife’s request for a Dutch door, Chris Arelt designed a two-part front door that’s hinged in the middle. Unlike traditional Dutch doors that open to the side, the top half folds down onto the lower half, a feature that saves space. Wooden latches keep the panel in place when raised. Equipped with a removable screen, the door has weep holes and is fully weatherstripped. The door is made from ipe, the same all-weather wood used for decking.
For more photos, click: A new Dutch door.
Asked to design a fitting repository for a client’s valuable collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, architect Peter Archer went to the source—the fantasy novels that describe the abodes of the diminutive Hobbits.
Like the butterfly window, the cottage’s round 3-inch-thick front door is made of Spanish cedar by cabinetmaker David Thorngate of Newark, Del. Though the round door is used as an entryway, a more conventionally shaped (and discreetly concealed) 3-ft. x 7-ft. door in the back of the cottage conforms to code and, Archer concedes, makes it easier to get in and out. To the right of the round door, an electrical outlet is disguised under a metal box.
For more photos and info, click: Inside the Hobbit House.
After many years as an electrical engineer, Arnim Rodeck was ready for a change. A self-taught woodworker, he found that change, as well as an outlet for artistic expression, while building furniture and a door for his home. Six years ago, he launched Shama Wood, a custom-woodworking business. Since then, he has built and installed more than 50 one-of-a-kind doors for homes and businesses throughout British Columbia.
For more information and photos, click: With Each Door, a Story.
Despite our best training efforts, the family’s golden retriever, Lola, destroyed the kitchen entry door. Whenever someone came to visit, she’d leap up to look out the window, scratching up the wood in the process. As part of a whole-kitchen remodel (“Fit for a Family,” FHB #255 pp. 30-35), a new custom kitchen door with full-height glass in four panels was designed to let in more sunlight and be more accommodating to Lola. The door was crafted by cabinetmaker Jim Picardi. Not only does the new door let more southern light into the kitchen, but Lola no longer needs to put her paws up on the door to see outside. With glass at her eye height, she can watch visitors approach while keeping all paws firmly on the floor. As a bonus, she enjoys sleeping just inside the door on the slate floor, which is often warmed by sunlight coming in through the glass. It’s now her favorite spot in the house.
In converting a garage to a workshop, the old overhead garage door was replaced with a stylish pair of insulated, energy-efficient carriage doors. The doors are built with materials commonly found at a local lumberyard, including TimberStrand LSL studs, birch plywood, meranti, CDX plywood, and polyiso rigid foam. The glazing came from bargain-bin insulated double-glazed units that were disassembled for their glass.
For the full story, click: Dress Up a Garage Door with Insulated Carriage Doors.
The main frame of this unconventional door consists of bookmatched 1/8″ thick flat grained veneers laminated to 1 1/2″ vertical grain cores. Joinery is twin loose tennons. The rabbetted face frame and panel assemblies are overlayed, and the resulting internal cavities are filled with high density foam. Granite inlays in the lock rail reflect the different finish of the Emtek hardware inside and out. All surfaces of this door, with the exception of the face frames and inside curly maple panels, were deeply textured using a wire brush. The casing consists of beaded rough slate, with plinths, threshold, and keystone of flamed granite.
For more photos, click: Front Entry Unit.