Though rooflines define the character of a house, it’s the front door that captures attention. As one of the first elements guests notice, the front door makes a powerful statement, and sets the tone for the rest of the house.
While front doors can be showstoppers, it’s important to ensure they don’t completely steal the show and diminish architectural design. Instead, doors should match and complement the style. For example, an arched door constructed from reclaimed wood set vertically on a log home adds interest to the entryway, while still blending in. Similarly, an arched, smoothly finished wooden door contrasts rough exterior stone, yet still “fits” the overall design.
Local firm Beck Building has worked on a plethora of local projects, from ultra-traditional to downright fanciful to cleanly contemporary. One particularly whimsical project embraced a bit of a hobbit feel, with its warped-looking rooftop and wooden shack shingles set above exterior stone. Yet, the finished circular-looking door, and clean and smooth stone frame around it, added a sophisticated appearance, which communicated to guests something to the effect of, “Though I may look whimsical, I am actually a very intentional home.” Of course, the circular door was simply an illusion; the Beck team set a rectangular door into matching rounded, finished wood — and by placing the doorknob smack, dab in the middle of the circle, a unique entryway was born.
On the inside
While front doors wow guests, homeowners shouldn’t forget to carefully consider their secondary entrance, which they use on a more regular basis, as well as interior doors. After all, a home should elicit pleasure from homeowners just as much as it inspires visitors.
Many Vail Valley homeowners, architects and designers incorporate unique doors throughout the home. They frame the space as well as signal what’s next. Interesting interior doors can open into bedrooms, bathrooms, theater rooms, kids’ playrooms, or adult rec rooms.
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While interior bedroom and bathroom doors often match on both sides, doors for more recreational areas allow designers to match the walls on both sides by finishing each side of the door differently. This kind of split finishing can, for example, match wooden paneling in a rec room, as well as a clean finish in a hallway area, on the opposite side.
Arched doors, often with oversized metal strappings, create an enchanting, yet substantial, feel — and can be used inside or out. Reclaimed barn doors on large rollers also set a tone and have become extremely popular. Plus, they fill large entrance voids, such as a rec room, perfectly. The more rustic element of barn doors can even complement today’s mountain modern trend.
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When it comes to doors, metal and wood combine nicely. Many homeowners employ large, false, strap hinges where the smaller, functional hinges fit into the door. A more historical hinge comes in the form of a strap of metal bolted above a barn door to open and close it. And, a softer use of metal might involve the silhouette of tree branches fashioned from metal and placed upon a frosted glass door, framed in finished wood.
Reclaimed steel, from buildings in large cities like Chicago and New York, also make unique doors that even the best manufacturers couldn’t mimic properly. There is a massive drive for reused materials, ranging from oak flooring in old railroad cars to wood from old ships.
Any door, exterior or interior, becomes an element to bring a sense of wonder, adornment and surprise to a home, so when choosing doors, look beyond the functional, into the fun, refined and captivating.
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