The Front Entrance is a great place to make a grand statement. It’s the first piece of your house that your visitors see and it gives them the best greeting to your home and what the inside will be like. It sets the style and tone for the interior. In saying that you can still have a front entrance that is smaller and welcoming to any family, friends or visitors.
There are so many different effects to think about for your entrance, such as the type of front door you use, will you have a side light or an oversized door, what product do you want for the soffit and cladding, how much lighting to you want, what sort of plants and do you want your entrance to come off the driveway or do you want it to have its own walkway. Every little decisions matters when you are designing an entrance that stands out.
Front Doors – There are three main doors that are used; aluminium, glass and cedar. Aluminium doors are the most common, with these doors you can get different designs for layouts of grooves or you can have it flat, which seems to be the most common style now. Glass doors are really cool because you can get clear or frosted glass, these types of doors are great if you have something opposite the door that will look stunning like a feature piece of artwork or an amazing view to the country side or the ocean. Think of the view you will see from the outside of the house looking in, what will the impact be for the visitor. Cedar doors are being seen more often, they look stunning when used with a mixture of cladding products, but they do require a bit more maintenance.
If you have a large foyer area inside that has a high stud it can be nice to have a large oversized front door or even a double door. Opening the space out creates a grand entrance for visitors. Door handles are also a big impact for the door. Gone are the days of the standard door handle, you can now have long pull handles or even touch key pads which are really handy if you are always forgetting or losing your keys.
Soffits – For entrances that are larger and are sloped or raked, cedar or grooved boards are a great option to make it more distinctive to the space. Having a painted smooth soffit is another option, whether this is the common white or changing it up and adding colour such as black, it adds more detail to something that can normally be plain.
Cladding – This relates back to my Exterior Cladding post, there are so many options that can be used. But because the front entrance is a smaller space it is nice to give it a point of difference. Looking at the front entrance of your home, seeing a space that is amazing or nice and simple can be a point of difference from the other houses on the street. Different cladding finishes can stand out in different ways with great results.
Lighting – This helps with enhancing your entrance at night, having a soft glow creates an interesting place to go that is full of warmth and comfort. You don’t want too many bright lights as it overpowers the house, and you can make it feel like a Christmas Tree at night. Keeping it simple with a couple of lights in the front entry so visitors or homeowners can see what they are doing or highlight some special features at the front of the house. Sometimes the simplest lighting on a home is the best.
Plants – Having some beautiful plants close to the Front Entrance is always lovely, it breaks up the cladding and aluminium and adds the softness of the greenery and flowers. Even if you put bark or stones in the garden it can change the look.
Surfaces – Whether you want concrete, decking or tiles this all creates that full entry look. Most homes have the entrance coming from the driveway but there are ways where you can make it a little different by having a step up from the driveway level to the entry level or changing from concrete to deck. You could also put a board or sleeper to define the two areas. If you are lucky and your house is designed so the front door doesn’t look into your driveway you can have a separate walkway from the footpath up to your Front Entrance.
Overall focus on what you want your front entrance to look like and feel like, thinking about everything from the cladding to the door finish, even the handle can add impact to the look.