Make an entrance – how your front door can change your home

5 years ago
3 minutes

The entrance door is an important part of the design and feel of your new home. You interact with it several times a day, it makes a statement to visitors about you and where you live, and it closes off the world outside, making you feel safe and secure and ‘home’. 

Choosing the front door is just one of many decisions you need to make when buying a house and land package, but it is an important one. Your builder will most likely have a range of impressive styles to consider and, if none of them suit, you can probably arrange for a door from an outside supplier to be used.

There is a massive range of doors to choose from and, if you are considering something beyond the standard dimensions and standard hinged operation, the range becomes almost unlimited.

Panelled doors

We tend to think of classic panelled doors as being a style from the Victorian era, but doors made with panels were found in Pompeii. They have been enduringly popular because the construction is strong and it allows the wood to move with changes in the atmosphere without warping. The six-panel door apparently originated in the 1700s as an expression of Christian faith. The top four panels represent the cross; the bottom two panels represent an open Bible.

This style lends itself to bright colours in glossy paint – an option that immediately says “this place is elegant”. Go wild. A strong colour adds drama. It’s a statement of individuality and takes up such a small area that if you don’t like the outcome, it’s easily changed. Red is a classic, glossy black is a favourite for regency, Georgian and English-style homes and soft blues and greys are perfect for the Hamptons style.

Contemporary designs

Contemporary doors are available in an incredible array of designs, mostly with frosted glass inserts against a solid background. Choose the design to complement the shape and look of your house. There are doors with strong vertical elements, horizontal panes, curves and abstract shapes.

If your home has an art deco vibe, you can safely go for one of the more elaborate designs – perhaps with a curve of glass or a combination of large and small panes. Coastal style? How about something light and open with a lot of glazing and a fresh sandy colour or the soft grey-blue of beach-side plants.

Window panels

Doors with large glazed areas, usually opaque, bring light and warmth into the entry. It’s a welcoming design and some of the classic styles, for example, a pane of glass with a curved top filling the top third of the door, have an informal and homey vibe.


Wood is the traditional choice for doors and offers a classic look and feel. It is hardwearing but requires regular painting or varnishing to keep its good looks. Wood can be an expensive option compared to other materials. 

Composite doors can be made of a mix of materials, such as fibreboard (a reconstituted wood panel product), reinforced uPVC (a flexible plastic) and steel for a heavy industrial look. Composite doors are affordable and available in a wide variety of designs. 

Fibreglass entry doors are moulded to the shape of classic wood doors. They wear well and are particularly suited for regions where the climate is harsh. Likewise, powder coated aluminium doors are low-maintenance and stand up well to harsh weather. 

So, have some fun, find the perfect front door for your home, and let your visitors know a little bit about who you are before they even set foot across the threshold.

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