Lily Dittschlag & Dennis Dittschlag
CHOOSING THE FRONT DOOR
One of the easiest ways to boost your home's curb appeal is to pick a front door. While it's important to think about energy efficiency, especially in a Passive House door, you don't necessarily have to trade function for style. You can definitely have both! By choosing the right color, style, and hardware, you can customize your door to your taste.
Often, it's easy to overlook the color of the front door because it blends in with the exterior of the house. This isn't a bad thing if you prefer to err on the neutral side. In fact, in our current house, the front door is a dark brown finish with wood grains that matches the window frames. The deep brown door creates a timeless and sophisticated look. When it came to selecting a front door for our new house, we initially contemplated the same neutral color. But we decided to be more adventurous and consider the possibilities of bolder and more daring colors such as red, blue, green, and yellow.
A red front door sounds eye-catching but when we sampled the color next to the crimson red brick of the new house, the red door actually looked muted. There is too much red on red for the door to stand out. When we walked around the neighborhood to look at other doors, we found that unless the exterior of the house is white, the red door didn't pop enough.
Similarly, a blue front door is too dark to be noticeable unless it contrasted with a white exterior or at least white framing. Because of this, we ruled out blue pretty quickly. But it is nonetheless not a bad option if you're looking for something a little different.
A green front door might seem like a vibrant color on its own but when considering the surroundings that consist of a green lawn and green shrubs, the green door blends in with the landscaping.
Lastly, we considered the brightest color imaginable, yellow. This was initially met with hesitation. We wanted something bold, but perhaps it was too bold. But after speaking with a friend who just had a yellow front door installed and seeing the end product, yellow was absolutely stunning. It has just the right amount of pop we are looking for. Considering that our front door is north facing and is slightly tucked in, the door is in the shade most of the time. But with yellow, the color is still noticeable driving along the roadside. Yellow was the winner and was what we decided on as we like the bright and cheerful look in contrast to the conservative finishes on the rest of the house.
But if there is a specific must-have color you really want, most door manufacturers allow you to pick a custom color by selecting the RAL code of your choice.
Besides color, the style of the front door was also something to consider. We knew with our modern house, we needed a front door that matched the architectural style. A flat slab door is the most basic option that fit the modern look. But from there, there are countless other details to choose from. Whether you can want to add in a window, or several small windows in a row either vertically or horizontally is completely up to you. For us, we wanted something that maximizes the amount of light coming into the house while still maintaining privacy. In the end, we decided on a rectangular narrow window down the center of the door with a frosted glass finish. This way, we still have the desired amount of light and there was still enough surface area of yellow on the door to be visible from afar.
Now that we have decided on the door, the last piece of the puzzle is to choose the right door hardware. We normally don't think much of a doorknob, but choosing the right hardware can really accentuate the overall look. There are three main types of door hardware to choose from: pull handles, doorknobs and lever handles. The most common are knobs and levers. But for us, the circular look of the knob did not fit into our clean lines look. Levers weren't a bad option but looked a little generic. We went with a pull handle because the long, vertical, metallic handle accentuated the yellow door with its vertical window and completed the modern look.
There you have it...
Who knew there were so many options for selecting a front door. We have just picked the main options that were relevant for our decision, but there are many more details to consider, such as:
the material of the door (wood, steel, fiberglass, or aluminum)
transoms or side windows if space allows them, and possibly decorative glass
the trim details around the door
smart home equipment installed with your door
Whatever door you choose, from bright colors to window or no window, to the type of doorknob, it can all be customized to suit your preference.
Our tips: Keep the style of your home in mind and scope out samples in your neighborhood and online before making your choice!
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