Front doors create the first and final impression of a home.

Boiled down, the basic function of a front door is to allow entrance and egress, but there is so much to consider when designing an entryway and selecting a door. Doors are symbols of welcome: “come inside and I will show hospitality.” Like an introduction in music, they suggest the colors, décor and furnishings that can be found inside. They are a bridge from the outside in, uniting the exterior and interior experiences. And doors are practical; they provide security and keep unpleasant weather outside.

In the opening photograph, the glass door is a continuation of this Wisconsin lakeside home’s window wall. The glass unites outdoors and indoors, and the sense of continuation is furthered by the wooden ceiling that extends outside to the covered porch. (Gigaplex Architects, Hank Louis, Park City)

This mid-century modern home similarly continues the ceiling outside into the entry. Since it is in an urban setting versus the natural privacy of the lakeside home, the architect (Eduard Drieir) built three-quarter walls to each side of the entry and installed solid wood double doors. (Home restoration by Living Home, Salt Lake City)

Another approach to front entry privacy in an urban setting is this entry courtyard. Behind where I stood with the camera is a wall that shields the glassed front entry from streetside. Entry courtyards have a long tradition in Spanish and Moroccan designs and adapt well to lifestyles in the Western United States. The door is glass framed by steel with lights (the term used for windows to the side of the door) on each side, and the view into the home is partially blocked by frosted lines in the glass. The ample glass allows plenty of daylight and unites the interior and exterior. The entry is canopied the projecting roof for shade and weather protection, combining to make the entry courtyard a pleasant space for outdoor living that connects well with the home’s living space. (Built by Upland Development, Holladay)

This Park City home has a courtyard style entry with a welcoming fireplace and a pergola leading to a covered entry. The courtyard provides spill-over space for parties. The floor-to ceiling wooden pivot door has heavy hardware that maintains the proportions of the design. To the left, the light allows a glimpse through the home to the dramatic views enjoyed by the entertainment space at rear. (Architecture by Upwall Design, Salt Lake City)

Color makes the difference in this new saltbox-inspired Salt Lake home. The steel and paned-glass door follows the proportions of the windows. The projecting cover and the bright red color of the door frame and door draws the eye to the entry. (Architecture by Renovation Design Group, Salt Lake City)

Red also marks the entry to the Goldener Hirsch Hotel in Park City. The red box enclosure serves as an anteroom to moderate effects of the cold and blowing snow as guests enter and leave the lobby. The interior door of the box is red glass, and the transparency allows those entering to see into the lobby and the welcoming fireplace. (Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle, and Okland Construction, Salt Lake City)

I could easily keep showing you photos of front entries and doors. I find them a key shot for any project I photograph because the variables coalescing show the genius of the designers and the skills of the builders. There are endless variations, and perhaps I will continue this topic in a future blog. 

Have a good holiday weekend.

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