The Dallas Morning News
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Author: Rhona Schwartz
More than just a means to an “in”, attractive front doors provide dazzling style for the facade, whetting the the appetite for what lies behind those closed. Additionally, these doors zero in on the owner’s personality and serve as the first line of defense for home security.
Let’s start with the business side. No matter the look, front doors must withstand the elements and deter intruders, so the choice of materials is important. Options include solid wood, glass, steel, fiberglass or a combination thereof.
The fun part of choosing a front door is choosing the look.
Which do you fancy, single panel or double doors? Many homeowners gravitate toward the double door style for its elegance, which pairs exceptionally well with a large entryway. “Whether it´s traditional, contemporary or rustic, the front door should match the style of the home,” says agent Nancy Bergamasco of Alie Beth Allman & Associates´ Ben Jones Group. “For example, a contemporary door would look terrible on a traditional or Victorian Style Home.”
Because the front door is the first thing people notice when approaching a home, great care is often taken to make it something to behold. Some doors match their surroundings in color or tone, while others contrast. Doors that impress and welcome all who pass through are the result.
Plano homeowner Annette Pipes proudly displays a pair of double doors custom-made of Texas red oak by Fisher Millwork of Dallas. Assembled onsite at her Sudbury residence , the doors feature period brass hardware in a hammered distressed finish and exude warmth as they command attention.
“We chose these doors because they compliment the Old World style of our home and offer privacy and security,” Pipes says.
“The home is patterned after classic Old English and Country French estate homes. We used a native Texas Granbury stone façade on the house, so the doors needed to be massive and imposing enough to compete with the rough stone façade and multi-point elevation.”
Ron Davis Custom Homes in Lakewood places heavy, dramatic doors on all its designs. Among them: double wrought-iron doors with glass panels that open independently and feature an attractive transom; double doors with clean, straight lines that lend a contemporary feel and decorative rain glass panels; and a Gothic-style single door with tempered rain glass and cathedral styling.
In one home, “elaborate wrought-iron caresses an iron-and-glass door reminiscent of Old World Europe,” says Shirley Boulter Davis with Ron Davis Custom Homes. Double-pane tempered rain glass and polyurethane foam insulation throughout the door and frame are great for energy efficiency and security, Davis says. Other homes have doors made of knotty alder and oak; some feature stained-glass insets.
An extensive range of custom-made front door designs is available. Many incorporate glazed central or side panels with leading and beveled or colored glass and concealed multi-bolt locking systems. Online catalogs of U.S. manufacturers showcase o trove of delicious doors in popular architectural styles, such as Craftsman, cottage, traditional and Colonial. They include: Texas Door Dealer and Iron Star Doors (Dallas); Texas Custom Doors (Kountze); Sculptural Glass Doors (Bellingham, Wash.); Marvin (Warroad, Minn.); Masonite (Tampa, Fla.); and Therma-Tru (Maumee, Ohio).
“The front door on our house was what first attracted me to the home,” says Sarah Lamensdorf, who resides on Beverly Drive. “It is an original Hollywood Regency-style door that is recessed into a deep paneled alcove that is painted black. We love the style of the 1940s and the front door definitely inspired us while decorating our home.”