Here is a subject that has rarely been the subject of reflection in the design of custom homes … the way you enter and leave your home. We are just talking about a door, is not it? A hole in the wall, an entrance and an exit; What else is there to consider?
It's easy to overlook the design of the entrance to our homes. We spend our time working on the design of the exterior and creating the spaces inside the house. But the gateway and associated spaces occupy an important ground of agreement between the interior and the exterior and set the stage for the success of the whole of the country. custom house design. The entrance begins to establish the personality of your home and suggests how the rest of the house should be. The entrance is a symbolic passage from the public domain of the street to the private estate of the family and tells the world something about people inside.
If Walls Could Speak
It's a cliché to say that the front of a house "makes a statement", but clichés usually have a basis in the truth. The entrance can be a barrier or an invitation, obvious or hidden, pompous or humble; he can welcome you or he can keep you in the arm. The entrance door and the area around it can be a message board for the neighborhood – hung with wreaths and ivy during the holidays, decorated with red, white and blue on July 4th and decorated with pumpkins and shocks of corn on Halloween.
Each element that makes up the entrance to the house has something to say. The classic American porch is a good example; it's the open-air social center, a place to watch street activity, a place to meet and greet neighbors and friends. A porch is an outdoor room, either completely public or private and facilitating the transition to and from the house. A house with a large front porch tells the world that the family appreciates the social fabric of the street, welcoming neighbors and friends and inviting them to stop and visit.
The sequence of entry
But the porch is only part of a sequence of spaces and elements creating a transition between the public domain (the street) and the private domain (the house). This sequence includes walks, landscaping, steps, porches, overhangs, lights, doors and interior entry spaces. A successful entry sequence considers the placement and design of all these elements and their relationship to each other.
The entrance to a house starts long before you walk on the property. It starts in the street with the initial visual cues – where the property entrance is, and where the entrance to the house is.
At first sight of the street, the entrance to the house should be seen or at least suggested to provide a clear destination to our guests. Our old friend's porch is a great way to clearly indicate where the entrance is to be found. A porch or overhang at the entrance also prevents your guests from getting out of the weather while they wait for you to answer the door.
A path from the street or from the driveway to the front door should be direct – people look unconsciously in front of them when approaching a building, looking for the path the shorter towards the entrance. The beginning of the path should be well lit so that it can be found in the dark, and should be wide enough so that two people can walk comfortably to their height. It is also an ideal place for colorful landscaping. In cold and temperate climates, leave open areas where shovel snow can be piled up along the boardwalk without burying the beds.
A little bit of mystery is also not a bad idea here – it changes the direction of the path a little bit so that the scenery changes and the gateway moves in and out of sight .
This is a house, not a Greek temple
Historically, the design of a house entrance gave the public an indication of the wealth and status of its owners. . The entrances to large mansions are often lined with huge classical columns, whose doors are surrounded by a richly carved decor. But when smaller houses take these patterns, they often feel displaced and forced. An entrance can be too easily seen from the street, advertising too boldly (as if it were an entrance into an office building), and draining all the heat of the entrance sequence.
Better to design the entrance to the human scale, using familiar elements that do not overwhelm the visitor. Benches, small windows, potted plants, brick paths and porch railings contribute to the comfort we want our guests to feel when they are welcomed into our homes.
The human scale should continue on the other side of the door. Although some large homes are well-appointed with double-curved staircases and four hundred square foot entrances, these features overwhelm a typical family home. Entrance halls and foyers should welcome guests, allow them to head to the house, provide them with a place to hang their coats and steer them efficiently to the "public" rooms of the house. There is of course a place for splendor and majesty, but it is better to leave the big houses.
Hey, I did not invent that sort of thing …
Other cultures also place a lot of importance on the design of the art. entrance to a house. The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui dictates exactly where the entrance door of a house should be to attract the good Chi (energy flow) and block the dangerous Chi. It is a complex relationship between the position of the compass, close to other structures, roads and paths, access to sunlight and views to the outside. According to Feng Shui, a well-placed and well-designed entrance door can improve luck, promote business success and improve occupant health. Although deeply rooted in ancient culture, much of Feng Shui is simply a good design practice that we can apply to designing the ways in which we enter and leave our own homes.
Welcome to your home … your laundry room?
Although the introduction of the automobile had a profound impact on the way we enter our homes, it is the extension of the garage attached to the mid-20th century which historically relegated the traditional entrance door and the porch to the state of ceremony. Ironically, we rarely use the impressive entrances we build in our homes. We just go into our own house through the garage – often through a laundry room or cloakroom. Is this what we have done so hard for? Offer grandiose entry experiences to our rare visitors or annual holiday gatherings as we walk daily through the dirty laundry? The owners of the house should be welcomed into their shrine through a space designed to welcome them, to recognize them and to recognize them as the reason for their existence.
During a recent pre-design tour through the home of a renovation client, the client and I walked into the garage and laundry, moving bicycles, toys and baskets dirty clothes to enter the kitchen. She had not thought about it, but I suggested that she consider reworking the way she enters her home as part of the renovation. She agreed, and the result is a small but well appointed "lobby of the owner" directly from the garage and connecting to the kitchen and breakfast room. The laundry room and the vestibules are adjacent to this entrance, but closed. She already told me how much she appreciated the new space and how it clears her mind at the end of the day.
Hit, Hit …
But what about the gateway itself? The entrance door is both a bridge and a barrier. Should it be big, small, opaque, transparent, rectangular or arched? I prefer a large door wide enough to make furniture movers happy – at least 42 inches wide. Because the door will be used every day, durability and weather resistance are important. A little glass in the door allows residents to see someone outside without allowing the interior a view of the interior. A lot of glass in the door is less private, but brings more light from the outside.
Although a wooden door is likely to be damaged by the elements, it still looks better than imitations made of metal or fiberglass. And if properly protected with an overhanging roof, a quality wooden door should last the life of the house.
A case opened and closed
The entrance door is part of a large number of elements that make up an entrance drawing. A successful entry sequence begins in the public domain of the street and travels through a sequence of spaces on the way to the private estate of the home. The design of the entrance communicates with the neighborhood and is adapted to the rest of the house.
This "hole in the wall" is much more than a mere entrance and exit.