Shut the Front Door...
- 5th March 2013
As a nation, we love our houses and we love our gardens (Oh, and we really love our pets). However, the front door always seems to be a little neglected.
We'll spend time and effort on our hallways and the front garden/pathway but then seem to forget that the front door is the household equivalent of the handshake. It is the first impression we give our visitors and it gives an immediate indication of who is inside and the style of the interior.
Curb appeal and a welcoming feel are so important when considering your front door area. If you have a painted front door, it should be in an appropriate period colour and be maintained regularly. If you can imagine the beating the average front door takes from the elements, you can appreciate how well it should be painted and how often. If you have a bare wooden front door, then the best wax or oil protection you can afford is imperative. Wood does not like moisture and should be protected against it.
In terms of your choice of door furniture this should be down to a combination of period style and personal taste. Odds are that the reason you live in your house, whether it's a Georgian town house or a country cottage, is because you like that particular period style. In which case you will, more often than not, like the door furniture from that era. If you are unsure of the period features, it's easy to do a little research online or at the local library (if you can find one) and then choose something within the time period which suits the style of property and your own personal taste.
If you go for brass door furniture, please have everything in brass. Likewise in iron or chrome. Mis-matched door furniture is worse than the wrong type!
Knockers or Bells. (There's a sentence I never thought I'd write). However, it's a decision you have to make. If you go for the knocker option, there are countless designs available from the classic lions head, to a more novelty squirrel. Personally I'd be more inclined to go for a classic design just because it's more in keeping with a period home. However, if you decide on a novelty design, something inoffensive would be best. Having a huge polished brass penis (I kid you not) attached to your front door could give off the wrong impression.
The bell option is another quagmire of choice and style. For period homes though, the choices are limited to a few classics. You could have your own brass bell pull or a more traditional iron one. Both would be attached to an interior mounted bell system for your own Downton Abbey inspired design. The other option would be to have a bell mounted on a bracket by the front door which the visitor rings for attention -not recommended for hangovers!
Latches. I love latches and if I lived in a cottage, my home would be full of them. You cannot beat hand wrought iron door latches for beauty and simplicity in design. The design of a latch is not only indicative of the period of your home but also it's location. The latch however, must be combined with a lock for security
Knobs, locks and handles. It's no use having a beautiful home if you haven't got proper security. A good sturdy lock (personally, I'd go for two) is a must and there are choices available to suit the age of property. A surface mounted Rim Lock is a traditional look and these can be iron, wood, brass or chrome. You can then choose the appropriate knobs and/or handles. There are many period designs available which will just improve with age.
All in all, the humble front door is more than just the barrier between you and the outside. Spending some time and effort to get the right look and style will make a huge welcoming statement to the world about you and your home.
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