We've collated a few fabulous images of our front doors and staircases of projects we've done over the years. Perhaps one lesson to take away is that surely the doors and stairs don't really have to match. Everyone of these hallways has a special something that helps set it apart - it might be the Front door but it also might be just how it's all brought together.
As a bonus, we've added in the text below from our book Door Couture: A Unique Perspective of Contemporary Door Design and the Chapter: Hallway Magic, so that you can also consider the main issues that arise from specifying doors in hallways. We hope you find it useful as it's also RIBA certified CPD material.
In terms of the association of the front door to the hallway, most people only care about the design and whether it matches all the other doors in that area. There are many other issues to consider including:
The stairs and their distance from the door
This isn’t just about the swing of the door (which is also essential), it also relates to allowing enough space for a wheelchair to turn, and for the return of the staircase depending on how big that is.
Privacy and light – affecting the internal passage
Even if there are gates, most people don’t want a clear view straight through their house. Although a lot of the more contemporary new builds are designed this way, it’s not always ideal. Sandblasted, etched glass or even intelligent glass could easily solve the problem.
Yes, it is possible to flip a switch and have your glass change from clear to sandblasted in a few seconds. Commonly used internally this is great when privacy is essential. Using sandblasted glass prevents you from seeing out as well but a good compromise is having etched glass which is sandblasted glass which has some clear areas in numbers or letters.
Allowing enough practical light in is a criterion for hallways. The trend may be for bigger doors and more glass with galleried hallways and glass curtain walling, but this isn’t always the case. Depending on design sometimes houses may have no way of bringing in light except through the door itself. Even a slither of a vision panel can create enough light.
Other clever ways to increase light when there is no available light source in a hall:
- Decrease the height of a door and to include a storey lite above it.
- Use a fully glazed door.
- Make the vision panel a little larger (in contemporary designs these are usually quite thin)
- If the door needs to stay solid, decrease its width to allow for a side lite even if this is thin, some light is better than none at all.
Access to storage
The use of sliding doors or moving the closet space to a more appropriate area will make sure the front door does not restrict access.
Practical hall furniture and its placement
If your client has children, it is most likely that you will need a seating area near the front door. How this will be accommodated and how it affects the swing of the door, any glass windows and the stairs is essential.
Other internal doors and how they relate
Matching the front and internal doors seems to come in and out of fashion depending on personal opinion. Whether you do or don’t can highlight the front door less or more and change the dynamics of a space simply because of colour. Many prefer to match their front door to their staircase and have internal doors the same colour as their walls.
In terms of hallways and the front door, access is fundamentally about being able to enter the front door and have enough space to turn a wheelchair. Essentially you also need to then close the door and turn the handle effectively too. Building regulations determine that there should be a minimum size to allow for wheelchair access and also a mobility threshold on the cill that allows for this.
Matching flooring to the front door is another concern some clients have. This is not essential but seems to be a constant dilemma especially if the flooring is wood. This appears to be less of an issue when the flooring is stone, concrete or porcelain tiles.
Any building regulations like flush cills
Door detail but essential information to keep in mind. Cills and thresholds are of great consequence when designing and fitting a front door.
You can buy our book from the shop on our website or on Amazon.