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5 ways to a "wow" entrance

If there's one area of a new build or renovation that's going to get some extra special attention, it's the entrance. It's the first thing people see when they turn up to the house (usually, though not in every case!) and the place you'll be in and out of each and every day. An entrance that looks impressive, appealing and inviting is often at the top of most people's list. 

The front door is the natural place to start when thinking about creating a standout entrance. But the "entrance" isn't restricted to this area only. You can play with all elements of the frontage to create something special and unique. It just needs a bit of planning.

Read on below to learn more about how to manage this exciting - and challenging - part of a house build/update.

1. Planning is everything

Of all the possible entrance pieces, the front door is going to need to be an early part of the thought process. You can design around it or retrofit other ideas, but you need to know a few things about what's important for your door to get going.

Start the process by asking yourself a few important questions considering usage and design: 

  • How will the front door be used? Will it be the main entrance or more of a side entrance i.e is it for show or guests only?
  • How should it look/what impact should it make?  Would an elegant simple door be most suitable or something that makes more of a statement? Does it need to blend with the rest of the frontage or stand out?  
  • What materials will work best? Using natural instead of man-made materials can help the frontage feel more luxurious (this goes for the rest of the frontage as well as the door). 
  • Is there a need for a porch or canopy? This can be a design element in itself and also be practical in protecting your door and you from rain/ weather (learn more about the benefits of canopies here).

2. Choose or create a focal point 

Another part of the early entrance planning process is going to be choosing the focal point - this will help the whole look fall together more easily. Elements that could be a focal point: 

(a) The door: 

It's often the natural choice. How can it be framed? Will it be in a glass curtain wall? Will it sit in frameless glass? Will it be surrounded by stone or a feature element? Consider the use of strong colours like a yellow or bronze to create impact. 

(b) The area around and above the door

The porch/ overhang/ glazing in a galleried entrance/ on the main wall

(c) The upper or ground floor separately 

(d) The driveway 

If your front elevation is plain: 

  • Consider choosing striking elements like an impressive front door, tall plants in large planters, a feature handle, or an interesting colour. 
  • Using even a small amount of a natural material to add texture – this could be on the underside of an overhang, on the steps up to the front door, on the driveway itself or in accessories placed in the frontage area. 

3. Natural Materials add that magic touch

Natural materials always have the "wow" factor. They're unique and have that next-level style and impact that can't be replicated by man-made equivalents.

Think zinc, copper, wood, steel (like weathered steel/corten) and stone. Mixing a few of these together has a lot of impact too. 

Areas natural materials work best: 

  • The roof 
  • Underside of overhangs/ porch walls 
  • On the whole main frontage - cladding is a great example of this  
  • Cladding from the interior hallway to the exterior as a feature wall – stone works beautifully for this 
  • On the top or ground floor only 
  • On and around the garage area 

Using natural materials is also a great way to add detail, like hedge upstands, surrounding doors, on plant pots or on steps and around windows.

4. Supersize everything!

Try and use size to create the ‘wow’. Even where you're not sure there's enough space, size can be improved on a lot of different elements on a frontage including windows, doors, steps, porches and overhangs. 

Glazing can be double story height, doors can be big – up to 3m tall (and wide) and elements like plants and steps can be longer, wider and taller. 

5.Little details make a big impression.

Doorbells, house numbers, letterboxes, guttering, lighting and kerb appeal like driveways and fences – all of these can make or break the final look. 

It’s worth developing a theme for accessories – for example, using rust or a colour so that you pull the design together. They could be traditional or contemporary but not both. Accessories can also be supersized – for example, make the house number large so that it is very clear from the road 

Lighting is another excellent element that can be very dramatic – using it to light areas you want to attract attention to, or highlighting architectural elements can be very impressive if done right. 

There's no doubt that planning an entrance way needs to come with a lot of careful thought.

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by ideas and options, take advantage of our FREE design service. Our team can help you work through your thoughts for your frontage with visual aids like moodboards, as well as discussing your door ideas.  

Call us on 01494 778787 or drop us a line here and let us know how we can help.