Different cultures sometimes take different approaches to the entrance of their homes and commercial buildings.

What they have in common though, is the idea that this opening represents the very best aspects of the inhabitants within. As it is the most important doorway in the building, usually the front door and its’ surround will be dominant.

The owner’s wealth, social position and sense of style is demonstrated in the use of ornament, material choice, colour and detail.

Here are some different examples of how an entrance can change one’s experience.

In the first image the botanical motifs and vivid use of colour on these Indonesian gates signal an entrance to enclosed garden. The stone step up alters the visitors sense of scale, high trees within the space encourages the eye upwards while a central wandering path encourages the viewer forward.


The second image- from The Cotswolds, England, shows a solid pastel door with simple wrought iron door furniture within solid aged stone doorway. An octagonal patterned pathway leading up the door is also simple in style and material.

A pretty pink climbing rose rambles its way across stone block brick work, the detail in this entrance (therefore the expense) is the remarkable stone masonry shown in the buildings very old walls. This work was performed by skilled stonemasons, the materials are difficult to work and heavy to install. While deceptively simple, these walls show money has been spent on precision and time. There is no indication of what might be beyond the entrance, is it simple or will it be ornate?


The third image is of a Parisian apartment building. This entrance is definitely making a statement. A large curved roof is supported by over-scaled ornate wrought iron brackets fixed to columns on intricately carved stone work. Beautiful, fastidiously constructed iron gates protect wooden doors beyond. This building shouts wealth, the need for safety and privacy – ultimate exclusivity. The building is an example of the Art Nouveau style. A sensuous period, curves are seen in unfolding acanthus leaves at both the base of columns and brackets.


Finally, the fourth image shows a pair of San Francisco terrace homes. While they are similar in period each owner has taken different approach to their welcoming entrances. Both have used floral foliage, to complement their choice of door colour. Stairs upwards gives the visitor a sense of journey, anticipation. The doorways while different, aesthetically complement each other.


What does your front door say about you?

That’s what we at Balance Architecture + Interior Design aim to do. Balance your needs with your aesthetics and most importantly, your budget.