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Mix door styles inside and out to create your own look

by | Dec 07, 2016

When it comes to choosing doors as part of your design scheme, they can be as individual as you are, according to Wayne Atkins, president of Sterling Brook Custom Homes, who discusses doors early in the process of building a dream home for his clients. “The average homeowner hasn’t even remotely thought about doors until we talk about their significance to the home and it should be early in the process,” says Atkins.

Clark-Co-Homes-1_5-2_r-1024x683According to recent research commissioned by Masonite and other manufacturers, the average homeowner chooses to purchase doors for their home when they have to — for new construction, to replace a broken door — or when they are inspired by television, websites or their neighbors to upgrade their doors visually.

Consider though, that doors have about 800 square-feet of visibility in the average house and as Atkins explains, they have two significant design roles: to frame views and complement the balance of the architecture. Therefore, he focuses on what homeowners will see when doors are open or closed, particularly in the public spaces.

AAA_5597-751x1024“We talk about what you see through one opening to another and how that door looks within a particular room,” says Atkins. “When you walk into the entry, what do you see? What does the view look like open and closed? Do we want to be able to see through part of the door… or have decorative panels that complement something in that particular room?”

Masonite’s co-sponsored research also says that homeowners often have an initial idea of what they want the “feel” of a room to be. Studies show that homeowners find inspiration from home and garden television shows and design websites. Atkins points out the selection and placement of the doors has a big impact on creating that look and feel for them.

While sometimes the exterior and interior doors ultimately match, he notes more often than not they don’t have to, because the emphasis is on the door’s contribution to a particular space.

Designer Barbara Gilbert, principal of Barbara Gilbert Interiors of Dallas, also helps clients see doors as “a significant fixture of art throughout the home.” She believes the entry door is important in that it makes a statement much like the cover of a book, but notes the story evolves as you move inside.

The design story in Dallas currently leans toward simplicity, with warm contemporary and simplified craftsman styles that create clutter-free, clean, straight-line looks. Additionally, outside views are being showcased, and outdoor spaces enjoyed visually from within. As such, doors are being kept simple and are used to highlight the view. Gilbert says she’s seeing many exterior doors with glass and straight lines and interior shaker style doors with the same clean lines, horizontal panels and fewer panels overall. Art deco is also being revived with clean lines and bold black hues.

“We’re trying to mix things up a little bit so the home looks collected rather than just modern. The same holds true for the doors. By mixing looks and styles, we are not using the same thing everywhere,” explains Gilbert.

She notes that in some parts of Texas where there are deed restrictions, you can go a little more over the top on the interior, where the homeowner really can make his or her own personal style statement.

For example, if the exterior of the home is very traditional, Gilbert would choose Masonite’s Belleville® Mahogany one panel Hollister 3/4 Lite door on the exterior and then either the two panel square or eight panel door on the interior. (Get even more more ideas from our new Inspiration Brochure.)

Considering the amount of visual attention doors will command in the home, it’s worth the time and consideration to choose each one as a piece of art that complements its surroundings and frames the views to and from it. With today’s styles leaning toward simple, “collected” looks, and so many door design, glass and panel options to choose from, there’s more opportunity than ever to create a collection of doors that makes a personal statement in your home.