Period front door design: Georgian secrets

This week we’ll begin our series on period front door design with the era which is probably most popular with Londoners in 2013, the Georgian era, 1714-1837.

By the mid- 17th century, fashionable London doors sported two vertical columns of panels which were often further divided into smaller square or rectangular panels.

Georgian front door
Ornate georgian front door in London

Georgian joiners would keep abreast of the latest fashions by studying pattern books and the pattern book designers came up with every conceivable way of re-arranging the panels along those lines. The panels themselves might be ornate raised and fielded panels, which look robust and substantial. Or humble butt and bead panels, designed for nothing more than to help rain run down the door, unimpeded by hurdles of fancy beading.

Georgian street
Georgian street

It was very rare to find glass in Georgian front doors, which meant that hallways could be gloomy. As the 18th century progressed fanlights became an increasingly important part of front door design. These panes of glass above a front door, so characteristic of later Georgian doors, allowed light and sometimes fresh air into the hall. There’s some dispute as to the origin of the name; some argue that ‘fanlight’ is derived from the shape because some, but by no means all were curved like a fan. We rather like the alternative view which is that an open fanlight would provide air to ‘fan’ the flames of the fires in the household.

Georgian front doors are design classics. They look very handsome in traditional dark colours twinned with either brass or polished chrome hardware. But go with a more colourful approach to create something pretty and charming. The great thing about a Georgian front door, is that you’re free to express yourself!

We’ll be returning to London front door design in a few weeks with a look at Victorian front doors. Next week is all about front door colours – what’s in, what’s out and what your choice of colour says about you.

See you then,

Bespoke Front Door

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