The importance of doors

Some thoughts on the importance of front doors, well put, by Anna Tyzack in The Telegraph.

It takes just eight seconds to decide whether or not you will buy a house, according to the latest research. And at least four of them will be spent waiting at the front door. Lord Lloyd-Webber has a mahogany one, Richard Rogers has a white one, and Kate Middleton has just installed a pair of them, in black. “People look at a front door before they look at anything else,” says designer Cecilia Neal, of Meltons. “Your front door reflects what you think about the house. A door can sell a property.”

Victorian front door
One of our recent installations – a Victorian front door

An Oxford blue, Victorian front door with stained- and etched-glass panels and side windows sold a house in Putney to Susie King. “After being shown round by the agent, I drove back there that night, parked outside and just stared at the door. I wanted to live behind it so badly,” she says. A decade later, when it came to repainting the door, it took 12 attempts to mix the right shade of blue.

But a door can also jeopardise a sale. “We have had a buyer who refused to complete until we repainted the front door as it was green, which they felt was unlucky,” says Andy Buchanan, director of John D Wood, Chelsea.

A front door must be appropriate to a house, says Jeremy Musson, Architecture Editor of Country Life. Planked doors can work well on barn or warehouse conversions or new-builds. But there is no escaping the universal charm of the Georgian front door – “solid, well constructed, but at the same time curiously domestic and welcoming” – rather like the iconic blue London door belonging to Hugh Grant in the film Notting Hill. “The classic Georgian combination of solid, panelled door with a glazed fanlight over the top, as in London and Dublin, and Bath and Liverpool terraces, is just magic,” says Mr Musson.

Edwardian front door
One of our Edwardian front doors

There is nothing to say classic Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian period front doors cannot be used on new houses. Properties on the Wentworth and St George’s Hill estates, in Surrey, tend to use classical styles on a larger scale – taller and wider with vast porticos, illustrating that owners are happier to experiment with the size of a door rather than its style or colour. “Double doors are vital for new-builds over £2 million,” says Simon Ashwell, of Savills. “They give an impression of a much wider frontage. I will always tell a developer to put in a double door.”

 

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