Victorian Front Doors: A History Guide (1837-1901)

The Victorian era happened to be the most progressive eras for Europe in all of history. This was an era of people who had an appreciation for the finer things in life, and wanted their homes to look just as fine, too. Even societal change was pioneered by the Victorians which was facilitated by the rise of new technologies and a rise of the middle class.

Victorian front doors

During the Victorian Era, there was a resurgence of the Gothic design and architecture – and new styles and colors came into fashion.

Victorian front doors might be all the rage in houses inside London today, but they have a history that goes way beyond – a century or so ago! London front doors were considered extremely important in the Victorian Era. They indicated the wealth of the house’s occupants and were equivalent to a status symbol.

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Four panel doors were the most commonly found doors in this era. These designs were equally commonly in all manner of dwellings, be it the huge manse of the landed gentry or the tiny terraced house of the factory worker.

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Large reception rooms and high ceilings were the hallmarks of the quintessential Victorian house, and to match the grand interior were needed equally grand doors. Grandeur was truly the theme of the 1800s in Europe, and Victorians knew to do it better than anyone else.

For internal doors, Victorians used both painted and waxed doors, determined by the style they preferred. Some preferred to leave the natural wood unpainted hence allowing the door to have a rustic feel.

Many preferred to achieve a level of sophistication instead, which was provided by painting their internal doors neutral tone, such as grey or cream. In order to further this sophisticated look, Victorians also often matched their door knobs with their doors.

For those who preferred a more subtle choice in their door, neutral colours such as greys and dark blues were used to provide a look with more maturity and gravitas. The half glazed door not only looked beautiful but allowed ample natural light to enter the hallways of the houses.

London front doors

Regardless of the interior or style of the house, the Victorian door was an extremely important feature of any house. They were meant to serve a very purpose in giving a first impression to anyone passing by or entering the house. These doors were often carved and then grained or painted in order to look more expensive. The door frame, on the other hand, would come with an architrave in order to sync with the door. Gleaming Brass or Stained glass was often used to make the door furniture. The doors would also be elaborately carved and paneled.

Then and now, Victorian Doors have maintained their legacy and continue to be a very important feature of the quintessential London house. Moreover, they have expanded in variety and now come in a number of different sizes, designs, textures and make.

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Regency Front Doors : A Brief History

The Regency Style in Front Doors lasted from the early 1800 to the 1830s. The style of these doors was based on Medieval architecture and also inspired by Greek Design. Renowned architects like James Wat took inspiration from the Gothic Churches of the 13th and 14th Century to create the unique Regency Style. These doors would usually be plain or sometimes carved – and incorporated geometric panelling as well as carved mouldings as part of their design. The Gothic period was used to derive further inspiration for the decorative elements in the doors – except the materials used were cheaper and the method of construction was more modern.

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The Regency Period was a follow up to the Georgian Style of Front Door and hence naturally followed a similar pattern, although it continued to get more inventive over time. One of the significantly common architectural style that was common in the Regency Era was that of the Gothic Revival – and this style was incorporated into the late  Victorian front doors period.

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While it is impossible to fully generalize the themes of the front doors design in this era, one of the most common themes of the door was the simple 6 panelled design without glass. The top 2 panels happened to be smaller and were replaced by glass in the Victorian and Georgian periods later on.

The Regency Style continued to evolve and innovate over time, and John Nash was the one architect that has been most significantly attached to the Regency Movement. He was able to help spread the popularity of the Regency Style by being fully aware of the commercial requirements of the time and planned his designs accordingly. It is also often said that John had many pupils who further propagated his style – and also many pupils who rebelled against it and help propel the next era of the period front door designs.

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The style of the houses in this era also naturally had an effect on how the doors were designed. The average house in the Edwardian Era happened to have door and windows that would be set back around 4 inches from the brick face. The houses would also have simple flat elevations. Later into the era, the front doors began to incorporate stone work in order to offer a more grand entrance with hoods, classical pillars, pediments and porches. Moreover, the front doors also often had a semi circular fanlight in the top region. The elevation of the houses made use of specialized paint finishes, and the softwood was used to make the front doors as well as the windows of the houses. The windows and doors were often decorated with a grained finish that was meant to imitate oak and had a very unique appearance.

If you’re looking to install a Regency Front Door into your house, Bespoke Front Door has the right make, style and design for you.

Georgian Front Doors – Part 2

Late Georgian Front Doors

The door in this era roughly lasted from the mid 1700s all the way to 1811. They were mostly made from mahogany and started to get painted with a peculiar shade of blue at the end of the late Georgian Era.

These period front doors were developed from simple construction and are still quite popular in old cottages. These consist of vertical planks that are attached to horizontal timber edges ledgers. As time passed by, the late Georgian Front Doors began to evolve a little more and incorporated more sophisticated joinery items with rails, frames and panels.

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Panelled doors came to be the peak of the late Georgian Front Door era. These typically included six panels and were distributed in a traditional way throughout the house such that the doors in the servant quarters or private areas of the house were more subtle and simple, whereas the public parts of the houses featured Late Georgian Front Doors that more way more embellished and ornately designed.

In the average houses, the architrave would be all that was used to set off the Late Georgian Front Door, and the relatively simple double doors from the hall to the salon were bordered by columns and topped by a marble bust.

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At the end of this era, the conventional Georgian Style was gradually abandoned and replaced by different revival styles such as the Gothic Style that resulted from the Gothic Revival and had actually originated in the Georgian period. In some regions outside the UK, such as the United States, the front doors incorporated elements of revolutionary symbols into whole the wider scheme of Georgian Architecture in buildings, but still made sure to remain true to the Georgian roots of the architecture style.

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The Late Georgian Front Door was a very prominent feature of the Georgian house in this era, and was characterized by balanced proportion, elegance, uniformity and symmetry. This style was influenced by the classics architecture of Rome and Greece that had been developed during the Italian Renaissance during the 15th and 16th Century.

These front doors often contained 4 to 8 panels are were meant to further emphasize the entrance with the help of delicate wrought iron work that involved archways railways.

Victorian doors

At the peak of the Late Georgian Front Door era, fan light, a semi circular that wasn’t situated right at the top of the door, became extremely popular as a way to enhance the look of the entrance as well as to help more natural light pour into the interior of the house. These windows began to feature decorations such as lead or iron spokes in a wheel design – and helped to further evolve and sophisticate the look of the Late Georgian Front Door over the years.

Georgian Front Doors: part 1

Early Georgian Front Doors

It was during the early 1700s that the Georgian Front Doors began to get popular in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin was rising to become one of the most prosperous and prominent cities in all of British Empire. The residents of this region began to build beautiful and elegant be Georgian houses, and what followed was the development of the Early Georgian Front Door. The Georgian style made use of many of the hallmarks of Renaissance design such as rigid symmetry in the layout of interior rooms, in window and door placement, as well as in building mass.

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The front doors in the Early Georgian Era lasted from the 1714 – 1765. These doors would often consist of ornate door handles and were common in the bigger houses. They were a quintessential feature of the Georgian Style home. However, interesting part is, the homes were not initially constructed with these period front doors. In fact, the exterior doors often happened to be of the same color, and the colored, vibrant Georgian Front Doors came into the picture after a special historic incidence.

It has been reported that the writer George Moore happened to live right next to another famous writer – Oliver John Gogarty. They were both eccentric personalities, and the story goes that George decided to paint his front door in green so that the drunken Oliver would stop coming knocking on his door every night. Oliver then followed up by painting his door in a bright red color as retaliation. And that’s what is said to have started the trend of Georgian Front Doors! It is also said that many Georgians just painted their front doors in different colors and added elegant fanlights and door knockers because the houses themselves were all constructed uniformly by the developers – and the doors were what set the houses apart from each other.

London front doors

Georgian front doors were solid and heavy, and contained six panels each. They often weighed around 30 kg each. It was during this era that internal doors (panelled as well as carved) began to emerge as popular and were common especially in the bigger houses. In grander houses, the doors on the main floors were often double doors with ornate door handles and bell rings.

From the 18th Century all the way to 2018 – the Early Georgian Front Door style still happens to be quite popular with house owners all across the UK. In fact, one the most famous front door in the United Kingdom: Number 10 Downing Street – happens to be an Early Georgian Front Door! And rightfully so, as no other door would be more apt to be fitted outside the Prime Minister’s house.

Georgian front doors

If you happen to own a Georgian property, you won’t be doing it justice to not fit your house with a Georgian front door. In black, Georgian doors serious and sombre, and anyone walking through them will be met with a healthy dose of gravitas. These doors synchronize beautifully with the architecture, and add that extra layer of class and grandeur to the finishing of your house.

Baroque Front Doors : A History Guide (1625 – 1714)

 

The Baroque style in Front Doors originated from Czech Republic – Prague, to be precise. This trend began around the 1620’s and lasted all the way to the 1700s. This style was introduced by Jesuits in Bohemia and Prague by Jesuits – and was seen on everything from hospitals to schools and churches. Along with the front door, the baroque style was characterized by stucco decorations and curved lines that quickly became a common feature of all kinds of buildings, even the smaller houses. The Baroque style followed the same patterns that the Jesuits had in Rome. These doors were designed in a way that made them elaborate, impressive and intimidating in their grandeur. Baroque Front Doors were often flanked with pillars and accessorized with brackets that were carved elaborately. The Baroque style is characterized by clear detail and exaggerated motion that is used to exude royalty, exuberance and dramaticism. This design made use of shapes and forms that involved overlapping figures, physicality and vivid colors. Moreover, this style of architecture as well as period front doors was actually encouraged by the Catholic Church in a way to oppose the austerity and simplicity of Protestant art and architecture.Period front door

The Baroque Style penetrated all of the countryside in Czech over the years and changed the character of the region with its extra ordinariness and extensiveness. The Baroque style came to be seen as a unique and valuable part of the European Cultural Heritage. At the end of the 1700’s, the Czech regions, especially Bohemia, became one of the most primary artistic centers of the Baroque style and helped its spread all over Europe. Some of the pioneers in this style included were architects like Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel, Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer and Christoph Dientzenhofer. In Italy, this style was spearheaded by architects like Guarino Guarini and Francesco Borromini.

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Much of these architects that lead Baroque movement had lived, worked and also died in the Czech lands actually belonged to other countries or were of foreign origin – such as Bavarias, Austrians or Italians and even the French people.

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The heyday of Baroque style in the Czech Republic can be seen in the early 18th century.  The spread of the Baroque style was subsequently followed by the Thirty Years’ War that lead to the Victory of the Catholic Church and made it the only legal church in all of Bohemia. This facilitated the spread of Baroque Style even more and helped establish it as the most common Front Door style adopted by people living in the region. This is evident by the extensive list of significant monuments and buildings that featured Baroque Front Doors or just the Baroque Style of Architecture. These included the entrance to Loreta in Hradcany, Prague, buildings in Mala Strana, the façade of Nanebevzeti Panne Marie in Kutna Hora, Museums in Hradec Kralove, the City Theatre in Pardubice, the Nerudova Street in Mala Strana and, most importantly, the Morzinzky Palace in Prague.

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Britain Front Doors: A History Guide

The front doors we see in Britain today haven’t just emerged out of nowhere. In fact, they have gone through a process of evolution and development that has spanned several centuries – and has encompassed various different eras of Period front doors. These eras have primarily been determined by the ruling monarchs, but have also been influenced by the materials used and the aesthetic behind each door type. In this article, we break down the 8 most popular front door styles starting from the 17th Century and the way to the 20th!

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Baroque Front Doors

The front doors in this era have lasted from 1625 all the way to 1714. These doors were designed in a way that made them impressive, elaborate and almost intimidating. These doors were often flanked with pillars and accessorized with brackets that were carved elaborately.


Early Georgian Front Doors

The front doors in this era have lasted from 1714 all the way to 1830. These doors were large in their presence and would block out all the light while filling the whole doorway. They were often grained so as to look like wood, or otherwise painted in dark colors. These doors would often consist of or ornate door handles as well as well rings and were popular with the grander houses.

London front doors

Late Georgian

The door in this era roughly lasted from 1765 to 1811. These were often made from mahogany and were six panelled carved oak. At the end of the era, these doors began to be painted with an odd shade of blue.

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Regency Front Doors

The doors common to this era lasted from 1811 to 1837. These doors were often inspired by Greek design and consisted of carved mouldings and geometric pannelling. They were often either plain or carved and continued to become more inventive over time.

Victorian front doors

Victorian Front Doors

Victorian front doors lasted roughly from 1837 to 1901. They were an essential feature of the house entrance and were often elaborately carved. These panelled doors were grained or painted to seem more expensive than they were and became a kind of a status symbol amongst the people living this era.

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Arts And Crafts Front Doors

These doors were then norm in the period between 1860 and 1925. They were a follow up to the Gothic Revival and happened to consist of stained glass and elaborate glass panels. Art Nouveau became the trend at the end of this era and the doors were then made of curved shapes and a very fashionable aesthetic.

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Edwardian Front Doors

Edwardian Front Doors were a symbol of style and elegance all the way back from 1901 to 1914. The houses that installed Edwardian Front Doors were characterized by their wooden porches, brackets and turned spindles. These paneled doors were large and they were painted with Art Nouveau or Neo-Georgian glass. The most common colour of choice for these doors was creamy or green.

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1920-1930s Front Doors

These doors were often made of stained wood and painted with dark colors like black or green. Their panels and edges were made of the color cream and the handles would be uniquely positioned at the upper half of the door.

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In the coming posts on our blog, we will explore each of these eras in more detail. Stay tuned!

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The smallest houses and them front doors

 

If you’ve ever felt a desire to squeeze yourself through a tiny front door and find yourself inside an equally tiny house – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we cover the three smallest Period front doors and their respective house:

Amsterdam

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Truly a wonder! This pretty little door rests inside what is known as the narrowest house in all of Amsterdam. Initially built as a house, the whole construction is now known as the smallest tea House in Amsterdam. It was built in the 1600s and is now open to the public and tourists for visits. The amazing thing about this construction is that it is only a mere 5 metre in depth 2.02m wide. The house is located next to the Oost-Indisch Huis in the old city center of Amsterdam. The front door of this house is small enough to fit only one person at a time and is in tune with the miniscule look the house itself and reflects an impressive neoclassical architecture. This front door now allows in guests that can have can enjoy an exclusive high tea and breakfast on the second floor of the house.

Wernigerode

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This is a town situated on the Harz district of central Germany. The front door rests in the smallest house in all of Wernigerode. This whole construction was built in the 18th Century and is an amazing 2.95 metre in width and 4.2 metres in height. This house is nestled amongst other half timbered houses in Koch Street and is open to the public for visits. The Victorian front door is made of wood and rests next to two tiny windows that give a look of the insides of the tiny house. In the 1920’s, this house was occupied by Postal worker Mr. Nettelmann and his wife along with their children. It’s truly a wonder how they were able to manage and survive in a house this small – and you can get an idea of how exactly they managed to accommodate their lives in this tiny house as you have a look at the interior.

Das Park Hotel

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This little take on a hotel is situated in Austria. This small hotel and its hotel rooms happen to have the smallest front doors in the world.
The hotel rooms contain double beds that are situated next to small areas of storage to keep the sheets and the pillows. The rooms also have a small space underneath the bed to store the luggage of customers, as well as a few electrical outlets for the gadgets. All of this coupled with a fabulous miniscule front door – Das Park Hotel is really the quirky place to visit!