In Or Out?

Open in or open out? Hinges on the left, latch on the right? The direction your door opens/swings raise more questions than you’d think. We take our doors for granted but when it comes to replacing them, we are forced to consider all sorts of questions and answers that can make us even more confused.

 

Take front doors. Traditionally, Australian doors follow the British model, and open inwards. But why is this?

London doors

For a front door, the convention is that they open into the building simply because it’s not very welcoming to push the door into your visitor’s face – forcing them to retreat – before you’ve even said “Hello!”. Back doors and garden doors, on the other hand, generally open outwards. However, when you look at it from a security point of view, an outward-opening door is more secure than the conventional, making it very difficult for intruders to prize open or force their weight to get the door open.

 

So which is the correct way?

 

At Bespoke Front Door, we favour the conventional in welcoming guests into your home with an outward-opening door, but with top-quality locks for extra security.

 

When you think about it, living in London, in our climate, it’s unlikely that our garden doors and windows are open every day – especially throughout winter months. So, if they were designed to open inwards, we might find ourselves having to rearrange our living space furniture each time we wish to open up.

 

Another argument for having front doors opening inward is that in extreme weather events a build-up of snow outside could trap residents inside their house.

Bespoke front door

Double Doors

 

With pairs of doors, there is an additional question: which door should have the handle on it and therefore open first? The majority of humans are right-handed and therefore most pairs have the right-hander opening first and away from you – but, remember, that’s the ‘left-hander’ opening towards you when you’re approaching from the other side.

 

After that, you’d think that deciding the door swing for internal room doors would be easy. Doors off a hallway generally open inwards for the simple practical reason of avoiding blocking the gangway. The only exceptions are doors to walk-in storage cupboards. These generally open out into the hallway and this is seldom a problem since they are kept shut most of the time.

Victorian front door

Public vs Private

 

Add to the confusion the different standards for public buildings, where you’ll find most doors open outwards, which is a safety measure in case a busy building needs to be evacuated quickly. Crowd pressure on an inward-facing door can prevent it from opening at all, so a simple push-out door is the easiest emergency exit.

 

So, with good points on both sides, the debate on inside or outside-opening front doors doesn’t look like being resolved any time soon. However, style and technology have moved on and today these are not your only options. Consider other styles of doors, such as sliding glass doors or extra security when it comes to locks and latches.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui translates to ‘Wind and Water’, and it is the art of studying both flow and energy within an environment – particularly home spaces. This historical Chinese art adheres to a system of laws or rules that enables you to harness spiritual energy known as ‘Chi’. The idea of Feng Shui brings about a balance and harmony between individuals and their surroundings, injecting happiness, peace and success into our lives.

 

Successful Feng Shui depends on the consideration of the placement of different objects, colours and light. Therefore, the right front door and layout of a doorway can be insanely impactful to set the tone and mood for your entire home.

Bespoke Victorian front door

Is there front door ‘energy’?

Being the first thing and the last thing you and your visitors experience at your home means first impressions are made here. This is where the majority of how energy flows and enters. Your front door must feel welcoming, full of personality, but also be practical for everyday use.

 

Step outside your door, analyse what feels inviting and what doesn’t. Make the necessary changes to make your entrance a warm and welcoming greeting for guests. Maybe it’s time for a repaint, or a spruce up with some potted plants or foliage?

 

Create good chi with some simple Feng Shui principles…

Bespoke Edwardian front door

 

  1. Clear the Clutter

 

Both your front porch and hallway should be much more than just an in-between space. It’s the first and last area you and your guests see when visiting your home. Unclutter by removing items that don’t belong there. Are there shoes scattered around the door? Coats slung over stair railings? Combat the clutter by creating a balance between style and practicality, utilise unused space and add simple built-in cupboards to place coats and shoes inside, clearing areas like this stops energy stagnating. It’s important to have a clear path through to your door to allow an unobstructed flow into your home.

 

  1. Connect with Nature

 

Beautifully potted shrubs and zen planting instantly draw in natural energy, allowing your home to feel integrated with nature. Opt for money plants, palms, bamboo or vibrant blooms that will create a sense of peace and bliss.

london front door

  1. The Door

 

Consider the way your door opens. Doors that open inwards promote good chi as opposed to doors that open outwards. It invites positive energy in rather than pushing it out. It also makes guests feel more welcomed into your home.

 

As well as the look of the door itself, consider a door that fits with the period of your property – taking into consideration the dimensions, strength and usability. The colour and quality of your bespoke front door also attracts positive energy and should work in harmony with its surroundings. Browns and greens are typically the colour of nature and money while red is the colour of prosperity.

London door

  1. Light

 

Light is a major player when it comes to the manifestation of energy. If you’re limited with light in your hallway, you should seriously consider including glass panelling like fanlights or sidelights with your bespoke front door design.

 

When it comes to design, make use of mirrors by allowing them to bounce the natural light and create the feeling of more open enlarged areas.

Security is Everything

Your home is your safe place, and so security is everything. Therefore, while you want your front door to look good, it’s also vital to ensure your home is secure enough to keep intruders out.

 

As the nights darken, burglaries are undoubtedly at their highest, and so it’s the perfect time to invest in more door security. Whether it’s new state-of-the-art locks or some porch lighting, we can provide our best advice for peace of mind for all year round.

 

Consider…

 

  1. What is your door made of?

You can have a locking system as tough as Fort Knox, but if your door isn’t made of quality hardwood, or is old and rotting in places, it will still be relatively easy for intruders to break in.

bespoke victorian front door

Our front doors are made from Accoya® – a natural and sustainable timber that is known for its impeccable strength and durability. It’s the perfect choice for a front door. Also, if your bespoke front door consists of glazing or fanlights, you should consider the strength. You can opt for internal kick plates to be built in to ensure potential burglars have a hard time kicking in the panels.

  1. Are your windows secure?

Ensure all of your windows are locked at night, or if you leave the house. This seems like common sense, but it’s incredibly common to leave a window open at night during hot summer months when cooler air is much to be desired. This creates an easy opportunity for intruders. Also, ensure you leave keys in a place they aren’t on show through windows or doors. By making them easily accessible, you are providing potential burglars with an easy task.

bespoke period front door

  1. Are you easily alarmed?

The sight of a burglar alarm or CCTV will deter intruders before they even try to enter your home. In fact, opportunist crime can be significantly reduced if good security systems are in place, with the majority of intruders looking for an easy target. Don’t be that easy target! Install a quality alarm system that would alert yourself, or neighbours if you should not be at home.

 

  1. Let there be light

Not only can great lighting be a stylish quality to your front door, illuminating your front walkway on darker evenings, it’s also super practical for helping you find your keys in the dark – and also deterring criminals! If you’re looking for a cheaper option to high-quality CCTV or alarms, motion-detector lighting is a great way of alerting you of even the slightest movement outside and scaring away unwanted visitors.

 

bespoke edwardian front door

  1. State of the Art Locks

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want a decent locking system for your London front door. When it comes to something as basic and must-have as this, there is little point in cutting corners. Top of the range locks from manufacturers of the UK’s most cutting-edge systems incorporates many additional security options such as spy holes, door chains and bars.

 

At Bespoke Front Door, our expert designers will always advise you on the best one for you.