The Secret Lives of Doors: How the Front Door Enhances your Home

Black Front door of Traditional red brick home

The door is not just a feature of your home, it’s an entryway into possibilities. The door is a symbol, as we have learned from endless Hollywood films that show the magic on the other side. Who could forget the door that turns the black and white world of the Wizard of Oz into a universe of vivid colors and life when it is opened? Or perhaps— in an entirely different way—the door might be the separation between you and your crazy husband that went mad in an empty and haunted Colorado hotel—vis a vis Jack Nicholson in The Shining. In fact, if there is a scene that demonstrates why you should have a solid and well-installed door in your house, it’s that terrifying “Here’s Johnny!” scene in Kubrick’s classic. So, as the door and window experts in El Paso, we thought we’d take a look at some of the history of the door and how it enhances our homes in different ways. 


I suppose we could go way back to ancient times, where doorways and doors were installed in ancient structures, but let’s begin with the early American settlers. These folks knew all about practicality but had also brought over the Renaissance influence that had permeated Europe before this time. 


Plank-style doors. Early settlers used primarily what were called plank-style doors, which filled an opening with vertical boards and to hold them together as they hung from their hinges. Plank-style doors in America were used in early settlements like Jamestown until the early 1700s as the Georgian style began to take over. If you look at the plank-style doors—and many modern replicas— you will find they are very much a relic of the past. They carry a reminiscent and vintage look that can be utilized well in certain spaces. 


The Georgian-style entryway and door might remind you of something you’ve seen in movies set in England. That’s because the tastes of our mother country were a prime influence on a lot of early colonists. The royal architects of King George had a lot to say about the way Londoners built their homes in England. So the Georgian style is named after the King himself. After the London fire of 1666, much of the city had to be rebuilt and the classical influences returned to the great city. These doors are full of history and evoke as much when used in a modern setting. There is something refined, symmetrical, and with that classic Renaissance style. The Georgian style door remained popular up until the American Revolution. 


The Federal-style. Just like the colonists threw out the King’s influence in government, they also wanted to break away from a lot of the cultural ties and start anew. So the Georgian doors went a little out of favor. Then came the Federal-style or Adam style of doors. 


Many other styles took from other architectural traditions and people experimented with other door fashions including postcolonial, Greek revival, and more. The Greek Revival door, for example, used one or two large vertical panels with elaborate mouldings. 


From Frame-and-Panel to Exciting New Materials 


Technology has affected the construction of almost every aspect of our lives. When it comes to doors, there are certainly new techniques in which to ensure the precise cut and measurements of doors. The frame-and-panel method of building doors continues to be a popular way of building doors. During the late 19th and early 20th century, machine-made doors became available and facilitated a lot of the process. They also increased the ability to decorate doors with moldings and other ornamental features.  In fact, the ability to create more ornate door designs was increased with the use of machinery. 


Today, the door industry has seen a resurgence and an exciting new interest in both contemporary and classic styles. A good quality door will enhance any entryway but it will also complement its surroundings. 


Today’s Many Styles — From Traditional to Minimalist 


Whether you are installing doors for your business or for your home, think of the doorway as the opening statement to the rest of your home. The door leads them there and many times the style of your home, colors, and surrounding landscaping can help you decide what style or material you should have for your door. Today, you might come across a wide array of exterior door designs. Here are just a few:


Traditional:  Brings the classic styles, usually with two or more raised panels. May also feature glass inserts with colored panes. 


Craftsman: These suggest a much more earthy and down-to-earth approach. Craftsman doors often feature a window up top or a large glass insert. The large glass insert offers a bigger view to the outdoors and thus has its own style. 


Modern: These are often made of fiberglass and possess a much sleeker design with the use of contemporary shapes, glass inserts. They are much more minimalistic and might limit their ornamentation to one feature. 


Rustic: Gives the feel of a cabin or barn door. These are seen on cabin doors that feature wood, brick, or stone exteriors. These doors suggest a robust hardiness that comes with the outdoors and tribute to nature. 


Find The Right Door and Open To a World of Possibilities

Here at Trim Team, we create doors for businesses and homeowners looking to say something special with their doors. There is nothing like a perfectly fitted, functional, and beautiful door. Whether you are looking for traditional or a contemporary style, give us a call and we’ll show you the many options you have.