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Step Inside Dulwich: The Front Door, the External Focal Point of the Home…

Have you noticed that some houses’ simply have much more curb appeal than other properties? This is not only assessed on the grandeur or splendor of the building, more
often than not on the character or style the property presents to the outside world.

Attractive landscaping and planting, good fencing and gates, structural features, exterior lighting, all contribute to creating that special curb appeal. But the front door is often
underrated in its importance. It is the focal point of the house, the welcoming face and entry portal into the family home. The front door suffers more wear and tear than any interior door in the house, it has to perform multiple functions; keeping out hostile weather conditions, providing security, informing location, the access for postal and delivery services, the calling system for visitors and the primary entry and exit point for our furniture and belongings.

The front door can create that first good impression, with regular maintenance it can last for decades but with wear and tear it can become damaged or decayed and in need of replacing. This can provide a unique opportunity to make a personal and decorative statement. A recent research report published two years ago states that replacing a damaged front door ranks as the single most cost-effective home refurbishment, returning more than 95% of the investment on selling the property.

Although it can appear a simple task to maintain, refurbish or replace the front door there are many things to consider to achieve the right look. The wrong choice can easily become an expensive, ugly mistake.

If you are buying a new front door there are many different options to choose from – classic, traditional, cottage or modern styles, in natural woods or upvc materials, single glazed, double-glazed or solid. There are also fire regulations and thermal quality standards to consider.

Here are a few design hints to guide you on creating that attractive curb appeal.

Decoration – choose between varnishing the natural wood or painting in gloss or matt colours. The current trend seems to indicate the matt based paint in chalky earth colours are favoured over the traditional high gloss finishes in white, black or bright primary colours.

Door furniture – basically means hinges, locks & keyholes, handles, knockers or doorbells, post boxes and house numbers or names. There is a vast array of style and finishes to choose from antique brass, polished gold or chrome, brushed silver and even coloured finishes. Older doors have often been modified over time with a multitude of door furniture being added or replaced, creating a mishmash mix of finishes and styles that make the door unattractive in appearance. It makes a better impression if all the door furniture is in the same colour finish and style.

Entrance Lighting – is often overlooked, it is worth considering how the front door looks at night-time, as this also adds to the properties curb appeal and adds a welcoming feel along with added security. Try to co-ordinate the style of lighting to match the overall look of the door and furniture.

Thresholds – these are often ignored but it is worth consider the effect that could be achieved if the threshold was coordinated into the overall design scheme by adding tiles or painting in a complimentary or contrasting colour.

Plants & Hanging Baskets – adding feature foliage to the front door can also add to the attractiveness of the entrance but such planting needs to be well kept and watered, nothing is less appealing to a property than dead or overgrown planting.

Ems Penniston is Creative Director of Impressions London, a local business transforming residential properties in our area.

contact: hello@impressionslondon.co.uk
www.impressionslondon.co.uk

This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of SE22 magazine.