Exterior Door Frames And The Front Door Say Much About Life

by John A Holland - Date: 2010-08-08 - Word Count: 429 Share This!

There is nothing that says more about a house and its occupants than the quality and style of its front door and the fitment of its exterior door frames.

In Britain the front door has come to signify many things in life. It is the portal through which we step after a long and stressful working day. It has strength so we can slam it shut against the world. It is weatherproof. It has many locks and devices to keep us safe. It is through the front door that we welcome in visitors and expel others who are not quite so welcome.

Historically the front door was a drawbridge to your castle where it would be lowered for friends and raised up against enemies. Many modern solid wood front doors emulate these early examples of Gothic iron riveted oak, with the added touch of a small grilled window as a look out and the whole fitted into arched exterior door frames.

The 17th century moved away from fortification to a much more genteel and less aggressive way of living where the aristocracy were out to impress. The Baroque produced heavy squared quite plain front doors juxtaposed against the architectural excesses of their porticos and surrounds to create a show for visitors and a foretaste of the fineness to be enjoyed inside.

The 18th and early 19th centuries saw a huge growth in the merchant and middle classes where the house owners of Britain were emulating the aristocracy and British cities were peppered with brightly coloured square Georgian doors set within Neo-classical arches all vying with each other to set themselves apart.

Another explosion in house building during Victoria's reign created the red brick terrace. A fine four panelled painted front door made of solid wood and fitted with polished brass created the entrance through which proud inhabitants would lead their visitors into the best front parlour.

The Art Deco front door of the 1930s reacted against the human wastages of war, ridding itself of everything that had gone before. Sunburst leaded lights set within geometric mouldings and panels indicated a philosophy of modern thinking, healthy living and change.

Again the 1960s, a post apocalyptic era similar to the 1930s, threw itself into art, new concrete buildings and excesses of light within the home where everything Victorian, including front doors, were being discarded or neutralised of any ornament and painted white.

Modern front doors are now far more eclectic. Whether Gothic, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco or something more modern; exterior door frames, entrances and front doors will continue to mirror people's aspirations in life.

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