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Entry Doors – The Craftsman

Entry Doors - The Craftsman

Chicagoans claim the craftsman style home as a part of our heritage – after all, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the fathers of the architectural movement. The style, circa 1890’s, popular into 1930, is enjoying a revival today.Whether you’re fortunate enough to own an old original craftsman style home or are building a new home, the craftsman entry door is a key architectural element to focus on.  The craftsman door is almost always reached by way of a porch, which accentuates the door’s uniqueness. Craftsman doors are interesting contrasts of simple lines, warm woods, understated flat casings, decorative glass panes and a classically ornamental dentil shelf.

Warm Woods

Homeowners can select less expensive painted fiberglass or steel doors to compliment a craftsman style home, yet an all wood door creates an unmatched striking focal point. Good design always creates focal points that allow the eye to naturally absorb the view. Without a focal point, the eyes wander and the brain struggles. The craftsman home is perfect for a wood door because of the protected porch entrance. Although wood is a great insulator and can withstand harsh weather, it needs an enduring finish and a building overhang for protection. Wood doors by Simpson can be used in tough exposures as long as they are made of especially weather-resistant woods such as: Douglasfir, Sapele Mahogany and Nootka Cypress.
he beauty of wood is that no two pieces look exactly the same. The grain patterns, color variations and textures create a work of art.  Frankly, it’s a stark contrast from a painted fiberglass or steel door, which can appear flat and lifeless in comparison. There are places for the less costly door; a wood craftsman entry door is the place to splurge.

Glass Panes

Entry Doors - The Craftsman

It’s not uncommon for entry doors to be placeholders in an architect’s design. Meaning its definition will be provided later. In the craftsman style this is often so the architect or designer can line up the views from the entry to a focal point inside the house.  This might be an interior wall or an exterior back yard.The craftsman style entry door typically has glass in the upper door, sidelites or in a transom above the door. Well positioned, glass can bring natural day light to a dark foyer or let the moon and street light glow, flood the entry at night. If security is a concern consider glass transoms. 

Simplicity and Originality

The American craftsman style was a response to the ornate Victorian style homes that were common at the time. It stood in stark contrast to the highly decorated eclectic Victorian. Adopting an arts and crafts artistic sensibility, the style typically uses local handcrafted glass, wood and metal work. The colors are usually a natural palette so that the homes blend with nature. You might find the Dutch door an original interpretation of the traditional craftsman door.If an all-wood door is outside the limits of your budget, don’t despair. Check out doors by Therma-Tru for fiberglass doors that mimic wood. Or if you love painted doors, check out the options for wood, fiberglass or steel painted doors by Jeld Wen in a variety of colors. Or if space allows you can create a double door entrance. Beauty lies in variation, so use your imagination to get the craftsman look on any budget.

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