The entrance of a house is often a distinct focal point—a statement if you will—exuding the very first impression. It can hold exciting entry moments and entice curiosity for what’s inside. When making design choices for your home, consider how you would like to present your new house and which feelings you would like to impress upon your guests. Your entry will always be there to greet—a welcoming portal to the sanctuary that is your home.
A house’s entry sequence often hints to the architecture beyond and will therefore serve as a first introduction to your home. As seen in the Blue Sail residence below, a reinterpreted beach walk is leading up to the front door. One might think the house is sited on a beach front property, but that’s only true in spirit. This home is in fact situated high up on a hillside but afford stunning and uninterrupted ocean views from the inside—a feature we decided to hint to as we designed the approach.
The wide-open floor plan and transparent qualities of the home originated the idea to also incorporate a layered wall sequence into the front yard design. Board formed concrete walls slice through the landscape and completely shield the entrance from the street. The house is a shining example of Southern California indoor/outdoor living, but where the home is a hidden realm, and not compromising of the owner’s privacy.
Often depending on your site, you may want to announce the entrance to your home with a statement piece. This can be realized in different ways, and a few examples can be seen below.
The Spring Road residence to the left is sited at the end of a long, treelined driveway at the top of a mountain. A glass enclosed stairwell acts as a beacon upon the approach, revealing the home’s entrance as you draw near - pulling you closer.
In the Kuhlman house to the right, a red feature wall serves dual purposes: it effectively adds privacy to the interior spaces while also emphasizing the main entry point with its color, directing visitors to the front door.
The design of your home’s entrance can also depend on the climate. If your house is in an area where heavy rains or snowfalls are common, a sheltering canopy above the front door can catch the brunt of it. But even if your new house is in a hot and sunny climate, you most likely will want to add an awning, as it also will provide shade and may cast interesting shadows. Over the years, our front door designs have taken this into consideration:
The exterior stairs at the Kalfus Studio (left) duals as a canopy above the front door—providing ample shade to those entering. Concurrently, its treads provide a fabulous, dappled light that is animating the façade. Another example is the playful curvature seen at the entrance of the Palisades Beach Road house (right), currently in design. Both projects are located in Southern California—where a rainfall will be more of a blessing than a concern—but the designs are taking full advantage of the arid climate, as shadows cast provide visual interest to the architecture and the canopies provide shelter from the sun.
Consider not only what your entrance will look like from the outside. On the interior, the front door can be quite large and often dominate your foyer. Acknowledge this, by making it stand out even further, as in the Spring Road residence, below. The nine-foot-high solid wood and blackened steel front door is massive! Juxtaposed against a light and airy stairwell, this entry point is a visual surprise—almost a sculpture all in itself—showcasing both materiality and craft while serving its purpose as a connector to the outside world.
Another approach could be to make your front door echo your home’s interior. In the Stradella house, below, a simple black and white palette dominates on the inside. This contemporary and minimalistic approach called for a similar treatment to the front entry point, where the door elegantly blends in with the theme, yet plays an important role in balancing the space’s overall design.
Our lives are busy and often filled with obligations. When designing your new house, consider what you would like to experience coming home after a long day at work. Picture your entry, perhaps, as an inspiring passage between worlds—the outside realm vs. the inside. A courtyard space can make for a smoother transition between the two.
In the Crescent Drive project, a tranquil front yard separates the street from the entrance, greeting you with lush landscaping and the soothing sound of running water. The wonderful outdoor space uplifts the spirits as you progress toward the front door.
In conclusion, when planning your new home, make sure to take more than just the visuals in consideration: the front entrance should be as functional as it is beautiful. And if you would like, the approach can afford both privacy and calmness—as if you’ll be strolling through your own, personal oasis, leaving traffic jams and the working world behind. Remember, when retreating into your own private realm, your well-designed entrance is always there, to welcome you home.
Anki Pineiro has been a part of EYRC’s marketing team since 2004 and is the firm's Graphic Designer. In addition to leading the firm's branding, she is managing the digital archive—an index of all EYRC designs over the years. Her in depth knowledge of the firm's portfolio and visual aesthetic give her unique insight on presenting the projects through visual storytelling. As a longtime homeowner—she is passionate about exploring topics related to experiential residential design.