I had someone call me yesterday looking for some advice (not one of my own clients). She told me that her house is in construction, and she is very concerned about her front door. "The framed opening for the front door looks out of proportion - it looks squatty". The door was to be about 40" wide x 6'-8" high, but she is now uncomfortable with her decision. I could actually feel her agonizing over it.
I told her that the proportion of the door may in fact look squatty now, but might not once the door is actually in place. That's because the door has paneling, details and textures within it that begin to visually alter it's own proportions. You also need to look at the door in context with it's surroundings because it needs to be in balance with the overall composition. I have a feeling she is just staring at the door opening only, which is a common issue amongst homeowners during construction. This is where a good design professional could help her gain confidence in her decisions.
|Here is a Cape Cod style house plan I designed with a "squatty" front door. 3'-6" wide x 6'-8" tall. Looking at the door in context with the surrounding composition, it feels about right.|
|The vertical paneling treatment, vertical wood grain pattern and the dentil detailing below the glass all conspire to break down the visual width of the door. The result is a "squatty" door that does not feel so.|
So the moral of this particular story is twofold:
- Always consider design issues in their full context.
- Hire a design professional. He / she can save you much agony.
PS - The Cape Cod House Plan illustrated here is available for purchase at Lakeland Cape Cod