Create an Inviting Entry with Stylish & Functional Accents
As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a good first impression!” When it comes to your home the area around the front door is where that impression is made. Too often the accoutrements of an entry (such as the door set, lighting, and other hardware accessories) are put together piecemeal, rather than with deliberate design intention. The weather also takes its toll, leaving things looking worse for wear with time.
The place you welcome friends and family, your porch should be as attractive and inviting as possible. Updating it to reflect your style and meet your needs can be a comprehensive overhaul or a series of simple steps. To get you started we have put together a list of easy edits that will dramatically improve the way your porch looks and functions. Read on to find ways to create an entry you will be proud to show off and happy to come home to every day.
The Front Door
The starting point for entry improvements is typically the front door. As the focal point of the facade, it draws visitors' eyes while they approach and wait to be admitted. It is important, therefore, that your entry door hardware look its best. The handle set provides security and a dash of style, and the hinges ensure smooth operation. If your hardware is worn or no longer functions as it should, it may be time for a change. A new handle set and hinges in a matching finish will give your door a fresh new look.
Whether it’s family, friends, or guests making their way through your front door, the handle set should be one to be proud of. Depending on the age and design of your door, you may need a vintage-style mortise lock set or a modern tubular latch set - both come in a wide range of styles, sizes and finishes to suit any home.
Worn, rusted and painted over hinges can be an eyesore. If restoring them is out of the question, upgrading to new butt hinges will transform the look of your door. Choose from plain or decorative styles, with finishes to match every type of entry door set.
Strap hinges are a simple way to give your front door an Old-World look. Typically made of forged or cast iron with a durable black coating, they suit a wide range of period home styles, including American Colonial, Tudor, French Country, Spanish Colonial, and Arts & Crafts. For added charm, consider adding rustic iron clavos nails to the surface of your door.
As the largest and most prominent design element of your porch, the importance of entry lighting cannot be overstated. Whether a fixture is wall, ceiling, or post mounted it sets the tone by day and the ambiance by night. The shape of the fixture, the color of the glass, and the number of bulbs determine whether the light is bright and sparkling, soft and subtle, or warm and moody. You can choose fixtures that match the style and era of your home or do the opposite to add contrast. Modern lights on a colonial façade may be unexpected yet make a surprisingly effective statement! Read below about the four types of entry lights to determine which is best for your own home.
Providing a big dash of style and light just where you need it, wall-mounted porch lights are the go-to solution for almost any home. Placed singly or in pairs near the front door, they create an inviting first impression, day or night. With literally hundreds of style and finish options available, choosing new lanterns can be one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of updating your entry.
Outdoor pendants are ideal for high-ceilinged porches. Mounted from above, they suspend the light to the space above the door, just where you need it most. A pendant can stand alone, or work with wall mounted sconces to provide the maximum amount of light.
Up and out of the way from the bustle of daily activities, flush mount lights are a practical solution for porches with low ceilings or when there is insufficient wall space beside the door. Providing bright and even illumination from above, they also offer a bold dash of style.
A post-mounted light near your front door or along the path leading to it creates a welcoming impression for guests arriving after dark. Designed to coordinate with your wall-mounted or hanging porch lights, they come in styles ranging from classic colonial to mid-century modern.
Entry Door Accessories
While every front door requires a handle set and hinges, hardware accessories are a way to make your door your own. Whether it is a mail slot, a kick plate, or a hand-turned bell, items mounted directly onto the door add more layers of functionality and beauty. A brass knocker may not be needed if you already have an electric buzzer but embellishes the door like a piece of jewelry!
Dating to the late nineteenth century, a hand-turn doorbell is a quintessential feature of Victorian homes. Considered a technological advancement over door knockers, the produce a charming “ring-a-ling” when the handle is turned. Generally mounted to the center of the door (turn-piece on the outside, bell on the inside), they add a hint of whimsy to homes of any era.
Ubiquitous in the days before electric door buzzers, knockers add a touch of old-fashioned charm to your front door. By raising and firmly lowering the handle your guests can announce themselves with a resounding knock, knock, knock. Choose from a wide array of traditional, old-world, and modern designs to suit your style of home.
Named for their use in prohibition-era nightclubs, speakeasy viewers were a popular feature of homes throughout the first half of the twentieth century. The exterior side is an open grill, and on the inside, a latching panel. Especially handy for solid wood doors without glass or sidelights, you can easily and safely communicate with visitors while the door remains closed.
A kick plate is an essential component of a well-accessorized front door. Mounted across the bottom rail, it protects the surface by providing a place to kick the door open when your hands are full. With a wide range of finish and material options, you will find kick plates to coordinate with every style of home and entry door set.
Mail slots are common in neighborhoods where mail is delivered on foot. These understated mail receivers mount directly to the door or the adjacent wall. They offer excellent security and convenience, as the mail is delivered directly into your home. Gone are the days of wondering whether the mail came or not! There is also no limit to the amount of mail that can pass through — ideal for when you are out of town.
Front Porch Accessories
Options for the porch go beyond lighting and hardware for the front door. Useful items mounted to the house wall, columns, and porch floor offer more ways to showcase your personal style and add layers of functionality. Installing a brightly colored hanging basket, a rugged boot scrape, or an art glass mailbox are just a few ways to create a look all your own.
Wall-mounted mailboxes are typically attached to the wall adjacent to your front door, or to any vertical surface, such as a porch column or fence. Wall-mounted mailboxes are most common in walkable urban neighborhoods where mail is delivered on foot. This is a good option if security is a concern, as mailboxes anchored directly to the home are at less risk of mail theft or vandalism than curbside boxes.
With the introduction of electricity to most American homes in the early twentieth century, electric door bells quickly supplanted door knockers and hand-turn bells as method of choice for announcing the arrival of quests. Paired with a wall-mounted chime or buzzer, they can be heard clearly throughout your home. Doorbell buttons range in style from ornate vintage reproductions to sleek modern designs - there is something for every home!
Easy to read address numbers are an essential item on every home. Whether it is guests, delivery persons, or emergency services, bold and well-placed numbers will help them find your home with ease. With styles ranging from classic traditional to sleek contemporary, and finishes from natural bronze to stainless steel, you’ll find dozens of eye-catching options to choose from.
Try this old-school way of keeping floors clean. Mounted outside your front door, these handy scrapers clear dirt and debris from boots, shoes, and cleats before entering your home. The rugged iron designs add a touch of vintage charm to boot!
A plant hanger or two near the front door window is a wonderful way to welcome guests with a splash of color. Ideal for trailing flowers and vines, they may be mounted to a porch post or directly to the wall.
A sturdy flag holder mounted to the front of your home allows you to show your colors on holidays, game day, or any other festive occasion. Made of durable power-coated iron, they will hold up to the elements year after year.
Screen Door Hardware
An old-fashioned wood screen door is a wonderful way to let fresh air into your home, while keeping insects out and pets in. Designed to be light-weight and self-closing, they require special hinges and latches to suit this purpose. Read below to find everything you need to outfit your screen door in period-perfect style.
Spring-loaded screen door hinges are responsible for one of the most nostalgic sounds of summer - the resounding slam of a screen door as children run in and out of the house. Designed specifically to keep the door closed and insects out, these surface mounted hinges have adjustable tension to control the speed at which the door shuts itself.
Given their narrow and lightweight frames, screen doors generally require a diminutive latch set. Most styles feature a knob on the exterior side and a lever handle on the interior to accommodate the tight space within the door frame. As for latching, there are options for completely surface mount (best for very thin doors), tubular latch (for standard doors), and mortise lock (for heavy duty custom doors).
Shop House of Antique Hardware for Entry Update Ideas & Inspiration
Have questions about your entry update or need more information about our products? Our Hardware Specialists are here to help - call 888-223-2545.