Entries Doors Halls & Stairs

Patricia Skinner  |  1/15/2007 5:40:49 AM

There are quite a few architectural elements in your home that you have probably dismissed as not adding significantly to the overall character of your house. These may include doors, hallways, stairs and entries. Reconsidering and addressing the significance of these everyday elements, however, may added a renewed vigor to your home.

Doors are usually a mundane part of everyday life. They are definitive separators that serve privacy, safety and acoustical purposes. Doors, however, are not limited to solid chunks of wood or white painted metal. There are many innovative materials that can substitute traditional door materials. Innovative alternatives range in opacity from translucent to opaque and vary in expense. Consider the effect of light passing through a porous door into a room. The cast shadows and white, or colored glow, of light can enliven a normally dull room.

Hallways are also a mundane part of life. Besides the occasional wall hanging, hallways are usually white, bare and unexciting. By changing the floor material or pattern and adding expressive overhead light fixtures you can begin to alter the feel of the space. Adding track lighting or mono-point lighting will allow you to manually focus light on a certain photograph or artwork lining the walls. This will create fluxes in the passerby’s rhythm. Try to think of your hallway as an intermediate space or room within your home, not simply a means to an end.

Stairs are another predominate place of travel within the home. Take advantage of the space underneath the stair. Oftentimes this residual space is awkwardly shaped, however, it functions well for storage or conversion into a half bath. For smaller houses, storage options are probably optimal. For homes with more space, the half-bath option would add an amenity to the home and improve the resale value in the future.

Lastly, entries are the welcoming areas for both family members and visitors. There are several types of entries including formal/main (front) entries, back entries, side entries and mudroom (garage) entries. For the purposes of this article, we will only briefly discuss the formal/main entry, usually located at the front of the home. The main entry of a home may be simple and marked only by a door, or it may be somewhat elaborate and contain a foyer area. In either instance, some aspect of the room into which it enters should embrace the entry. Generally furniture should not be placed with its back towards the entry. The entry should be well-lit and unobstructed. Locating a large painting adjacent to the entry is celebratory way of giving prominence to the area and welcoming the family member, friend or guest.

Alteration or adjustment of everyday elements is a great way to reinvent the commonplace areas in your home. Adding manually controlled light fixtures with varying light intensities, adding artwork or photographs, and changing flooring and wall materials are a few quick fix ways to make travel through your home more pleasant .


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